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Starting a new PM role, becoming indistractable, and inspirational women in product

Toby Rogers
Toby Rogers
Hello fellow punks! 
Welcome to the 110 of you who’ve signed up for this since the last issue I published. 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 goes

I started a new job last week
The Godfather
The Godfather
It wasn’t something I’d been actively looking for, but sometimes an opportunity is too good to pass up. What it has done, though, is get me thinking (a lot) about what success looks like when you start with a new company.
I recently published a Twitter thread of my favourite resources to help you hit the ground running in a new PM role, and they’ve all been extremely useful. The single best thing by far, though, is Deb Liu’s Substack post on making the first 90 days count.
I even tweaked her template to make my own, which you can grab here if you’re interested.
Is it our responsibility to be indistractable?
Dealing with distraction and finding time to focus are hot topics on Product Management Twitter right now.
I posted a thread summarising the tips in Nir Eyal’s Indistractable book for PMs which got some great engagement, but it was the comments from @jesskadar (and subsequent DM conversation) that really made me pause and think.
There’s an assumption that it’s our responsibility to find ways to get our work done amid the firehose of information pointing at us, but is it really?
Should we have to timebox our deep work sessions and switch off notifications so we can focus? Or do the organisations we work for (and the technology companies who provide us with the tools we use) have a duty to help us?
When I was a music journalist, I was at my most prolific when I had a dial-up Internet connection and an old Nokia mobile. I know my circumstances have changed, but I can’t help thinking it was my first iPhone that transformed me from creator to consumer (something I’ve been trying to reverse for years).
I can’t help but thinking, though, if there needs to be a 80-minute long article on how to curb distractions on your mobile phone, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with our relationship with technology.
As product managers, it’s important that we stop and think about how people use the products we build. Instead of trying to hack the psychology of our users with the Hook Model, maybe we should be focusing on how our products can best add value to our customers’ lives without stealing their concentration and focus.
Here’s what my Galaxy S21 looks like, btw 👇
Celebrating inspirational women in product
There’s a side of product management Twitter that comes across as a tech bro club, which is something that needs addressing.
Many of the most talented and visionary product management thinkers are women, and we need to recognise it.
When I was first starting out as a PM, it was people like Janna Bastow, Melissa Perri, Jackie Bavaro, and Teresa Torres who helped me figure out what I was meant to be doing. Without them, I’d have struggled to find my feet.
I’ve always tried to recognise the women doing amazing things in product (not just on #InternationalWomensDay) and was delighted when Emily Patterson noticed.
Product management is a complicated discipline and it benefits hugely from the diversity of people who find themselves in the PM role.
Here’s my list of 11 women in product everyone should be following. There are many, many more, though 👇
That’s it! 
See you next week. 
Toby 
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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