What’s Your Data For?
We’ve published so many pieces on the importance of being data-driven (ICYMI check out this one), and it seems at this point that a commitment to data is a part of every PMs job. But increasingly, I’m having conversations with product people who are questioning “data for the sake of data.” Sometimes data can cause you to mistrust good intuition, and we all have a tendency to mistake anecdote for “data,” which is why I appreciate this piece from HBR, which closes with this refrain that every PM should have taped to their window:
“Solving social behaviors still requires small-scale qualitative exploration to engage people and learn more about what’s truly motivating the behaviors that show up in the data.”
While we’re on the subject, this tweet is apt:
Don’t be data-driven. Be data-informed. Metrics should never be in charge because they have no moral compass.
— Kim Goodwin (@kimgoodwin) October 15, 2018
The whole thread of responses following this tweet is some of the best Twitter has to offer – with thoughtful responses related to product, but not only.
Everyone’s heard of it, pretends to know the words, has no idea what it really means but has to have it. https://t.co/4NUoAQqFwL
— Jeff Gothelf (@jboogie) October 2, 2018
Remember the summer of 2017? If you don’t, you could just play Despacito, and all the memories will surely come rushing back. But will that work to remind you what Agile is? Probably not. This tweet gave me a good chuckle — everyone may love to hate on Agile, but we all still want to say that we are, you know, agile.
Doing Our Part
This is really just a shout out to the great women on this list, published this week on Medium. “According to CNET, women of color make up 4% of the tech industry. Less than 1% of Silicon Valley tech leadership positions are held by Latinx women, and <0.5% are held by Black women.” It’s time to change that, and product is a perfect place to start – it requires the kind of fresh and diverse perspective that traditional tech “outsiders” can bring — if we’re building products for a diverse world, we need to hire more diverse PM. Period.
Yummy Job of the Week
If for no other reason, this job is a dream because of the weekly Grubhub/Seamless stipend. But, more seriously, I love how they approach what it means to actually understand unmet customer needs. Apropos the above thoughts about data, I appreciate that they are looking for someone who is data-driven, but not only that.