Last year I wrote quite a bit on the whole product management tools topic. I didn’t quite get the traction on that that I want. In part this was because, despite multiple articles, I feel like I haven’t yet done an excellent job of articulating the problem or the solution. In particular, I struggled to articulate the Overt Benefit, Dramatic Difference, and Real Reason to Believe (from the Three Laws of Marketing Physics) for product management tools. This despite the fact that PM tools are very valuable, create a dramatic difference, and have proven themselves.

But if it were easy, anyone could do it, and I think my struggles are a microcosm of product management itself. This is what happens all the time with real products. You have an idea, and you write or mock up something, and some people tell you how full of crap you are, and write or mock up something else, and pretty soon you have something at least better. And then you have some customers, and they start to use what you’re doing, or they start to review your statements or mockups and they say “wait, what about this?” or they say “that doesn’t make any sense to me,” or they say worse things, and that results in you learning more and redesigning and rethinking and re-articulating.

And maybe at that point you’re starting to get something worth talking about.

About the author

Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.

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