Pm

Cleaning the Cruft

25 Aug 2014

Cap Watkins had a good blog post about The Dark Corners of Your UI. In it, he talks about how there are parts of a product that can easily become neglected. At Shopify, we often have the same. We’ve recently assigned a designer to review a number of these dark corners and shine some light on them. Cap is right in that many product teams won’t give these areas much priority. As a product ma...

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Unmanaged

24 Aug 2014

I've been a product manager for a year and a half. That came to an end this week and I'll be returning to a life of front-end development. Product management at Shopify has been in a bit of limbo for a few months while the CEO considered a possible restructuring. That restructuring happened. But what problem needed to be solved, organizationally? Shopify continues to grow, with many new teams sp...

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Consistency

22 Aug 2014

I originally wrote this post about a month ago and never sent it. Things have since changed at Shopify. As a result, I have one more post to follow to wrap things up. I saw this tweet that asked, "When you group PMs, developers and designers by project, how do you maintain a consistent user experience and design?" I've read and heard about how Spotify (ahem, not Shopify, where I work) does it ...

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Saying No

13 May 2014

I wish I could build everything and do it instantly. Unfortunately, that's not the case. (Duh.) But it is frustrating when there are a thousand features that could be built and you're only working on one. It's frustrating to have to say no to the support team. It's frustrating to have to say no to other product teams. It's frustrating to have to say no to customers. Community forums get hit wit...

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The Feature Guy

29 Apr 2014

The dev lead for the team I'm on likes to tease me that I'm "the feature guy". While I understand that he says it in jest, I'm also a little scared of the typecasting of product team — and me in particular — as being focused solely on features. A product manager shouldn't be just about what features to build, after all. Although, I can see how it can happen that way. Features definitely are e...

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What kind of product manager am I?

23 Apr 2014

I've been a product manager for over a year now. I'd like to think I've learned a lot along the way. I want to document that journey to date and into the future. What kind of product manager am I? I have a monthly 1-on-1 with my boss, the head of product at Shopify. This last one was particularly good. He described two types of product managers: the Operational PM, and the Mercenary PM. The Ope...

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Product Management Learnings

17 Apr 2014

I've been a product manager for over a year now. I'd like to think I've learned a lot along the way. I want to document that journey to date and into the future. It's the inaugural issue of the newsletter. I'm kicking this one off with a bunch of books that I've read plus a couple articles to boot. Expect more of the same in future newsletters. If you have any article suggestions, f...

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What is a Product Manager?

06 Apr 2014

I've been a product manager for over a year now. I'd like to think I've learned a lot along the way. I want to document that journey to date and into the future. Issue 3 So, what is a product manager? matbalez wrote a good piece on that very subject. I especially liked this one quote: "You live and you die based on your ability to convince other people to do what you need them to d...

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PM Learnings: So here we are

31 Mar 2014

I've been a product manager for over a year now. I'd like to think I've learned a lot along the way. I want to document that journey to date and into the future. Issue 2 So, here we are... I started at Shopify in a design role. We didn't have a product team. No product managers to speak of. As the company grew, the need for a product team also grew. When the role was described to me — s...

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