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Kelly Heard

I’m a Product Manager for a SaaS product and future micro-SaaS entrepreneur. Notes and other links found here

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Links & Quotes

Don’t be afraid to look like an idiot. Challenge smart people by retweeting and commenting. Good things come if you do it in a respectful way.

A Thread on Building an Audience on Twitter from sweatystartup

Building something that can add a little bit of value to millions of people isn’t the way to succeed.

You’re way better off building something that can add a lot more value to a very small subset of the population.

Riches are in the niches.

A Thread on Bad Advice from sweatystartup

While listening to my favorite podcasts, I’ve noticed a two-word phrase that hosts often use with their guests to cut past the surface-level chitchat and into the heart of a story: “I’m curious.”

What “I’m curious” does is set the other person up for success. You’re not being interrogative, as there’s no right or wrong answer. There’s no judgment, no ulterior motive. You simply want to learn.

The Two Word Trick That Makes Small Talk Interesting

… One regular feature request that we discussed was being able to automatically post your trips on Facebook. It sounds like a simple feature – “I’m taking a trip to Paris! Let me share that with my friends!” But as our team discussed it, we realized how easily this could go wrong. We could see a very short leap to a scenario where our app posted that someone was going to be out of town for the next week, and gave potential thieves the exact dates during which their house would be empty. Or a user forgot to turn off this automated feature before flying to another city to interview with their company’s biggest competitor…and their boss was a Facebook friend. We decided the risk wasn’t worth the “fun”.

An Ethical Sanity Check: What Would Trolls Do

Grab some index cards and simulate your system. Have each user write down precisely what they want to tell/ask the system and have the person running the system hand back index cards with the results that they can expect. Be clear about the state that the system is in before each transaction and after it as well. … The sum total of these interactions is your spec.

On Writing a Spec

MVPs are too M and almost never V. Customers see that, and hate it. It might be great for the product team, but it’s bad for customers. And ultimately, what’s bad for customers is bad for the company.

I hate MVPs, so do your customers

Most companies say they’re not competitor obsessed, but still one in five say they look primarily to competitors for product inspiration. Competitive intelligence is useful, but it shouldn’t guide your product strategy.

Product managers have a lot to do, so it makes sense that a majority view their responsibilities as more tactical and less visionary. The downside of that may be shortsightedness when it comes to prioritizing features or driving long-term feature adoption.

Product teams should rely on senior product leadership—not competitors— to guide vision. CPOs are in demand because they can assess the market, build the strategy, and combat demands from other executive leadership and internal teams about new product features.

Customers care what you build and when you build it, so give them a say, communicate back what you plan to build and when you plan to build it

Why Feature FOMO Stalls Product Innovation

I believe I first thought seriously about how to organize my files back in 1978 … And over the past 40 years I’ve basically gone through five generations of filesystem organization, with each generation basically being a reflection of how I’m organizing my work at that stage in my life.

Seeking the Productive Life

We are being drowned in so much information like passing sun rays, and too much of it can be bad for your attention and time. To increase the value of reading content across the web, I use a process that allows me to minimize the time spent searching for material, a better way to store and organize content for easy retrieval, make better sense and extract value from it, and also a streamlined way to share valuable information across social networks.

Capture the Content You Value

Ever notice how much easier it is to add things to your to-do list than to actually do them? With no constraints, we just fill up our to-do lists with even more things we’ll never finish.

Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-do List Maker