Yogyata’s note : In each essay, I draw from my experience and learnings at startups. My last essay had 350 reads and I feel excited to share more. Feel free to share your thoughts or get in touch to discuss more. This is essay #10.
I was compiling my notes and sheets on my work table and found some old plans that I wrote down for the products and features that I built. What a crazy ride it has been, not that I just spent my time figuring things out but I actually grew as a person. So this post is to share what I have learned so far and that has helped me develop myself as a product person.
Traits to differentiate yourself as a product person
- Take more action: Always keep actionable for yourself daily, move things ahead, unblock your team, resolve dependencies, plan for your future, think ahead and take action for it. When you believe in massive action, you are constantly moving ahead and this also helps others to move ahead with you. Your team will love to see things progressing and every day you come up with updates on things which helps everyone to stay motivated and involved.
- Always think in pieces: You don’t have to figure everything out at once, it’s okay to not have answers to everything at an instant. When you think about everything in pieces you approach the problem with more detail and be able to find better solutions as compared to thinking in blocks.
- “Do we have an option?”: Find options for every problem and be the person who always comes up with options. Even if the problem you are trying to solve is yours and you are willing to seek answers or help, always go with options. This will help you improve your thinking and also how you approach a problem.
- Be unreasonable: Yes, that’s not a typo, I actually said “unreasonable”. Always set higher goals for yourself and unreasonable expectations. The “never settle” attitude will always help you level up expectations and when you try to seek more you also help your team work better and achieve more.
- Data cant give you all the answers: We always try to prove our assumptions with data, but even data that we try to seek has bias. A lot of times you have to follow a path that you believe is correct, there may be no evidence or proof from the past to help you aid your decision but following your instincts can also help you execute your plans. Well even if anything goes wrong, go back to point 3.
- Experiment more often: Point 5 also will lead you to opportunities where you can experiment and do new things. If you get any such opportunity, always say yes! No matter if you had experience with this or not, how skilled you are etc. Each and every experiment helps you gain experience and contributes to your growth. Experimenting more often helps you find more solutions and also uncovers more things for you to work on or improve. That’s how you innovate for the better.
- Be closer to your stakeholders: Spend more time with your business stakeholders to understand what they plan to do right now and what is coming in the future. This will always help you know the direction of the business and if your product will be able to adapt to it or not. None of your plans or approach should be built in isolation.
- Retrospect your approach: Always rethink your way of working every once in a while to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Try to improve how you work until you start to love your work and it doesn’t feel hard anymore rather it should feel interesting. Add more things to your daily work that excites you and makes you go to work with a happy face.
- Be comfortable being uncomfortable: Find work and projects that challenge you instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you feel stuck in situations where you feel discomfort, take it as an opportunity for you to learn something new. And similarly, if you have spent long enough staying in an easy zone, find the work that can make it challenging for you.
- Experience is gained on the ground and not in cubicle: We all like to have a calm, planned, sitting in a cubicle or desk work routine with some good music on. But the actual experience that you can gain is by being on the ground and less on virtual calls. Try to be with people who are actually driving your work and product. Every week at least have 2 days planned as the external interaction day.
The list is longer and I have several thoughts in my head to draft as essays here. What do you think can be added to this list? Feel free to share your thoughts.
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Featuring an episode from my podcast !