Reggae, Holiday Gifts, Blue Checks, and Van Gogh
Monthly Wrap from November
Another month, another host of great articles, listens, books and other finds from Product Thinking and around the internet. Here’s what you may have missed.
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I enjoy the annual tradition of putting together a holiday gift ideas list. Hopefully, you all enjoy it as well:
You may find yourself looking for ideas for holiday gifts for those special people in your life. Or struggling with ideas for your own gift list. And if you or anyone you know happens to be a product manager or a designer, we’ve got you covered.
Twitter and Elon have been in the news for all the wrong reasons continually. It has been like watching a train wreck—horrible to watch but hard to look away. A lot has happened since we explored the initial blue check fiasco, but it is still worth exploring what happened and why it was such a mess. Elon’s Twitter will continue to be a mess for a while, because, despite fanboy belief, he has no idea what he’s doing.
I was excited recently to pick up the new book by founder Joey Cofone, The Laws of Creativity. In this book, he identifies 39 laws of creativity and discusses how each law applies to different scenarios in our lives and how we can harness these laws and ideas to recognize creativity and become more creative. We explored this book in a post earlier this month, so you’ll want to check it out.
My wife and I recently visited the Netherlands and were discussing this very topic, so this article was very timely for me.
“What Germany does well in regards to the Holocaust is show that when you honor the victims instead of the perpetrators, you’re still remembering history,” she said. “But you’re making it clear who the aggressors were, who the victims were, and who we honored. I think this is important in terms of how the country heals.” She shook her head. “That is why I think the United States is very far from healing.”
My family caught a nasty cold and has been sick for over two weeks now. I thought I was going to be okay, but I caught it at the tail end and now have been sick for a few days now. And it is not a quick sickness either. It is one of the worst colds we’ve ever had.
“It’s not just you or your kids: Cold and flu season is off to a particularly nasty start across the United States. With the country stepping down from the pandemic footing of the past few years, the various viruses that cause coughs, runny noses, and sore throats are now on the rebound. Cases of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory bug that can occasionally turn serious for infants and older adults, had been held down in 2020 and 2021 because people were wearing masks and taking other precautions to avoid Covid-19. But almost all official pandemic policies have lapsed, most Americans have returned to some or all of their pre-pandemic activities, and immunity to other common viruses may have waned after two years of largely avoiding them.”
Stakeholder management and communication are critical to successfully managing a product and building a product team or organization, but are some of the most difficult skills to master. In this episode, Christina Weiss and I discuss how to communicate better, manage stakeholders, and improve our skills as teammates and leaders.
We often assume that we see ourselves and the world around us accurately. But psychologist Alia Crum says that our perceptions are always filtered through our mindsets — and these mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways. In the first of two episodes, Alia explains how mindsets affect our response to stress.
Many of you may have read this book. Interestingly, I hadn’t read it yet. Like I had mentioned, though, my wife and I took a trip to Amsterdam and had the chance to visit the Frank house, so I finished reading it before we toured the house and museum. Definitely worth reading.
This is probably as artistic a biography as some of Van Gogh’s own works. Which is to say that the author’s interpretations are heavily involved throughout the work. But since we were also visiting the Van Gogh museum on our recent trip, I wanted to dive into the artist’s life as much as I could. So this was one of the books I read.
I’ve been enjoying this album for the past few days and it’s been awesome. Shout out to my family who gave it to me for my birthday recently. It is one of their favorite albums, and I can see why. It wasn’t one I’ve listened to before, so it’s been very cool to introduce some reggae into my music mix (which is largely Christmas music right now).