No Feature Left Behind
This graph came from an article on SmartRecruiter’s engineering blog. It shows the adoption rate of a new feature, with the lines representing a series of tooltip experiments the team ran over time. The whole piece is very instructive, but perhaps the best takeaway is this:
“If you’re building a feature you’re proud of, no matter how small it is, make sure to work on its discoverability and awareness as without those two factors all the effort you took may be in vain.”
I’ll never forget when I was on Google’s campus in 2011 and a product team told me as much as I loved Google Reader, Google+ was going to replace it with something much better.
— [ endless screaming ] (@mathowie) October 8, 2018
As someone who is feeling the phantom pain of Google Reader, I can’t imagine this conversation taking place. Confidence in your product is paramount for a team’s success (as the above article points out), but I would have hoped that after 7 years they would just bury their pride and give us something better.
Go Beyond Facts
This super short shouts-and-murmurs-style piece really packs a punch. Although it’s technically in AdWeek, and therefore technically for communications professionals, it has important insight for product people, too. Specifically:
“Facts alone don’t move people. The power is in finding the relevant human truth and meaning of the facts, interpreting the data in a way that connects on a real, human level. And that takes intuitive, perceptive and creative humans.”
Always Be Learning
This is one of the best job descriptions I’ve come across in a while. I personally love Coursera (the ancient Greek philosophy classes are spot on) and especially appreciate that they recommend courses for those who are interested in this job. Sounds like the director of PM should be interested in critical thinking, software product management, and high-performance collaboration.