Dave Wascha – Inside the mind of the product manager

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Dave Wascha, Chief Product Officer at Moo.com, gets inside the mind of the product manager and uncovers how profoundly the structure of the brain dictates how we see and approach the world – most strikingly how the brain has evolved to seek out patterns.

This pattern seeking affects all of us, and in fact creates several product management anti-patterns – patterns that produce sub-optimal products and outcomes. He argues that these anti-patterns are the four main obstacles stopping product developers from being innovative and creating engaging products.

Ultimately product managers need to be able to look at the world with new, fresh eyes, and therefore have to be aware of these anti-patterns and constantly work against our evolutionary pattern seeking to do so.

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  • Really enjoyed this talk – good points to take back and reflect on. The examples on the missile crisis and rocket launches hit home – am I sure that what I’m building is necessary, or the only way? Am I giving in to a costly feature because everyone feels like it’s important?

    Hope there will be a transcription for this 🙂

  • Marc

    Interesting talk, I enjoyed it. Thanks. With regards to the tweet length example, I would not categorise it as a case of inertia. If Twitter wanted to make it shorter or longer, they could have done so. The short length of tweets make them quick to read and straight to the point. It guarantees fluidity in the Twitter feed. It was the main goal rather than Twitter being stuck into inertia. Now, how short a tweet exactly is was indeed determined by the SMS, possibly simply because they assumed people were already used to SMS. But, would Twitter had picked 130 or 150 characters length instead of 140, that would not have made them escape inertia or be more innovative.

    • Marc – Twitter’s 140 character limit came about because Twttr (as it was known) was launched as an SMS based tool so had to fit the tweet and the @name into the 160 character SMS.

      The inertia Dave speaks of is because now that Twitter no longer uses or is based on SMS no-one has taken the time to assess if that character limit still makes sense. I agree the brevity is one of Twitter’s strengths but maybe it should be 120? 220? 160?

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