One big part of a product manager’s job is to set the product vision and create the product roadmap. A PM needs to decide what need’s to be built and what needs to be discarded.
To make the best product decisions, product managers need to be relentlessly curious. They need to be curious about the possible next big idea. They have to be always curious about their user’s experience. They have to be curious about the market and competition.
For this, they need to keep asking the whats and whys repeatedly.
While the best product strategies are data-driven, data alone is never enough. In decision making, data acts more like the idea validator than the idea generator.
Data can tell you if your assumptions or plan is working, but it won’t make these for you. Data can tell you what needs to be kept or binned. Data can tell you if what’s done is actually working. But it won’t tell you how to do something.
Successful Product Managers know how to use this data to improve the product. They are curious about why something works and why it does not. They are curious about what they can build or tweak to make a positive effect. They are always on the lookout for new ideas to shape the product vision.
Curious Product Managers are thus always on the lookout for new ideas. They realise that not every good idea is ground-breaking, but is always a step in the right direction.
While the best ideas may come from your intuition, but how do you improve your intuition? How do you improve your curiosity muscle? Here is a few tools Product Managers use to be more curious:
Product Hunt is a collection of new and exciting products. Everyday 100s of new products are released on ProductHunt. All these products implement 100s of ideas and are focused on 100s of different type of users. Every day you can find many creative ideas to solve the problems.
Curious Product Managers know the difference between stealing an idea and being inspired by one. They can see an idea in the wild and think of takeaways from it.
Dribble is the holy grail for Product Design. Or any design for a matter of fact. Here you can find highly creative and exciting designs.
Curios Product Managers know the power of good design and the role it can play in the success of a product. They know good products are useful and well designed.
There are different ways to use Twitter. You can use it for entertainment or for ideas. While Instagram is for sharing for the eyes, Twitter is for sharing for the brain. On Twitter, you can find many interesting people sharing their thoughts and ideas.
Moreover, Twitter is the easiest way to reach out to people who you might otherwise feel are impossible to reach. Everyone from your neighbour to the Creator of your favourite product is on Twitter. You can use this to scratch someone’s brain about your idea. You can ask for more information about their idea and the why behind it.
Curious PMs don’t underestimate the power of community. They know how everyone in a community can help each other achieve more. Slack Communities are a great way to interact with like-minded people.
You can use these platforms for sharing feedback, asking questions and a lot more. Mind The Product (free) and Product Manager HQ (Paid) are a couple of great PM focused Slack communities.
Same as the above. Just like Slack, there are many good Facebook groups as well where you can interact with other PMs.
You can start with Product Management or Product Management Mastermind groups or just perform a quick search.
Successful Product Managers are always working on building and indulging their curiosity. They have different systems and methods for gathering ideas.
What’s your favourite tool for being curious?