Showing posts from March, 2013

The confidence-con-conundrum: i.e. 'Wow. everyone else isn't that smart' or 'I'm so awesome now'

"I can't believe I get to make the decisions that they let me make. Its scaring me" Five years ago, a friend who'd just taken on a new role - a pretty great role - said this to me with nervous excitement as we finished catching up. Remarkably, another friend had said something similar to me at work a week before.

Then today morning I read this great post by Anne Toth, which reminded me of what I'd said to both of them then. Now I believe confidence in appropriate amounts is a good thing - it helps you perform at your best - eliminating unnecessary doubts and allowing you to truly focus.

But not everyone has it

particularly in unfamiliar situationsand especially if you're a certain personality type
If you do have such a problem, and I did especially when I was younger,  I found that there's two things one can tell oneself (i.e. pull the confidence-con) to convince yourself that you are in actuality good enough - good enough to compete; to excel;  to take on…

The Newsfeed changes - too little and about time: but the Newspaper is the right metaphor

[True for all posts on my blog, but bears repeating for this one - opinions are my opinion and aren't informed by anyone at Google or otherwise that actually works on this stuff :-)]

About 10 months ago, I started a blog post titled "How we f-ed it up: the Stream/Newsfeed" (screenshot below) so:

I jotted down a few bullet points, but realized in a couple of minutes that I was railing too much (in some cases at people that I knew) and not making any points that I wanted to read. So I gave up - there were other things to rail about.

I started the post again two months later after a discussion with co-workers that looked at me funny when I told them that streams/feeds were a bad idea for what they were working on, since they were going to die one day anyway.

I liked the title better this time (screenshot below).

But then I never finished the post.  :-/

But the Facebook feed announcement made me revisit the draft. If you actually see this, I finished the post this time. :-D

"What game are you playing?" - great product management read

Thanks to Sachin Rekhi's list I found this incredible read on Product Management by Adam Nash.
Almost as soon as I was done, I decided it was the most concise, well-written description of the job I've read in a while - actually possibly ever.

Actually Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager wins out - primarily because of its as much poetry as it is polemic.

While there's a lot of goodness in there, the phrase that stuck with me (to the extent I was using it all day today) was "What game are we playing?"  - its a great, concise way to describe product strategy.

From the article:
Clearly defining what game you are playing includes your vision for the product, the value you provide your customer, and your differentiated advantage over competitors.  More importantly, however, is that it clearly articulates the way that your team is going to win in the market. 
The only part that I didn't agree with in the article was the "you need to know the answer in 2 w…