Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Don't protect yourself from changes. Embrace them.

I have come across three interesting articles last weekend, and I want to share them.  First one is how much we all hate the changes and tries very hard to resist them.  Second is about how we all tend to underestimate the changes that we are going to go through, yet when we look back, the changes that we went through are often much greater than how much we anticipated.  Third is Glenn Kelman's story about how he embraced the changes instead of protecting his ego.

For those who cannot wait to get to the punch line.  It doesn't make sense to protect yourself.  You are going to change so much anyway.  Why not change faster to get better faster?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Product Management: Launching a new product? First go get some customers

"We don't make it until you order it."
                       - Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box used to feature this slogan on their TV commercials.  It was meant to tell customers that their food is made fresh every day.  Software industry is not going to win any customer by making things fresh.  But there is a good reason why just-in-time manufacturing makes sense for software.  It is to avoid building something that no one wants.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we know what customers really want.  In most cases customers themselves don't know what they want.  They have a vague idea of what their problem is.  Sometimes the problem itself is not known to them.  Yet we software makers think that we know exactly what customers are looking for and will love our product that we are building.

Truth is that no one exactly knows what will work well in a real situation.  We all have guesses as to what could work, but our guesses are often too far off to be useful in its first iteration.  There are a number of odds stacked against any new product.