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Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

If I have to quickly give myself or my fellow product managers some reminders, they will be:

  1. Build for users, not for yourself (or engineers, or executives, or account managers). When making decisions, put users first. Talk to a couple users every month. Empathize with them.
  2. Measure the value you add to users. Think about how you would objectively assess if a feature made things better for your users.
  3. Don’t be an IT service org. Question the requirements coming from business teams. Align on problems to solve and objectives to hit, not on solutions.
  4. Don’t jump to solutions. Uncover the deeper problem first. Ask 10 times “why” is this a problem. Asking right questions is better than finding right answers to wrong questions. …

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If you’re starting as a product manager in tech, you would’ve been told by your fellow PMs that saying no is one of the most important parts of this job. If you’ve been a PM for a while, you would’ve done it countless times.

Why saying no is important

You say no so that you can focus on things that are truly important and make everyone rally behind them. Sometimes it’s a hard no i.e. never. Other times, it may be a soft no i.e. not at this time.

Saying no is important because:

  1. This is how you clarify to your organization and also to your users as to what’s not a priority at this time. …

1) Opening up becomes harder

Developing and expressing feelings may become a tedious balancing act when you’ve lost someone in love. Are you at a stage to get them a gift? Are you texting too much or too less? Should you hold hands? Is it too soon to ask to meet again? Questions that drive you crazy. The last time when someone said “I love you” (after a roller coaster of 7 months), I was so compelled to say it back, but could feel it in my guts that it’s not going to turn out good.

2) Social media can drive you crazy

There are so many ways to know what others are up to. Are they happier now that you’re not around? It can get even more fucked up (for example) if you find out that they were out on a date night at a vacation house with someone else. And these two are clearing flirting on instagram posts. The number of times I’ve gone back on two instagram profiles to see them at similar places, raging with bitterness with every tap of viewing stories. In my experience, it’s better to confront right away so that you can exit gracefully. And definitely use the “mute” function once you’ve exited the relationship; ignorance is bliss! …


Faizan Qureshi

Product Manager. Story teller. Nomad. Often working from coffee shops. Love cycling around.

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