Do you have a Product Mindset?

Don’t know about you, but I tend to think and talk a lot about the “product mindset”. There are a lot of great product management tools and techniques out there, but they become ever so powerful when you pair them with a strong product mindset. For me the product mindset comes down to four key elements:

Customer — Everything begins and ends with the customer.

Curiosity — Question. Question. Question. Even when you think you’ve got the answer!

Clarity — Being able to communicate with clarity, or your product and customer is going to suffer.

Creativity — Novel ways of addressing problems, being able to come up with alternative solutions.

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/@captured_deguia

Having the right mindset is imperative to creating great products and solving problems. Do you think of projects or the end to end lifecycle of your product? How and when do you learn from customers? How do you utilise insights gleaned from customers and behavioural analytics? In my product career thus far, the successful product managers and leaders that I’ve been privileged to meet or work with, all outperform on the aforementioned four components. These great people all are:

People with a product mindset have developed a knack for spotting product opportunities and are good at communicating these as well as proposed solutions. They’re comfortable listening, questioning and influencing others. At this point you might be scratching your head and be thinking “Do these people really exist?!” Yes, people with a strong mindset do exist and they aren’t unicorns either!

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Having a well developed product mindset doesn’t mean that you’re perfect or that every product you touch turns into gold. Quite the opposite. Some 0f the people with a strong product mindset that come to mind aren’t afraid to be wrong, try new things, make though decisions and be highly uncomfortable in the process:

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/@vereverse

The bad news is that a product mindset can’t be taught. There are lots of product management courses and certifications, and whilst these can be valuable they won’t give you the product mindset on a platter. The good news is that you can grow a product mindset, simply by doing, trying, learning and trying again …

Image Credit: @https://unsplash.com/@brett_jordan

Main learning: A product mindset can be taught. However, you can develop your product mindset by trying, learning and refining … continuously!

Related links for further learning:

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Product at Intercom, author of "My Product Management Toolkit" and “Managing Product = Managing Tension” — see https://bit.ly/3gH2dOD.

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MAA1

Product at Intercom, author of "My Product Management Toolkit" and “Managing Product = Managing Tension” — see https://bit.ly/3gH2dOD.