What’s an unpopular or contrarian product management opinion you have that is counter to what you “generally” hear?

  • 13 January 2022
  • 5 replies
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Userlevel 7
Badge +11

I’d love to hear yours and why. If we get to ten replies, I’ll share mine. 


5 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

In enterprise SaaS, building exactly what your customer asks for is a decent way to land your first large contracts. You’re buying credibility in your segment (“get the logo”), gain access to domain expertise and learn how to deliver at scale.

Userlevel 6
Badge +10

In enterprise SaaS, building exactly what your customer asks for is a decent way to land your first large contracts. You’re buying credibility in your segment (“get the logo”), gain access to domain expertise and learn how to deliver at scale.

Solid! 

Here’s mine: Not all product managers need to “think big” all the time. 

To elaborate a bit further: there are some industries that are not only behind on technology, they may even have an irrational fear of jumping too far into the “latest and greatest” tech trends. Sometimes the largest game changer is going to be an introduction to technology that isn’t “new” or “innovative” from the perspective of the tech industry at large - but a significant enhancement to the industry/industries that your product sits in at the time. 

Userlevel 2
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I could go on and on on this topic :) but here are my two most controversial takes:

“You don’t need to validate/test absolutely everything.” - one of the most common traps I see aspiring product managers to fall for is the over-analyzing/testing/validating one. Don’t get me wrong - validation/testing is a powerful & must have tool in each PMs arsenal that should help keeping you focused on the right direction. But if you’re spending two+ weeks on testing an idea that takes two days to build, than you should evaluate whether you’re doing it right. Especially, if it concerns a functionality you have more than enough of feedback on, you’re in fast market or working on standardized functionality (such as billing).

 

“It is okay to trust your gut sometimes” - now, I am not saying gut prioritization should be your primary go-to strategy. But there will be times when all other attributes were considered (RICE etc) and different methodologies tested, and you still don’t have clear answer between two priorities. Then it is fine to rely on your experience (market, career, etc...) to make the shot. But always, as with the first take, consider the impact your decision can make and act accordingly (it is not okay to make gut decision on a strategic topic impacting your roadmap for years).

The reason why I picked these two is that the more you’re going to climb your PM career ladder, the less time you’ll have to make decisions as you’ll be making many more calls on a daily basis. You’ll need to get the most out of your time, so you can focus on the broader, more strategic topics. And especially these days, when different technology markets are speeding up, you’ll need to act fast.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

“It is okay to trust your gut sometimes”

Thank you @martinmichalik for these great points that you raised. This blog post has some really great examples of leaders going with their gut instinct over data. I loved this quote, “Still, Mr. Bezos acknowledges the need for a reliable gut. “If you can make a decision with analysis, you should do so,” he said during a speech I attended last year. “But it turns out in life that your most important decisions are always made with instinct and intuition, taste, heart.””

Userlevel 1
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“You don’t need to validate/test absolutely everything.” 

I totally agree with this. I think it should be fine for a PM to highlight a risk “We did not test this” and just declare that they are willing to take this risk based on the risk reward tradeoff. 

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