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🧑🤝🧑 No squads should be over 2 people? / PM Snacks 71
Why Basecamp recommends squads of 2 people (far from the Spotify's model non-sense), why you should consider creating a portfolio, how voyeurism helped Zillow with its initial traction + 2 more links
✉️ Today’s email → Create smaller squads (just the two of us) ∙ Create a Product Manager Portfolio • Deep-dive into Zillow’s story ∙ Why bots won’t replace apps (written in 2016) • 12 contrarian thoughts on product management
1️⃣ Just the two of us
Mar 2023 • 2 min read • #method #execution
In recent months, I’ve seen more and more team escaping the Spotify trap, and start using Shape-Up methods instead. This is usually to be more focused and run in a leaner way. Its creator pushes us to be even more radical: don’t create teams with more than 2 people anymore. Any piece of work should be doable in 6-weeks maximum by a developper + designer. If not: scope down, refine, find more elegant situation. Resist the temptation to do more, instead ship faster and often.
Disclaimer: I don’t know how well this scales to bigger operations (but it’s definitely an outcome to aspire to) and “harder” problems (basecamp runs email and project mgmt products where the innovation lies mostly in the UX).
2️⃣ How to create a Product Manager Portfolio
Mar 2023 • 7 min read • #hiring
For some reason, it’s super common to have a portfolio among designers but not yet in the world of product management. I wish more people would do it, it’s better to be known for your ideas and achievements than your resume. If you want to stand-out, I would consider making one. Not sure how? Read on. Last piece of advice: 1/ make it sharp, 2/ don’t obsess over the design.
3️⃣ Zillow | Mission-driven Voyeurism
Mar 2023 • 10 min read • #culture #deep-dive
Zillow is an American online real estate company that provides information and tools for buying, selling, renting, and financing properties. In this deep-dive you’ll learn more about how they built their product, its edge, and what really drove their initial traction (= voyeurism).
1/ They were the first to create an automatic price index for real estate in 2006. Meaning, you could enter any address and get the house’s instant estimate (breaking the information asymmetry of this market)
2/ Super useful to buy the house of your dream… But more importantly people would look up the homes of people they know and the homes of crazy rich people
3/ In a nutshell: they acquired people by unlocking data that was previously inaccessible, they engaged them by designing the product for emotion + great utility, they retained people by building useful tools on top of data (useful not only during a search for a new home)
4️⃣ Bots won’t replace apps, better apps will replace apps
Apr 2016 • 20 min read • #design #AI
I know you must be tired of hearing about GPT by now… but there is a good chance it’s the real deal this time. Some say it’s the “iPhone moment of AI” (I agree).
But it doesn’t mean that everything will become a chat or smart agent. These new technologies will probably enable hyper-customised softwares that adapts to users, and integrate its capabilities deep into the UI of the product. Text is slow bandwidth, error prone, hard to brand, etc. So probably we will have only one ChatGPT (w/ plugins) and lots of differentiated tools like Threads (vs Slack), Genius.design, Adobe Firefly, Dmail.me… Note that the differentiation usually is not linked to AI, these technologies enhance the initial edge.
⏳ 12 contrarian thoughts on product management
Mar 2022 • 4 min read • #execution #manageyourself
Most clicked link, shared one year ago in PM Snacks 57.
I share many of the beliefs presented in this post, some of them I learned the hard way, others had a big impact on the way I work. My favorites are number #4, #6, #8 and #12. On the last one: according to me it’s more about the expectations you create: what level of preparation is acceptable? Which channels do you read & how often? What about you?
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