One of the things I’ve found is that learning and experience truly are cumulative. The more I learn, the more I’m able to contextualize new information, and make sense out of more complicated situations.
It’s remarkable how your depth of understanding of topics can continue to improve over time, when you make the effort to listen, to think and especially to write.
Some habits you develop early in your career pay dividends over time, such as being a lifelong learner, an active reader, and an aspiring writer…
Today I’m much better at interviewing people and predicting who will succeed in a given role.
I’m much better at picking my battles as to which behaviors in a company are serious issues, and which really don’t matter.
I’m also much better not just at answering questions, but in perceiving the context behind the questions.
I’m much better at predicting which products and companies will do well, and which will likely fade away.
And I’m definitely better at knowing what I can’t know, and admitting what I don’t know.
I only have a little over half as much time in the industry as Marty Cagan but I related to these passages in particular.
Another great newsletter is This Beautiful Mess by John Cutler. In his most recent issue he proposes these questions product leaders should be asking:
Does the team connect directly with customers? Or is information about customers relayed through a chain of filters?
Does the team think about done in terms of customer impact? Or is the team done when code shows up in production and nothing explodes?
Does the team have detailed strategic context? Or a watered down version of the strategy?
Does the team focus on a metric (or a set of metrics) that measures the efficacy of the product strategy? Or does the organization focus on a high-level metric like Daily Active Users?
Does the organization consider the drivers of sustainable, differentiated growth? Or is everyone focused on something like near-term revenue?
Do team members trust each other?