Food For Thought #20: Product in 2016, State Of Tech, VC & Logic, 10x, Pivotal Products

Food For Thought #20: Product in 2016, State Of Tech, VC & Logic, 10x, Pivotal Products

Age of Product’s of Food for Thought of December 18th, 2015 covers: Product management in 2016, the state of technology, wrong product choice of hardware founders, the illogical side of venture capital, go for 10x, not 10%, pivotal product bets at Facebook, an inspiring podcast w/ Ryan Leslie plus a five day email course to reboot yourself and get ready for 2016.

This is the Christmas edition! We will be back in January 2016. Enjoy your time off! 🙂

Steven Sinofsky: “Hallway Debates”: A 2016 Product Manager Discussion Guide

“Hallway Debates”: A 2016 Product Manager Discussion Guide
Image from

When it comes to innovation and roadmaps there’s nothing special about the start of a new calendar year other than a convenient time to checkpoint the past year and to regroup for the next. Everyone’s feeds are going to be filled with “best of”, “worst of”, and “predictions” for 2016 and those are always fun. What I’ve always found valuable is taking a step back and thinking about the themes that will impact decisions at the product and business level over the next year.

Ben Thompson: Slack and the State of Technology at the End of 2015

Last December I wrote an article entitled The State of Consumer Technology at the End of 2014. That article was more than a year-in-review though: in it I both defined the different epochs of computing — PC, Internet, and mobile — as well as the distinct arenas of competition within each epoch: the operating system and killer applications for productivity and communications.

Ben Einstein (via Bolt): Building Too Much Hardware

Many hardware startups don’t realize they’re building too much. When I say “too much” I really mean two things: a) too many features and b) too many products.

Jeff Clavier: The Logical Answer Is Usually Wrong

Venture capital is not logical. Investors that go with direct logic lose money. By definition, disruption goes against the grain. It goes against the linear path.

Ken Norton (via Mind The Product): Video: 10x Not 10%, Product Management by Orders of Magnitude by Ken Norton

History is littered with companies who missed the boat on big new innovations and optimised their way to obsolescence – from Kodak inventing the digital camera but shelving it for fear of cannibalising their film revenue, to Swiss watchmakers inventing the quartz watch movement but letting the Japanese eat their market with it.

Blake Ross (via Medium): How to Swallow $200 Million Accidentally

We’ll call Product A an ice cube: nice to have, keeps your beer cold, but melts quickly from your memory. We’ll call Product B an iceberg: pivotal, foundational, and hopefully permanent — even if you can’t quite see it all.

Kris Gale (via First Round Capital): The One Cost Engineers and Product Managers Don't Consider

Embrace simplicity in your product and in your code. The value is in what gets used, not what gets built.

This is allowing entropy to be your product manager and to take on complexity debt. Fight this instinct.

Steve Blank: Blank’s Rule – To predict the future 1/3 of you need to be crazy

When companies or agencies search for disruptive and innovative strategies they often assemble a panel of experts to advise them. Ironically the panel is often made up of people whose ideas about innovation were relevant in the past.

In a rapidly changing world those who copy the past have doomed their future.

(via Product Hunt): Episode 47: Ryan Leslie

Ryan Leslie is one of the most interesting rappers and artists in the music industry. He graduated from Harvard at age 20, has grammy nominated songs, including one with Kanye West, and recently created the Super Phone, which is backed by Ben Horowitz, Betaworks and others.

(via RebootHQ): Reboot Your 2016

This free guided 5 day email course will help you kick off 2016. Enter your email to get started.

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