It’s one of the biggest traps that we as product people can fall into: developing tunnel vision, and not keeping an open mind. Some people argue that one has to be single minded in order to be successful. Perhaps this is true if you want to be a successful golfer or an amazing musician, but to develop successful products an open mind is required.

Jonathan Baron is a Professor of Psychology who has extensively studied the concept called “active open-minded thinking” (‘AOT’). To be actively open-minded is to actively search for information that contradicts your pre-existing hypotheses. …


I like Hiten Shah’s simple but clear explanation about the importance of measuring retention: “retention is the indicator of whether a product is working for its users or not.” Retention is typically measured by comparing the number of customers at the start of a given time period with the number of customers at the end of that period whilst excluding any new customers acquired during that period.

‘Usage’ and ‘revenue’ are the two lenses that we need apply when measuring retention:

  • Usage retention: Measuring the number and percentage of users* that are active in your product. …


My summary of Stitch Fix before using it? I expect Stitch Fix to offer second hand clothing, but that’s purely based on the name :) Alternatively, you can use Stitch Fix to get your existing clothing items repaired.

How does Stitch Fix explain itself in the first minute? When I download the Stitch Fix iOS app, it says “Personal styling for women & men” on the landing screen, mentioning that “our stylists hand select and send you clothing and accessories to suit your lifestyle.” This bit alone shows me how far off I was in my initial expectations of Stitch…


My summary of Prose before using it? I’ve heard some venture capital friends talk admiringly about Prose and their approach to personalisation. All I know is that Prose sells hair products, but being 100% bald myself :) that’s as far as my knowledge goes.

How does Prose explain itself in the first minute? When I go to the Prose website, I’m welcomed by a strap-line that states “Your best hair starts with custom care, inside & out”, flanked by a number of hair products.

Intrigued as to what “custom care” means in the context of Prose, I click on the…


My summary of Run The World before using it? I expect a platform which makes it easy for people to run events virtually, similar to Hopin and Eventbrite.

How does Run The World explain itself in the first minute? The first thing I see when I go to the Run The World site is a strap-line which says “Fire up your virtual events”, followed by “Organize interactive events for groups to learn and socialize.” At this point, I can already create a free event to host or take a video tour first.

When I scroll down on the Run The…


Hiring good product people can be a challenge, particularly because I feel that no product management role is exactly the same, with the needs and expectations of a product role varying per organisation (largely dependent on the product or the incumbent view of product management within an organisation).

I was therefore excited to come across “Hiring Product Managers: Using Product EQ to go beyond culture and skills”, a book by product management consultant Kate Leto. Having hired for many product roles — at all experience levels — Leto shares valuable insights and tips with respect to hiring product people.

Human and technical skills

In…


Creating inclusive products is at the heart of “Building for everyone”, a great book written by Annie Jean-Baptiste. Jean-Baptiste is the Head of Product Inclusion at Google and has been at the forefront of making the web work for underserved communities.

Annie Jean-Baptiste — Taken from: A Day in the Life of Google’s Head of Inclusion

At the beginning of “Building for everyone” Jean-Baptiste summarises what her work (and this book) is all about: “When we don’t fit in or when products or services do not feel as though they were built for us, we feel excluded, frustrated, disappointed, or…


My summary of Sessions before using it? I expect a platform where I can share live content, for others to engage with — similar to Clubhouse or lu.ma.

How does Sessions explain itself in the first minute? When I go to https://sessionslive.com/ I see at a glance that this site sells tickets, for different acts. Can’t tell whether these are tickets for live events or for prerecorded concerts.

How does Sessions work? I can see how users can get tickets for live streams of artists sessions. Not sure how the different social aspects — “crew” — and gamification elements —…


In my experience as a product leader I’ve observed product managers consistently doing many different things and that has been a quality I’ve always admired and looked out for in candidates. I’ve found that developing a wide range of skills has led me to expertly find similar qualities in the people I hire.

For example, I get excited when I meet with product people who feel just as comfortable writing user stories as they do speaking with customers, can implement the right level of process and love delving into the data.*

* I recommend checking out this assessment tool created…


My summary of Sojo before using it? I believe Sojo is a app focused on sustainable clothing; helping people resell their clothes or repair them.

How does Sojo explain itself in the first minute? “Clothing alterations and repairs, made easy” is what it says on Sojo’s landing screen, followed by a “Get started!” button.

How does Sojo work? In Step 1, users select and order what alteration or repair they need done.

MAA1

Product at ASOS, author of "My Product Management Toolkit", family, boxing and founder of @hiphoplistings and blogging via http://t.co/uGr5nRye

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