Colby.so Writing on bootstrapping, product, and web development

Do less: A strategy for building better products

Product managers love building new things. It is a driving force behind why many of us decide on this career path; we get to spend all day figuring out what cool new thing to build next.

This love of building stuff serves us well in the early days of a product. Everything is new, you don’t have many users, and you are missing core components of your product’s value proposition. Delivering new features quickly helps you find problems that your users want you to solve before you run out of cash.

Eventually, if you build the right things and all of the pieces fall into place, you get past the early stage of searching for product-market fit and find that you have a growing base of happy users.

Reaching this point is a wonderful achievement — and a signal that your product strategy needs to change.

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Directional inputs for your product

The world of product management is noisy. Your clients are asking for new features. Your sales team needs a magical new feature to close their next deal. Your success team heard from 50 people yesterday about gaps in your product. Noise is coming in from every direction, all of the time. Learning to process a constant barrage of information from disparate sources into a coherent product vision is vital to success as a product manager.

One mistake that product managers make is becoming too focused on a single input channel. Most often, this happens when a single source is the loudest — the squeaky wheel gets the new feature. To break out of this habit, it can help to identify all of the different input channels that you should be monitoring and clarify the role each channel plays in the product management process.

Read the rest Nine-minute read