Edition 8

The one about team dynamics

Welcome to another edition of Product Principles, the newsletter where I bring the best links related to tech and product while sharing some of my recent learnings. I've recently started posting product inspiration and tips on Instagram as well.

By now the new Covid habits have started solidifying. But how many of them do you think will stick around a year from now? I'm still a little skeptical on "remote forever”. Part of me thinks that we're still burning “social capital”. We're essentially continuing relationships we formed while physically at the office. But what about new employee onboarding? Can you argue that the experience would be the same? Feel free to reply me your thoughts 😊

…and while we're on the topic of team dynamics:

Team Dynamics:

My tips on remote team management:

  • Set a common product vision. Office serendipity is gone. Most of your work conversations are either Slack or scheduled Zoom calls. Setting a commonly agreed product vision means centralized planning but decentralized execution. You'll have an easier time persuading stakeholders and team members if you can tie your reasoning to the product vision. Make it tangible, realistic and measurable. OKRs are great for this.

  • Besides knowing what everyone is working on it's equally important to know what everyone needs from you. Write them down and look for patterns.

  • Extra focus on organization and transparency. Write your thoughts on Slack, make it clear to squad members what's on your mind and where you're going. For lengthier texts I like to write down all my experiments, interviews and findings on Notion and share it along.

Spotify doesn’t use “the Spotify model”, and neither should you. (15 mins)

I started hearing about the Spotify tribe model right as I was beginning my career as a PM. Turns out there's a reason why it didn't take off everywhere: It never really worked as promised for Spotify…

What comes after Zoom (< 8 mins)

This is an excellent article by Benedict Evans talking about the “why” instead of the “how” of a digital product. He makes some great comparisons to the Skype era when VOIP was dominated by a single company. Now audio is a commodity, and time will tell if Zoom will maintain video dominance or fade with time. I think Zoom has done a great job with tech by reducing the bandwidth requirements but has failed to adapt its product to user behaviours. So far it feels like a “once size fits all” product ripe for disruption.

What am I supposed to do here?

14 Best Video Calling Apps & Platforms Ranked To Stay In Touch ...

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Regarding team work im currently reading : Shape up by the guys from Basecamp

General Product stuff:

Product work beyond Product Market Fit (20 mins)

A great article by Fareed Mosavat (Slack, Zynga) and Casey Winters (Eventbrite, Pinterest) where they break down the different approaches and metrics for 4 different types of product work: Feature, Growth, Scaling and Product-Market fit work.

What is good retention? (15-20 mins)

Frequent readers of this newsletter will confirm that I'm a firm believer that product retention is the only way to scalably grow a product. Lenny Rachitsky (AirBnb) + Casey Winters (Pinterest) got together and built this stellar collection of retention benchmarks organized by business type. Worth opening and seeing where your product fits in 😊

Google blew a ten year lead (3 mins)

Microsoft and Google have held a firm monopoly for years (surprisingly in the same spaces). They grew complacent + increase in market size = several new startups chipping away for a share of the market. 1% of Salesforce's revenue makes a unicorn


Ânimo Wellness: Ânimo is THE Brazilian wellness platform. It features a growing collection of running tracks, strength workouts, yoga classes, meditation exercises and more to make sure you live a healthy lifestyle. We're going to increase the price next week so I think this is a good opportunity to offer you, 20% off the annual pass. Get 20% off by using promocode ProductPrinciples. Click here for more

User Interview Framework: As a fellow PM, at some point you probably struggled prioritizing a feature since you couldn't yet predict the impact. Making decisions with incomplete information is what we're all about after all. This is why I developed at Ânimo a user interview framework which speeds up your interview proficiency in record time. You can get it 50% off with promocode newsletter. It's 10 years of Product Management experience distilled into a handy guide. Includes guide, templates and sample questions. More info here

That's it for this week's edition! As always feel free to share the love:

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or hit that reply button if you'd me to address a specific topic.

Have a great weekend :)

- Jonathan