Product Knowledge Bites - Feb 2021

Scrabble pieces saying I am still learning

I’m starting a new brief articles series called Product Knowledge Bites to share some learnings and experiences that can be explained in a couple of paragraphs and do not need an entire blog post. This month I want to talk about the Product Leader Canyon, the concept of getting pickled and recommend Melissa Perri’s Product Thinking Podcast.

The Product Leader Canyon

I’ve recently joined the Reforge community as a member, and started the self-paced version of the Product Strategy program. Lesson 1 starts talking about the Product Leader job, and how it is different (and hardest) from an Individual Contributor (IC) role such as Product Manager or Senior Product Manager. And, this step to Product Leadership is the hardest because it requires several new skills and tools. Quoting Fareed Mosavat and Case Winters’ article, «It’s not just a steeper part of the mountain — it’s actually a wide canyon».

Reforge's Product Leader Canyon

🥒 Avoid getting pickled

As I mentioned on my previous post, I’m re-reading some parts of the Agile Coaching book to improve my coaching skills, and I found a concept that got my attention immediately:

«What happens to a cucumber if it stays in a jar of brine for too long? It becomes a pickle. […] if we stay with the same team (or even the same company) for more than a few months, we can lose our fresh perspective. […] You start to absorb the same mind-set as the rest of the company and find yourself saying, “That’s just how it’s done around here“»

This getting pickled concept comes originally from Jerry Weinberg’s The Secrets of Consulting.

Product Thinking Podcast with Melissa Perri

Product Thinking Podcast with Melissa Perri Podcast

Don’t remember how, but this week I’ve discovered the Product Thinking Podcast with Melissa Perri, author of the Escaping the Build Trap book. I highly recommend listening episode 3 with Georgie Smallwood, the CPO at TIER Mobility and former CPO at N26, talking about what being CPO/HoP means in one company or another, how to land in a new job as CPO, the importance of product strategy and how critical is communication in this kind of roles.