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What Matters in Product Management

“How do we make the one decision that resolves a thousand future decisions?”

Every Product Manager I’ve spoken to says they are short on time.

We have so many stakeholders to handle, tickets to define, tasks to manage, that there’s never enough time to get everything done.

So we end up in a cycle of defining, of planning, of executing, but never really pause to think deeply about what we are working on and, more importantly, why.

Yet when pushed on what the expected outcome is - on why those tasks matter - a lot of the time we don’t have a good answer.

And by obsessing over the details, we fail to see the bigger picture.

And by failing to see the bigger picture, we fail to see the one thing that really matters:

Are we building the right thing? And for whom?

And I’m not just talking on a feature level, but with our entire product.

If we are not building the right thing for the right person at the right moment, everything else is infinitely harder.

Think of Slack:

They didn’t start to explode in popularity, growing 1,000% month-on-month, because they built great features or had great products (although that did, I’m sure, help them after that initial growth).

They exploded in popularity because they identified the right opportunity - more accurately, stumbled across it - then validated that opportunity with a basic product that people used, then validated that they could actually sell the opportunity.

No sales team. No big marketing budget. No clever techniques for tricking customers into paying customers.

Just a great solution (easy, organised chat) for an acute problem (team communication) for a clear audience (working teams).

Remember this lesson, because it’s key to your professional development:

If you obsess over the details, you miss the bigger picture. You miss the real opportunities - the ideas that customers will go wild for - by keeping your head in the sand. So learning to identify those opportunities, validate those opportunities, then exploit them with a great solution, is THE key to product mastery.

Want help learning how to make that happen? Get in touch.

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