Product management can be a hard job, with competing priorities to manage, multiple stakeholders to deal with, and to-do lists that are a mile long. With all of that stress, it’s helpful to take a break and try to find the humor in the sometimes-trying situations PMs face day in and day out.
As the saying goes, if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry. Go ahead and skip the tears — here are nine things that made us laugh this past year.
Like a broken record
You know the “lol/sob” emoji? That’s basically the reaction this Tweet got from us. Authors find themselves saying the same things over and over again when someone asks them what they do for a living. And product (NOT PROJECT) managers deal with the same situation, constantly repeating these lines both on the job and when chit-chatting with people at parties. Like most (all?) PMs, Veronica Belmont of Adobe Spark is tired of being a broken record.
This lovely Valentine’s Day poem is just for our UX and design friends — we love you all, even long past February 14th. If this one made you chuckle, there are quite a few more takes on it in the Twitter thread. And before you know it, it’ll be Valentine’s Day again — we recommend getting inspired now.
Wisdom from Jeff Goldblum
We know — Jeff Goldblum doesn’t know anything about product management. But this sentiment from the masterpiece that is Jurassic Park still stands. Ask yourself: do you (well, your users) really need that feature? Are you saying “yes” to something just because your team is capable of building it? If nothing else, this Tweet reminds us all to stop and think before jumping right into a potentially unnecessary (or even disastrous) project.
The promiscuous product manager
Back in May, we hosted the first-ever ProductCraft Conference in San Francisco. And while we had a lot of funny and really thought-provoking speakers, one presentation really stood out as particularly hilarious. Jen Dante’s session, “The Promiscuous PM,” was both humorous and informative, combining “drunk user” scenarios with relevant and useful advice. And speaking of the ProductCraft conference, our next one is coming up — don’t miss out.
Product managers obsess over whys. Why are people leaving my app at this point? Why aren’t users returning as often as I’d like them to? Why isn’t anyone using this amazing feature? We often think that if we just keep asking why things happen, eventually the root cause will reveal itself. But like all good things in life — and all flowcharts — this is far more complicated.
The funny pages
We love comics as much as the next person, and this one from Shipping Tomorrow is particularly relatable. We liked it so much that we considered making one of our debate questions “Are you a glass-half-empty or a glass-half-full kind of PM?” However, we strongly suspected we’d get a few responses similar to the punchline of this joke.
In June, we had the pleasure of having author and speaker April Dunford as our guest on the Product Love Podcast. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend you read her book, Obviously Awesome, which is one of our very favorite product-related reads. In addition to being a great writer, she’s also funny enough to be a standup comedian. Listen for yourself and see (hear?) what we mean.
Put something on my calendar
Ok, this one isn’t specific to product managers. If you’ve ever worked in an office in any capacity, you can probably relate to the above comic. What makes it even better is that it was tweeted by our good friends at Use FYI, who know a thing or two about fast-paced work environments. We’re not saying that ALL meetings are useless, but many of them could probably be replaced with an email. #truthhurts
A few short weeks ago, versions of this “disappointed dad” meme were all over the Twitterverse. And the PM take by Laura Gao (who herself works at Twitter) went viral, too, with over 250K retweets. Obviously, we weren’t the only product people who could relate.
Did anything else PM-related tickle your funny bone this year? Let us know on Twitter — we’re @Product_Craft.