July 20

Sometimes, detours are necessary

I’ve got a couple of road trips coming up soon. My first target: Green Bay, Wisconsin. Even in the age of Google Maps, I admit that I’m already starting to look ahead and am planning out the journey. We have some choices to make:

  1. As we start from Ohio, instead of going south to drive around Lake Michigan – we could veer north past Grand Rapids onto Muskegon, Michigan. From there, we could actually take a ferry to Milwaukee, potentially cutting several hours of driving off of the trip.
  2. If we do opt to drive instead of take the ferry – we’ll have to prepare for Chicago traffic as we loop under and up Lake Michigan. And Chicago traffic can be pretty scary.

We will have a plan for our trip, but we have to be open to deviating from that plan once we have more information. For instance, if we decide that the ferry is the best route – and then we learn that it’s a steady downpour in Muskegon… it wouldn’t even make sense to head north. If we do, we’ll be subject to a several-hour delay.

And if we start to loop under Lake Michigan towards Chicago – but then learn about deadlocked traffic ahead… it may make sense to keep driving west a bit before we start to go north. Yes, it will add miles onto the trip… but it may end up saving us time.

Why the heck am I sharing all of this information about my road trip to Green Bay in our product management newsletter?

As we think through our own product roadmaps, it’s important to evaluate where things stand in the moment. What new information do you have now that you didn’t when you were first starting out? What may be the outcome if you don’t change course? Sometimes, it’s better to not overreact. But sometimes, some reaction and adjustment is 100% necessary.

So as I start to prepare for my journey, I wish you good luck on yours!


Mike Belsito

About the author

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world. For his leadership at Product Collective, Mike was named one of the Top 40 influencers in the field of Product Management. Mike also serves as a Faculty member of Case Western Reserve University in the department of Design and Innovation, and is Co-Host of one of the top startup podcasts online, Rocketship.FM. Prior to Product Collective, Mike spent the past 12 years in startup companies as an early employee, Co-Founder, and Executive. Mike's businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere. Mike is also the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of us, one of the top startup books on Amazon.


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