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Top Posts from 2022
A Look Back at Product Thinking
As we wrap up 2022, I wanted to look back at some of the best posts from this year. It’s been an exceptional year for Product Thinking, and even better as I look back at some of the great things we’ve discussed each week. So let’s look back at some of our favorites as we bid farewell to the year.
Top Product Thinking Posts
I still think a great deal about open-mindedness, and how we can increase it in our teams and in society. It’s a problem that constantly needs addressing, but is always worth thinking about. Especially as it feels like we’re continually being drawn into our own bubbles, never confronting our own assumptions or questioning ourselves.
“Extreme open-mindedness is the mark of great thinkers, especially great product thinkers. We are never done taking inputs and creating something new. The world is ever changing, ever evolving, and we must evolve with it.”
How to Be Wrong and Overconfident
This was a ton of fun to write and think about. I see overconfidence all around me all the time. From the product director convinced his way is the best and only way of working, despite having very little experience outside of his current role. To the executive that can’t and won’t hear a dissenting opinion and surrounds himself with people who confirm his own bias.
“How can we be wrong and overconfident? How can we hone the fine skills of choosing incorrectly while maintaining our misplaced confidence? Our high regard for ourselves and our wrongness?
While many of us have probably been humbled plenty in our professional lives, we can still take certain steps to bolster our overconfidence and ensure that no matter how wrong we are, we can still be more wrong and even more confident about it.”
6 Tips for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as Product People
This was a great post to write. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on it both online and even in person, which is something I wouldn’t have expected. I feel imposter syndrome far more often than I know I should. I hear so many others expressing their own feelings of imposter syndrome as well, even when their experience far exceeds the requirements of their role. It is so common in our field, as we’re surrounded by highly competent, driven people. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
“Imposter syndrome, or feeling like you don’t deserve the position you’ve earned, is a prevalent feeling among most of us. But it shouldn’t be. We need to understand the imposter phenomenon and address it individually and collectively. Together, we can strengthen ourselves, strengthen our teams, and create better products and a better society.”
The Importance of Empathy
We talk a ton about empathy in product management, UX, and product development in general. But I don’t think we really understand it. I think we pay lip service to the idea because we have to, but too often that is the extent of empathy. I see that on far too many teams, with far too many product managers and designers and managers. A lack of true understanding of the people behind the product and the numbers and the jobs. Which is why I think I felt so strongly about this post.
“Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s thoughts and feelings from their point of view, rather than your own. It’s the ability to put yourself in another person’s position and understand them.”
Experimenting and Being Wrong
I love to experiment. Part of experimenting is understanding that you will be wrong or fail as you learn. And that can be hard. But we can’t learn without doing. Which is why we have to create and ship products, sometimes failing, but always learning.
“The more we experiment, the easier it will become. As we build the muscle, we’ll be willing to accept failures the price of learning and success. And we’ll learn and iterate along the way. We won’t expect perfection, in our recipes or products, but will understand we’re on the road to perfection.
And the journey is long.”
So that is a wrap for this year. It was difficult to narrow down this list, and there are at least 4-5 more I’d add, but for the sake of keeping this relatively short, we’ll stop here. But check out the archive for many more posts from 2022 and previously, and we’ll catch you in the new year!