There’s a lot of hate and negative vibes around the recent Basecamp’s announcement “ No more societal and political discussions on our company Basecamp account”. People were quick to accuse DHH and Jason Fried of eliminating free speech. I’d like to share four points:

#1 Clear direction

Respect to DHH and Jason Fried for being very clear on what they believe the right thing for Basecamp is. If they start hiring again, they will attract people who are aligned with their view of the world. Basecamp has just become stronger and more united.

#2 Stick to what you believe in

Respect to people who left Basecamp. If you are no…

About a month ago, I offered guidance to aspiring Product Managers. I was humbled by the number of messages I received. I want to thank everyone who reached out. It was so inspiring to meet driven people who are eager to learn about Product Management.

There were six most common questions that people asked. I’m sharing my answers based on my experience and hope this will be helpful for everyone who wishes to become a Product Manager.

Why become a Product Manager?

As a Product Manager, you are given the opportunity to solve customer and business problems.

It all starts with learning about business goals

I finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear earlier this year and would like to share key learnings that helped me to form a couple of good habits.

Atomic Habits

James Clear gets to the point of what it takes to build healthy long-lasting habits. One of the ideas he puts forward is the power of compounding effect: changes that seem small and unimportant at any given day will compound into remarkable results, if we are willing to stick with them for months and years.

The book offers very clear and easy steps to create the habits you always wanted to inculcate.

Exploration session to identify the most complex and ‘painful’ customer problems.
Exploration session to identify the most complex and ‘painful’ customer problems.

At THE ICONIC we are passionate about creating great customer experiences. It’s quite common for us to evolve our rituals and processes to support our customers’ needs. Coupled with this, whenever we see an opportunity to break barriers between teams and departments, we grab it and work in tandem towards the same goal.

Breaking Barriers

Even after having OKRs in place, aligning goals and priorities across the whole business is a tricky affair. Over time, we discovered that having our teams aligned on strategic initiatives wasn’t enough. …

In an organisation, when a decision to create a new product is made, there is a high chance that one of the existing teams will be allocated to the task right away. Management expectation is always high, and it’s usually assumed that the team can shift gears immediately and become productive in a matter of days.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. And let’s not forget that it takes much longer for a completely new team to jell and perform.

The challenge is that in the first few weeks the engineers and testers won’t have much to do. It’ll take…

Often in companies of different sizes, the product team is either forced, or voluntarily switches, to ‘solution mode’ hoping to solve a business problem. A much better way forward is to fully understand the customer problem.

You might get lucky and guess the right customer problem to solve based on your experience, insights and gut feeling. But, seriously, what are the odds of that?

Sadly, in most organisations, stakeholders already have a clear picture of how the solution should look:

It will be an amazing app (showing design mocks of different screens) and based on our market research it will…

Have you ever tried to create a new digital product in a medium or large corporation? You have? Well then, you know it’s damn hard! And if you haven’t…it’s damn hard!

In modern corporate environment, it is a huge challenge to build a digital product that is commercially viable, technically feasible and irresistible to customers. Business priorities change, competing egos and dependencies cause frustration and certainly the Waterfall Model of development itself can derail your product. All of this is likely to result in a slow death of the product into which you’ve poured your heart and soul.

In this…

I’ve never read more than 15–20 books in a year. One of the excuses I had was that I’m a very busy person — with 3 children, a full-time job, a local soccer team I play for, plus a million other things to do.

Last year, I set a goal to read 36 books. My objective was to learn more about leadership, business, product management and, of course, enjoy a few fiction books (sorry, “Fifty Shades of Grey” isn’t one of them).

What’s more, I realised my attention span has become shorter due to the constant use of my phone…

Doesn’t it feel great when on top of solid job performance your team is buzzing, joking and having a good time? Yes, it does without a doubt!

Daniel Pink, in his book, Drive, lists 3 elements of the motivation formula: (1) Autonomy — the desire to direct our own lives; (2) Mastery — the urge to get better and better at something that matters; and (3) Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

If we are paid well, these elements engage and stimulate us to do our best work. …

Starting a new job is often thrilling and overwhelming. Like a rollercoaster ride, I get pumped up and excited to get on but also my heart starts pounding and palms get sweaty. Do you get the same feeling?

I like all the new opportunities that come with a new job such as learning extra skills, applying my expertise, meeting new people and making friends. On the other hand, the first few weeks can be particularly stressful, trying to figure out how to be useful and add value to the business.

Over the years I created a checklist to help me…

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