So far, 2021 is turning out to be a pretty special year for The Product Experience podcast. Our 100th episode aired, we were shortlisted in the Publisher Podcast Awards, the pod even got a little facelift as part of our brand refresh. We think that’s all worth celebrating!
So, with more than 100 episodes to choose from (all of them epic 😉), we’re giving you a helping hand by counting down today’s 10 most-downloaded episodes of all time!
10. Roadmaps Are Dead. Long Live Roadmaps! – Janna Bastow
When you have questions about roadmaps, it pays to talk to someone who spends all their time thinking about them. Janna Bastow — co-founder of both Mind the Product and ProdPad — is that person! Janna has been trying to fix the problems of roadmaps for most of her professional life. She hacked together the first version of ProdPad to solve her own problem, then began selling to other product people to help them do the same. She joins us on this episode to give advice for anyone ready to break up with their roadmap.
Says Janna: “A roadmap should be something that’s human readable. It should be something that you put in front of somebody and say: “This is where we are now, this is where we think we’re going next, and here’s where we’re going with it later. You can see for yourself what problems we’re trying to tackle, and how we’re thinking of breaking those down – what do you think?”
9. Remote Discovery – Teresa Torres
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we can’t count the number of times we’ve heard the phrase ‘new normal’ but, as Teresa Torres explains in this episode, there’s nothing normal about it! We’re not simply working remotely, we’re working during a crisis. We’re not working the same way, and our customers have different needs than they did before. With that in mind, we asked Teresa to offer her advice on how to continue to incorporate discovery into your practice despite everything that’s going on.
Says Teresa: “Your opportunity space didn’t radically shift. What’s probably radically shifted is which opportunity is most important right now. Then there’s the second piece of it: What’s the part of discovery that’s going to stay stable over time? What are we learning from customers that we don’t have to worry about learning over and over again, versus what’s the part that can be disrupted at any moment?”
8. How To Be A Great Manager – Claire Lew
We’ve all had that one manager that we’ll do anything to avoid for the rest of our careers but have you ever stopped to think if you’re that person for someone else? This question prompted Claire Lew to start Know Your Team — software that helps managers become better leaders — and in this episode, she shares some practical advice.
Says Claire: “When you, as a manager, are not having your intention match your behaviour — you’re talking the talk but you’re not walking the walk, you say one thing but do something else, you promise but don’t deliver — that erodes our conception of trust in a team.
7. I Got 99 Problems – Learning From Jay-Z – Marc Abraham
If you listen to the end credits of The Product Experience podcast every week, then you already know Marc Abraham’s voice — he’s ProductTank’s Global Coordinator, a co-curator of the Mind the Product conference, an author, and a Head of Product at ASOS. What you might not know about him is that he’s a huge hip-hop fan, and has managed to combine what he’s learned from Jay-Z with how he approaches his daily practice. In this episode, he tells all.
Says Marc: “Look at Jay-Z; he’s tried a few things, a lot of things worked out, other things didn’t, but he’s still doing them — he’s still taking risks… he keeps learning, keeps experimenting, he will take losses as much as he will celebrate successes – and that, for me, is a strong product person.”
6. The ABCs of Product – Melissa Perri
Melissa Perri is the product manager’s product manager — she’s able to do the job, explain it, and teach you how to do it better. So when we got her on the line to record this episode, we covered everything… including Japanese deployment strategies, Marmite and peanut butter, product leadership and team organisation, how companies scale, how to pick the right environment for you, and even her book, Escaping the Build Trap.
Says Melissa: “I see a lot of product managers from an enterprise company go, ‘Hey, I’m gonna work at a startup, it’s gonna be awesome’, and then they get in there and they go ‘Holy crap, what happened? This place is a mess. There’s no structure, there’s nobody to do all these things.’”
5. How To Say No – Gabrielle Bufrem
A manager of product management at Pivotal Software, Brazilian native Gabrielle Bufrem has worked on three continents (North America, Europe, and Asia) and hails from a fourth. She’s delivered great talks at our MTP Engage conferences in Hamburg and Manchester, but, in this episode, we catch up with her after a talk about “saying no” at Edinburgh’s Turing Festival.
Says Gabrielle: “Where it gets really hard is [when it comes to] business impact, customer impact, the costs of not doing it — that’s where the rubber hits the road, and that’s where I think it’s way more art than science.”
4. Testing Business Ideas – David Bland
David Bland is the CEO and Founder of Precoil, an author, and a long-time practitioner of agile and lean startup. In this episode, he joins our hosts Lily and Randy to talk about how to create focus around what matters to your users by using different testing methodologies — a topic he and Alex Osterwalder cover in their book, Testing Business Ideas.
Says David: “So what my advice would be is just find that thing that people are worried about: in your backlog, in your strategy, in your roadmap, and find the smallest test you can do to help generate some evidence around that thing.”
3. Shape Up – Ryan Singer
Basecamp is well known for its approach to product development — after starting out as an agency (37 Signals), it realised that the tools it used to manage its own projects would have value for others. What followed was a bootstrapped journey to creating an entire suite of products, using Basecamp’s own approach on how to work well together. Over the years, the company has publicly documented many of its processes. In Shape Up – Stop Running In Circles and Ship Work That Matters, Head of Strategy Ryan Singer shares an approach that challenges most of the orthodoxy around Agile (as a framework) but retains all of the spirit of agile (as a philosophy). In this episode, Ryan talks with Lily and Randy about Basecamp’s approach, why it works for them, and the thinking behind it.
Says Ryan: “A lot of people talk about planning or deciding what to do and, very often, this is too much expressed in the language of certainty. What we’re doing here is expressing everything in the language of risk. So when we bet on a project, we’re acknowledging the fact that we don’t actually know what’s going to happen, if it’s going to go well, if we’re going to get in trouble with it. So we are being very deliberate in what we bet on and don’t bet on and whether the odds are in our favour for making a particular bet or a feature idea.
The way that we bet is six weeks at a time. So we’re not working in little two-week sprints, because two weeks isn’t long enough to get anything done.”
2. The Black Mirror Test – Roisi Proven
Roisi Proven is a true product person: she has a penchant for imagining the worst, which she’s turned into a superpower to put all of her product decisions through a rigorous ethics test. Sure, that’s useful — but she’s also found a way for you to engage your team in a creative way, using the model of the show Black Mirror, in an effort to make better decisions.
Says Roisi: “The point is to get as evil as possible, and not hold back, and not think about the feelings of others, it’s just about being really harsh about what your product could be used for, and then putting it into a little dystopian future that you create.”
1. Outcomes Over Outputs – Josh Seiden
Here is it, number 1! This much-loved episode features speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of Outcomes Over Output, Josh Seiden.
Outcomes Over Output — a practical guide to using outcomes to guide the work of your team — was written to be read in an hour or so, which means it’s packed with substance and minimum filler! In this episode, Lily and Randy talk to Josh about putting some of the strategies outlined in the book into action.
Says Josh: “[Outcomes] are useful in a world when we’re not sure that the thing that we make will have the result that we want.”
Discover more episodes of The Product Experience
Tune in to The Product Experience every Wednesday and join our hosts Lily Smith and Randy Silver for in-depth conversations with some of the best product people around the world! Every week they chat with people in the know and cover the topics that matter to you — solving real problems, developing awesome products, building successful teams and developing careers. Visit The Product Experience Page to explore all episodes, suggest a guest, learn about our hosts, and more.