I make sure teams plan, design, and build software that users love.

Only do work with an outcome defined

It's senseless to work on something without a clearly defined outcome (not output). We should reject random effort. The 'Why' needs to be answered before anything else.

Our roadmaps need to read 'Increase user engagement'. As it is a stronger, activating goal to pursue than 'Release shared profiles feature'.

Every initiative we take are steps towards the prize. The art is in prioritizing expected results.

Infuse daily decisions with customer input

Teresa Torres' her Continues Discovery means adopting discovery activities in a structured and sustainable way. To enable us to continuously make product decisions with target customer input.

The keyword is infuse. Letting your customers lead the development is a mistake. Here is why:

  • Every customer has their own preferences. You can't please everyone.
  • Your customers might not agree with your vision. They distract.
  • Users often don't know what is possible.
  • When implementing the solution a user coins, you might miss better, cheaper, and more impactful solutions.

Instead, focus on the problems your target customers experiencing. That is what is meant by 'listening to your customers'.

Good team management is setting goals

A good leader gives the team the tools to define their own work. Goals function as guiding principles to select work on.

You need to be able to trust the team to select their own work.

Actually read saved-for-later articles with a surprising Pocket, Calibre, and Kindle workflow

Got hundreds of articles saved-for-later and end up never reading them? Yeah. Same here.

However, I now read almost every saved-for-later article with the help of a Pocket and Calibre workflow.

I read most content on a Kindle. So, why not send the articles there too? With a plug-in script for e-book management software Calibre, I can pull the articles from bookmarking service Pocket, convert them, and sent the bundle to my e-reader.

Here's how you'd set it up:

  1. Download and install Calibre.
  2. Register for a Pocket account.
  3. Go to your Amazon account's Content and Devices. (Login to Amazon → 'Manage Your Content and Devices' → 'Your Devices' tab.)
  4. Find your Amazon @kindle.com address. Add it to Calibre. (Calibre's preferences → Sharing books by email → Add email)
  5. In the same screen, setup email sending in Calibre. (Custom SMTP server, GMX, or Hotmail)
  6. Add the email to your Kindle accepted addresses.
  7. Follow the installation instructions of the Pocket+ recipe.

What's left is to install the Pocket browser extension and start adding articles.

I've scheduled the Calibre Pocket+ plugin to send me a collection every Sunday. Calibre needs to be open to do this. Don't forget to enable the 'archive on send' functionality to avoid duplicates.

I can recommend you the following blogs:

I keep track of their articles with the free, open-source RSS reader NetNewsWire. Download this .opml to import the above blogs in your RSS reader.

Daily Notes: A way to keep track of information that is crucial to my role

I overcame the daily information overload I have as Product Manager.

In product management, information comes from everywhere and everyone. So, I needed a way to conveniently log information as it came in. I tried paper based notebooks, but that wasn't it. The 10+ apps I gave a shot didn't do it for me either. Eventually, I found the markdown editor Obsidian.md a great fit.

I chose Obsidian because it has a built-in Daily Notes plugin. It also has an internal linking function that is a surprising addition to the workflow.

Because the editor uses locally saved text files, I can do with them whatever I want. I access the files at any device via cloud storage. I back up the markdown files on my Backblaze B2 bucket. Even append new lines to today's note with Alfred for macOS. (More on that in a later post!)

Obsidian works with different 'Vaults' for different uses. And I made one specific to my employer. I filled it up with notes concerning main actors, industry terms, and things like sensors and the companies that manufacture them. I've added technical specs, contact details and descriptions on how it all relates to the product.

During my work day, I jot down bullet-points of what I think is relevant to a generated Daily Note. I include summaries of results from tests, important reminders, outcomes of meetings, links to new documents, and so on. Where possible, I add a wiki link to build a knowledge network.

And that's the surprising thing about linking the notes. It acts as a powerful, personal wiki. Freeing up space in my biological hard-drive.