- Product Punks
- Shipping Features Isn't a True Measure of Product Success
Shipping Features Isn't a True Measure of Product Success
Hello fellow punks!
Welcome to the 22 of you who have signed up for this since the last issue. It’s great to have you on board. Hopefully you’ll stick with me while I figure out what this newsletter is all about.
Here’s this week’s issue ⬇️
We shipped it so we're done, right?!
Just because you've shipped a feature, it doesn't mean you can give yourself a pat on the back just yet.
Yes, releasing product is an important milestone on your way to delivering value for your customers.
But it's still only a milestone.
You can't really consider your product successful until you've proven it's delighting your customers in hard to copy, margin-enhancing ways.
Otherwise, you've still got a lot of work to do.
Like Shreyas Doshi says:
If you have just shipped a product, but don’t yet have a way of getting usage data for the product, you have not really shipped the product. You have just shipped functionality.
Shipping a product requires shipping a way to understand how people are using it.
— Shreyas Doshi (@shreyas)
Jan 23, 2021
The first version of a product or feature is almost always going to fall short on its promise to its users. Not because it's bad, but because what your customers make you think they want and what they actually need are often very different.
LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman talks about this in an essay reflecting on his famous "If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late" statement:
It's impossible to truly know if something is going to be successful until you've got it into the hands of the people you think are going to use it.
Shipping isn't the end of the process, it's just the beginning.
You can learn more about a product manager by analyzing their work in version 1.1 rather 1.0
The second release truly separates the good from the great
Who did they listen to? Are they reading the customer? What did (or didn’t) they modify? How did they deal with pressure?
— Norgard (@BrianNorgard)
Sep 6, 2018
What I've been reading 📚
More than two decades after its launch, Apple is finally killing off the iPod. Here's the story of what is arguably the most influential tech product of the 21st century:
After nearly 22 years, Apple is stopping production of the devices that changed consumer electronics and led to the creation of the iPhone.
Product management favours optimistic risk-takers. This article explains why pessimism makes you sound smart, but it's really optimism that fuels progress.
Optimism requires believing in an unknown, unproven future
I'm not a huge fan of user personas. Often, they end up being used as proxies for real conversations with real people. I much prefer JTBD.
The problem I have with personas, what I recommend instead, and how you can actually use them together to articulate user information more clearly. Most people starting in their UI/UX career get hit…
What I've been writing ✍️
I love Product Management Twitter. I've learned more hanging out there than I have from any training course or workshop. Here's a meta-thread of some of my favourite product management threads:
Twitter is one of the best places to learn about product management.
Here are 21 threads to get you started 🧵 ⬇️
— Toby Rogers 🚀🤘 (@tobiasrogers)
May 9, 2022
Every product manager needs a toolbox of mental models to help them make decisions. Here's a handful of some of the most useful:
Product management is hard.
Here are 9 rules of thumb to make it easier 🧵 ⬇️
— Toby Rogers 🚀🤘 (@tobiasrogers)
May 11, 2022
See you next week (probably).
The Punk PM
P.S. Feel free to share this with anyone else you think would find it interesting.
I’m still playing around with ideas for content and format for this newsletter, so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Go ahead and shoot me an email with ways you think I can make it better.