1. Who is your favourite product person and why?
Marty Cagan is the outstanding MVP in Product. He’s done so much to elevate and define a profession that can sometimes be a bit of a mystery. That said, my favourite product person is often the Product people I work with every day. Each one of them has a fresh take on how to create value, deliver impact and inspire their teams.
2. What is your favourite product book and why?
This is cheating because it’s not a product book, but I love Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense by Rory Sutherland. It stops me taking problems at face value and encourages me to rethink and reframe them. It’s a good reminder that people aren’t formulas – humans are unpredictable and we need to accept and embrace that when we build products and experiences.
3. What would you say the best reason to work in product is and why?
It’s art and science; past, present and future; vision, strategy and operations combined in one job. Every day is a school day that presents more challenges than you can solve, and that’s what keeps it interesting.
4. Do you have a product horror story to share from your experience?
So many! One particularly stressful moment was realising I’d put the wrong price in an app that was due out the next day. It was the 24th December! Thankfully a very kind developer performed a Christmas miracle and saved me from a festive disaster.
5. If you could give Product Managers one piece of advice, what would that be and why?
Einstein (allegedly) said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” Interrogate the problem rigorously and you’re more likely to come up with creative approaches to solving it.