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It's Not Your Job To Make All The Decisions

Toby Rogers
Toby Rogers
Hello fellow punks! 
Welcome to the 11 of you who have signed up for this since the last issue. It’s great to have you on board. Hopefully you’ll stick with me while I figure out what this newsletter is all about.
Here’s this week’s issue ⬇️

Choose the Flutter pill or the React Native pill…
As a product manager, you’re bombarded with choices to make.
From prioritising the initiatives on your roadmap to picking the right colour for a button, decisions are the lifeblood of the role.
But if you think it’s your job to make all the decisions, you’ll soon become a bottleneck for progress and ideas. 
Product managers are generalists. From marketing to design, to engineering, our day-to-day work covers every aspect of the journey our product goes through to get into its customers’ hands.
Shreyas Doshi
Product Manager is the most generalist role on a product team. A PM must play to the strengths of his/her team and fill gaps where needed. This means that Product Managers’ work will look very different across companies, and even across different teams in the same company.
Because we have to work across so many different domains, though, it’s almost impossible for us to become experts in any of them. 
There will always be someone who knows more than us.
You want to feel real imposter syndrome? Become a Product Manager.

You’ll be indirectly managing people with way more experience and people with skills (engineering, UX/UI, data science) that you have no clue about 😂
When it comes to making decisions, then, we need to defer to the people who are deep in the details.
But that doesn’t mean abdicating from the process—far from it.
As a product manager, it’s your job to guide your organisation’s decision-making at a cadence and quality that delivers genuine impact for your business. 
You’re not responsible for making every decision about your product, but you are responsible for making sure the right decisions get made.
Noah Desai Weiss
5/ PMs are responsible for the pace and quality of decision making. Full stop.
What I've been reading 📚
Metrics are critical in helping you evaluate the impact of your product decisions. But the metrics you use have to be meaningful. Too often we can be lured by vanity metrics that make us feel good, but don’t really help us move our product forward.
This excellent explainer article from Amplitude‘s John Cutler will help you identify whether or not you’re using vanity metrics, and how to replace them with more useful KPIs 📈
What Are Vanity Metrics and How to Stop Using Them - John Cutler
Sometimes, the most delightful product experiences are created when we put some effort into improving boring day-to-day tasks. Instead of trying to find exciting and unexpected product ideas, why not look at more obvious problems and think about how to make them a little bit better.
This short newsletter post from Ami Vora reflects on the value of spending time on the “how” not the “what” when it comes to solving problems 🧐
Creating delight: 90% “how”, 10% “what” - by Ami Vora
If you want to be successful in these challenging times, then you need to figure out how to become default alive. As an employee, how do you make yourself essential to your business?
This article from former WhatsApp and Facebook Product Manager Will Lawrence explains how to find the critical scope that enables you to do just that 💪
What I've been writing ✍️
A follow-up to my recent thread about essential tools for product managers, here’s a list of applications you probably haven’t heard of but could really help improve your product management processes 🛠
Toby Rogers 🚀🤘
8 websites you didn't know about that are guaranteed to up your product management game:
That’s it! 
See you next week (probably). 
The Punk PM 
P.S. Feel free to share this with anyone else you think would find it interesting.
I’m still playing around with ideas for content and format for this newsletter, so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Go ahead and shoot me an email with ways you think I can make it better.
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Toby Rogers
Toby Rogers @tobiasrogers

Product management musings from your favourite Punk PM

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