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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    Companies have to get better at explaining the data behind personal recommendations

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 16, 2019 at 3:38 PM
    Ryan Bigge makes some very good points in his post about better personalized recommendations through transparency and content design:

    Data-driven companies know something that the user doesn’t. Yet the language used to convince people to act on recommendations lacks variety and explanatory power.

    Algorithms aren’t neutral — or as Ryan puts it:

    Every facet of machine learning is fueled by human judgement, so it must be multi-disciplinary.

    Users are getting more...

    When it comes to adding new features, slow and steady is usually best

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 15, 2019 at 10:21 AM
    In the article From Four Wheels to Two RJ Marsan talks about the Lyft engineering team’s principles for quickly and safely adding major features to a mobile codebase. It’s full of interesting learnings as they went through the process of adding scooter rentals to the app. Here’s a good point about trying to avoid doing everything in the first release of a new feature:

    Every new feature is a chance to start with a clean slate, and it’s often tempting to immediately build for scale. We...

    4 Ways to Improve Your Data Hygiene - Whiteboard Friday

    Feb 14, 2019 at 4:02 PM
    Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
    Video Transcription

    Hi. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I am President and partner at Kick Point. We're a digital marketing agency, based in the frozen north of Edmonton, Alberta. So today I'm going to be talking to you about data hygiene.

    What I mean by that is the stuff that we see every single time we start...

    How to help teams focus, align, and start delivering at their potential

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 14, 2019 at 1:48 PM
    My favorite article of the week is one on change management, which, yes, I know how that sounds. Like you (probably), I hated the phrase “change management”. But in her article How to begin the invisible work of change management Cate Huston defines it as “taking teams that are struggling and helping them focus, align, and start delivering at their potential”, so now I finally understand what it is and I don’t hate the phrase any more.

    Anyway, the entire article is excellent. If you’re...

    Using Opportunity Solution Trees to focus on the product priorities that matter

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 14, 2019 at 1:12 PM
    Prioritize Opportunities, Not Solutions is a really good post by Teresa Torres about using the Opportunity Solution Tree methodology to make sure we place lots of product bets early on in a lifecycle, and only implement the ideas that matter. I also like her distinction between one-way door decisions (“once you’ve walked through the door, you can’t turn around and come back through”) and two-way door decisions:

    Your opportunity assessment and prioritization decisions are two-way door...

    Launching a product is the start of the learning process, not the end

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 13, 2019 at 12:14 PM
    Jeff Gothelf addresses a very common problem in his post on the perils of fixed time, fixed scope projects. This point on what it means when you “launch” a product is so important:

    Deadlines imply that if we don’t get the product right on the day we launch, we’re doomed. This is an antiquated point of view. Launching publicly simply begins the process of learning how right (or wrong) our assumptions were. It is the start of a continuous conversation with your target audience and the...

    Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update & Fluctuations Continue

    by rustybrick
    Feb 13, 2019 at 5:38 AM
    A week ago we reported on chatters and signals of a Google search ranking algorithm update. That died down a bit shortly after we wrote about it but over the past couple days I am seeing chatter and signals of another Google update.

    From product managers to product coaches

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 12, 2019 at 8:30 AM
    I have Thoughts about the term “Product Thinking”. But as a general progression, I think Sebastian Saboune is right that as an organization grows, product management has to evolve from a thing we do, to a thing we help the entire company do:

    Our understanding of our craft has come a long way since 2015. I believe that it is now a good time to evolve product management into product thinking. A philosophy, mindset, a common knowledge. But primarily, something that can be acquired by...

    What it means to “think like a PM”

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Feb 12, 2019 at 6:27 AM
    Marty Cagan’s article on the characteristics of a good One on One meeting is great advice for managers, but it also includes some excellent points about what makes a good product manager in general. Here, for example, is a section on what it means to think like a PM:

    What does it mean to think like a PM? It means focusing on outcome. Considering all of the risks – value, usability, feasibility and business viability. Thinking holistically about all dimensions of the business and the...

    Will Google's Indexing API To Allow All Content Types?

    by rustybrick
    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:23 AM
    As you know, the Google Indexing API only is reserved for job posting URLs and live stream events. But that might change as we have been speculating for a while. Gary Illyes from Google in his Reddit AMA also mentioned that Google is testing this as well.