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Jock Busuttil publishes articles regularly on I Manage Products, a blog for product people to learn about product management from the ground up.

PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter of the best articles, videos and podcasts from product leaders and commentators all over the world, curated by Jock Busuttil. All neatly packaged up in a regular email delivery for your reading, viewing and listening pleasure.

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Pragmatism is (im)perfectly fine
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 4th December 2023

    » There are 3 reasons why a discovery should end: 1. It is purely performative 2. Ignored / unknown context 3. Unconnected to value » Everything on your product roadmap should have lots of context that is easy to find

  • PRODUCTHEAD: On OpenAI’s ideological conflict
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 27th November 2023

    » By reinstating Sam Altman, OpenAI has chosen financial success over its altruistic principles » When Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985, the board believed he wasn’t ready to be CEO » Google was quick to fire ethicist Timnit Gebru when she challenged its lucrative search advertising business

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Should you do custom features for paying clients?
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 20th November 2023

    » Product models are more scalable and have higher investor valuations than service models, but can be more difficult to implement and require a longer sales cycle » If you find your team is biasing towards delivering custom features (= output), refocus on discovery and problem solving instead (= outcomes)

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Don’t wait. Just find out.
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 13th November 2023

    » When designing an experiment to test a hypothesis, ask how might it fail, and what you need to find out » Luck and uncertainty mean that even good decisions can have a bad outcome (and vice versa) » Framing our beliefs with a confidence percentage makes us more willing to accept contradictory evidence

  • PRODUCTHEAD: AI is word of the year
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 6th November 2023

    » Anyone can access generative AI, so simply using it is not a competitive advantage » SEO has long sought to game search engine rankings; AI provides a new tool for doing so » LLMs trained on AI output become increasingly detached from reality: “model collapse”

  • PRODUCTHEAD: How product teams can measure discovery
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 30th October 2023

    » We can and should measure discovery activity and its impact on the team and users » Discovery cycle time and cadence are critical to adopting a continuous mindset » Avoid vanity quantity metrics such as number of research activities; measure quality instead

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Sunsetting a product or feature
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 23rd October 2023

    When sunsetting a product or feature: » Explain why honestly and be transparent about how it will impact your users » Be understanding as they may be disappointed or frustrated by the change » Be responsive and supportive by answering your users’ questions and helping them with the transition » If possible, offer your users alternative features or solutions

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Becoming a service organisation
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 16th October 2023

    » Context helps to make a service good as opposed to simply existing » By not consciously designing our services, we instead force our users to link actions together » Outcomes for users are core user needs that a service helps them to meet » A starting point can be to ask different teams what ‘good’ looks like to them

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Empathy with engineering (or avoiding developer disengagement)
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 9th October 2023

    » Rather than focusing on engineering team productivity, examine the causes of their low / negative value work » When asked for development estimates, ask why they need the information and what they’ll do with the answer » Different development tasks need varying amounts of user story detail » Treat your developers with the same thoughtfulness as your users

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Empowered teams can’t simply do whatever they like
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 2nd October 2023

    » Empowered teams can only succeed if the leadership team is on board » Leaders can’t scale or have all the answers; empowered teams stand a better chance » Leadership needs to be open and transparent when issuing a “must-do” edict to an empowered team » Product leadership is continually striving for coherence of approach and clarity of purpose

  • Getting your first job as a product manager
    by Jock Busuttil on Wednesday, 27th September 2023

    Getting your first job as a product manager can seem impossible. Thankfully it’s not! I share my advice on how to break into a career in product management.

  • PRODUCTHEAD: Training wheels and learned helplessness
    by Jock Busuttil on Monday, 25th September 2023

    » Motivation comes from making progress in meaningful work » A mission-focused team tackling poorly understood problems may appear unproductive to outsiders » It is everyone’s responsibility to act upon negative behaviour / thinking, but without assigning blame » Even in the most controversial negotiations, the other party is just like you and aims to walk away happy