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Product Punk: Shreyas Doshi, the Unofficial King of Product Management Twitter

Toby Rogers
Toby Rogers
Hello fellow punks! 
Welcome to the Product Punks newsletter. I said I’d start publishing this once I reached 150 subscribers. I’m not quite there yet, but thanks to the 149 of you who’d signed up at the time I was writing this!
I couldn’t wait to get going, so here goes ⬇️

Product Punk: Shreyas Doshi, the Unofficial King of Product Management Twitter
Since he became one of Twitter’s first subscription accounts, startup consultant and former Stripe PM Shreyas Doshi has amassed thousands of super followers, each paying $9.99 a month to hear his wisdom.
It’s worth it, and then some.
A product heavyweight with more than a decade of experience across some of the most influential tech companies of recent years, including Twitter, Google, and Yahoo, Doshi knows his stuff. And he articulates it like no one else can.
But what is it about Doshi’s advice that makes it so relatable? Why has he become the unofficial king of product management Twitter? And what are the biggest lessons he’s got for product managers across the board, not just those lucky enough to be working for FAANG or some hip new Silicon Valley startup?
Doshi didn’t set out to become a product management thought leader, but when lockdown gave him back his commuting time he decided to make the most of it by writing.
Shreyas Doshi
1 year since I decided to tweet more.

Ppl often ask me about my strategy.

Answer:

There is none.

Lockdown→No commute→1 hr extra

So I decided to use that 1 hr writing.

To share 10+ yrs of stuff I had

a) learned & used in my work & life

b) coached folks on 1:1

Fun ride🙏🏾
The impact on the PM community has been extraordinary. Doshi’s Twitter account has become the most influential product management resource since Marty Cagan’s Silicon Valley Product Group blog, and rightly so.
What’s refreshing about Doshi is he’s not trying to be a new product management Naval posting fortune cookie comments that play for likes. Sure, there are some pithy tweets on his timeline, but he’s mostly concerned with providing real insight into the good, the bad, and the ugly of product management.
Everything Doshi writes is highly actionable for PMs at all stages of their careers. From his early dive into the difference between good product managers and great product managers, to his recent posts on what it takes to become an effective product leader, Doshi’s content is as powerful as anything you can find in a book. 
Here’s are just a few of the lessons you can learn about product management, leadership, and professional growth from one of the sharpest voices in product.
Good Product Managers vs Great Product Managers: Rebooting the format Ben Horowitz made famous with his Good Product Manager / Bad Product Manager article, Doshi digs into what it takes to go from good to great as a PM. “Great PMs learn through work projects,” Doshi says. “But they learn a lot more about their craft in their personal time because of their curiosity & passion for self-improvement.” To be a great product manager, you’ve got to stay curious. 
The Importance of High Agency in Product: Every successful product manager has a high agency attitude. It’s about finding a way to get what you want without waiting for the conditions to be perfect, or blaming your circumstances. “High agency people either push through in the face of adverse conditions,” explains Doshi. “Or they manage to reverse the adverse conditions to achieve goals.“ If you want to make waves as a product manager, you’ve got to develop high agency. 
Why Smart People Build Products with No Impact: A lot of our potential success is hampered by biases and fallacies. If you’re not mindful of them and don’t understand them, then you risk building products no one cares about. Whether it’s execution orientation, the IKEA effect, or the bias-for-building fallacy, you need to understand heuristics affecting your product decisions.
The Seven Biases of Product Teams: The most effective product teams are the teams that make the most effective decisions. “The quality of your decisions is ultimately what determines the impact that your product makes,” says Doshi. “You do not rise to the level of your plan—it’s easy to make a good looking plan. You fall to the level of your decision-making.” To make better decisions, you need to be aware of the biases that are impacting them. 
The Difference Between Product Thinking and Project Thinking: Product management is not project management, but there’s always a risk PMs can slip into product thinking, especially within bureaucratic megacorps. “When and how are top of mind during project thinking,” Doshi elaborates. “Whereas why and what are top of mind during product thinking. The difference in what these questions are seeking (and what answers they will elicit) is really the essence of the difference between the Project Thinking mode and the Product Thinking mode.”
Why Product Management Is Hard (And Why Good Product Management Matters): Anyone who’s been a Product Manager understands how hard it can be. There’s no one true way to do product, and sometimes the right thing you do today will be the wrong thing tomorrow. “Good product mgmt isn’t about always getting it right.” says Doshi. “But it is about your team getting it right more often than most smart teams would.”
What Good Managers Do, and How they Think and Act: Good management is about clear thinking, sound judgement, and wisdom. It’s not about having a style or a playbook, it’s about understanding you’re leading a team of individuals and you need to cater for their individual needs. “Good managers constantly get results through their team,” Doshi says. “They have high standards for inputs, outputs, and outcomes. They aren’t satisfied with just meeting the minimum.”
WhyMore Engineers Won’t Solve Your Product’s Problems: Adding more engineers to a project won’t help you execute any faster. If you’re having trouble executing, you need to understand why, not just throw more people at it. “More engineers will usually not solve your problems,” explains Doshi. “Because the real problem is often a strategy problem, culture problem, interpersonal problem, trust problem, creativity problem, or market problem. More engineers will solve your “I don’t have enough engineers” problem.”
The Three Types of Product Leaders: Product leaders come in three flavors; the Operator, the Craftsperson, the Visionary. “Why is it important that we understand these types?” asks Doshi. “For startup founders: so you can hire the right type of product leader, for PM leaders: for self-awareness & combating imposter syndrome, for PMs: to pick the right type of manager & plan your own leadership journey.”
Most Execution Problems are Really Strategy, Interpersonal, Or Culture Problems: Going back to the “more engineers” thread, it’s worth reiterating that most product execution problems are really strategy, interpersonal or cultural problems. The best leaders get to the root cause of the problem, bad leaders just apply band-aids. 
And finally: 
Shreyas Doshi
Being a PM is just saying these things until you retire:

What is our goal here?

Is there an agenda for this meeting?

I'll take notes

What is the status?

Promising idea, but not now

Biweekly, as in every other week

Any way to get it done faster?

We should sync more often
That’s it! 
See you in four weeks. 
Toby 
The Punk PM 
P.S. Feel free to share this with anyone else you think would find it interesting. And if you like what Shreyas Doshi is writing, it’d be great if you could give my Twitter dive down the @shreyas rabbit hole some love. 
I’m still playing around with ideas for content and format for this newsletter, so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to shoot me an email with ways you think it can deliver actionable insights from the product punks building the future.
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Toby Rogers
Toby Rogers @tobiasrogers

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