PM Brainfood #100

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PM Brainfood

Biweekly we select for you the best articles in product management.

Enjoy and have a PRODUCTive week!

Interesting Reads


1. Five Tips for Saying No to Stakeholders

Saying no is a firm part of our job as product people: Trying to please everyone and taking on board every idea is hardly a recipe for achieving product success. But saying no can be tough, especially when we are faced with a senior, assertive stakeholder. This article offers five practical tips to help you say no in the right way. (Roman Pichler)

2. Product Managers: You Have Responsibility and Authority

“We often think of responsibility as a burden, but it is in fact a trust that we’ve been given to perform certain acts.” In this article, Product consultant and founder Saeed Khan posits that PMs actually do have authority to go with the responsibility. (In his past role) “We had authority. What we didn’t acknowledge at that moment was the limit of it… But there are other types of authority and it’s important for Product Managers to understand them because they are an explicit part of the role and can be developed and leveraged for personal and professional benefit.” (The Startup)

3. How to Find Product-Market Fit
The term “Product-Market Fit” can be baffling for a lot of new Product Managers. The phrase sounds great in theory, but in reality, finding product-market fit raises more questions than it answers: What is Product-Market fit? How do I know when I have Product-Market fit? How do I know when I don’t have Product-Market fit? More importantly, how do I find product-market fit for my product? Hopefully, this post will be able to answer some of the questions for you. (Product Dave)

4. A Primer on Product Metrics

LinkedIn PM, Alex Reeve, writes, “Moving a metric is not the goal. Achieving a business or product outcome is the goal, and a metric is a way of quantifying whether you’re achieving that goal… You need to define a true-north metric to measure whether your new experience is better or worse.” In his article, Mr. Reeve covers some core product metric concepts that can be a great primer (or refresher), especially as we enter a second year of trying to plan and measure pandemic-related ever-shifting product goals. (The Startup)


Kickstart 2021 professional development goals by exploring how INSEAD’s executive-level product management program can help you amplify your product leadership impact.


5. Ten Things I Learned as a Product Manager at Carousell

“The hard part of product management is identifying and solving the *implicit unmet* user needs. Very few product managers or companies have been successful here. It is easy to solve for that explicit user need. Your users, Sales team, Business team, and Support team will always be vocal about these explicit user needs. What is most important is to solve the implicit user need.” Product Manager Laskhay Kalra shares learnings from working at Carousell and the intersection of online marketplaces, localization, fintech (and more). (Medium)

6. 2020: A Product and Personal Perspective

Product Executive and host of Product Un(censored) Show, Colin Pal, shares his 3 top learnings from his journey through 2020 as he adapted and pivoted while looking for his next product career step during a pandemic. “Do not let anyone guilt trip you into thinking that you made a bad choice. If you had to settle for a job with a lower title, or salary because of your financial situation, that’s ok. If you had to apply to every other product job out there because you were desperate, you did what you had to do. If you felt that you needed to pass on a role because it would’ve been a bad fit, that’s knowing what you can and cannot accept.” (Product Un(censored))

7. Nine Leadership Lessons 2020 Gave Us

(Despite a brutal year), “2020 has also shed light on so many systemic issues facing individuals and companies across the globe that we would be remiss if we didn’t reflect on the lessons that we can take into the future.” The editors at MIT Sloan Management Review asked contributors who study leadership, “What lessons can managers take from 2020 and put into practice in the coming year?” Read on to find out what they had to say. (MIT Sloan Management Review)

8. When Do We Really Need Face-to-Face Interactions?

No, live in-person meetings are not dead. There actually is a need for them. But 2020 did show us more clarity on what types of interactions can be kept virtual in a sustainable way. However, management development is one where it’s critical to have a proper mix of remote and in-person interactions. “Based on our years of research and experience thus far, there are four broad dimensions of impact in management development — collaboration, innovation, acculturation, and dedication — that may prove difficult to achieve and sustain without some face-to-face interactions in the future.” This articles provides a great starting point to launch how product leaders think about this mix. (HBR)

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We wish you a Happy New Year! Want to see more or less of a certain topic? Let us know!

Best wishes,

The Product Management Festival Team

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