Even though I’m an introvert, I’ve found it can be very helpful to be part of a broader community of people who do the same sort of work you do.
Being part of a professional community gives you an opportunity to meet others who have experienced the same challenges that you are currently going through. You can find out how they dealt with those challenges and find new ways of addressing them. You can also pay it forward by sharing what you have learned through your experiences.
I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of several different professional communities both physical and virtual. The communities consist of a mix of people who actually do the work and those who help others do the work.
One community that I consider myself lucky to be a part of right now is Product Collective. It’s a community for product people formed by Mike Belsito and Paul McAvinchey. It includes a newsletter with product resources, online interviews with product people, an in person event – INDUSTRY the Product Conference, and a Slack community to get your virtual community fix.
I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to curate the weekly newsletter and to write posts that provide an overview of some of the product person interviews. This week, I thought I’d share some of my recent newsletters and posts published on Product Collective.
One more thing – I’m attending INDUSTRY this September in Cleveland. If you’re going to be there, let me know, I’d love to catch up.
Testing MVPs with your customers
You can keep your MVP focused on a specific problem and deliver it quickly. But you must take the time to learn from your customer’s reactions and iterate on that information. This week’s resources give you ways you can test your assumptions to make sure you’re building something people want, and not just merely going through the motions.
Build a better minimum viable product
If you’re tempted to create a crappy product fast and then move on to the next thing, you are not creating an MVP, you’re creating a crappy product. The real intent behind an MVP was to provide a mechanism you can use to deliver something quickly, learn from how people use it, and iteratively improve it. These resources show you how to use an MVP to cycle through the build-measure-learn loop instead of traveling down the build-release-leave path.
How to survive the messy middle
Creating something from nothing is an unpredictable journey. The first mile births a new idea into existence, and the final mile is all about letting go. We love talking about starts and finishes, even though the middle stretch is the most important and often the most ignored and misunderstood. In this INDUSTRY Interview, Mike Belsito talks about this “Messy Middle” with Scott Belsky. Scott literally wrote the book on the messy middle based on his experiences as an entrepreneur and product leader.
Predict the future for your product
At INDUSTRY: The product Conference in 2016, Ken Norton gave a keynote that encouraged product people to think about the world that their products will live within 30 years from now. It may seem extreme, but Ken suggested that this is not only possible but will make us all better as product people for the products we manage today.
Since that talk, Ken wrote an essay for product managers titled Predicting the Future that further explored that line of thought.
In this INDUSTRY Interview, Mike Belsito talks to Ken about how predicting the future can help you make better product decisions today.
How to build habit forming products
Mike Belsito, co-founder of Product Collective sat down with Nir Eyal, author of the book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. They discussed how to build habit-forming products without making them addictive.
Nir got the idea for Hooked when he noticed that some products could change people’s behaviors and others weren’t able to. He wanted to figure out how those products drove behavior change and codify that for others to use.
He figured he needed to find new ways to attract people to apps because the smaller the interface gets (going from desktop, to laptop, to mobile devices, to wearable devices to audible devices) the less space you have for external triggers and the more important habits become.