Richard Feynman is probably the most quoted Physicist nowadays, at least on Twitter.
I admire the scientist he was and his views on education and learning.
Over time I noticed that some of his principles fit exceptionally well with the foundation of Product Leadership in the software industry.
So, for you, the new Product Manager wondering what to do now that you got the coveted title, here are three of his quotes translated into Product parlance.
To develop working ideas efficiently, I try to fail as fast as I can.
Iterate fast, experiment often, and learn, always.
Learnings will compound, and decisions will improve. Building a software product isn’t about being systematically right. Where would the fun be?
Over time, you’ll become better at evaluating costs and impact, better at investing time and effort, and eventually increase the returns on those investments.
I wonder why. I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder!
Ask questions, and when you get answers, ask more questions to your users, your team, peers, boss, and stakeholders.
Make sure you perfectly understand the needs, aspirations, constraints, dependencies, and goals of everyone involved.
And explain! You’ll spend a lot of time explaining the whys to keep everyone aligned once you have understood them.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.
Maybe the hardest thing to do.
It is so easy to start thinking that you have all the answers, that you MUST have them, and that is what the role is about.
It’s not. When data or experiences disprove your hypothesis, they aren’t telling you that you were wrong. Instead, they are providing you with valuable information. Therefore, you must let them tell you the truth, not what you want to hear.