By way of an introduction


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Why write a blog? #

Up until recently if someone had suggested that I start writing a blog (or twittering, but that’s a story for another time) I would most likely have unfurled my ‘To Do’ list with a flourish, watched the unrolling end bounce off the floor and gestured vaguely into the distance.

So what’s changed? #

Blogging is ridiculous because the word to me sounds faintly unsanitary

Before I became a product manager, I used to write a great deal more, not only relatively serious essays and papers, but also creative nonsense and frivolous, fictional articles mainly for the amusement of friends who shared the same daft sense of humour.

As a product manager, the most creatively I’ve written recently has been to use an adjective in a use case once, though I had to remove it in a subsequent draft of my requirements document following a complaint Development escalated to my line manager.

I’m despairing at my diminishing vocabulary, mortified at my dependency on meaningless stock management phrases and I’m no longer thinking outside the box as creatively as I used to.  I’m sure this can’t be healthy.

Let me tell you what changed my mind about blogging.  Couple of reasons, really:

1. I’m getting better at letting things go.

Take the word ‘blog’ for example.  I’m no longer afflicted by the urge to tell everyone that blogging is ridiculous because the word to me sounds faintly unsanitary.  I’ve let it go.

2. My memory’s getting worse. #

Or at least, I think it is.  I find it hard to remember these days.

In general I tend to live in the moment.  Very much like Guy Pearce in the film Memento, I survive from day to day at work by writing everything down that I’m meant to be doing, then having a REALLY BIG post-it note on my screen (Outlook, natch) which reminds me to look at all the smaller notes.

This blog is really a way for me to remind myself that I used to know something about product management once.  I have however drawn the line at taking minutes by tattooing myself with biro ink and a needle in meetings.

3. Being creative makes me sparkier in general #

Being creative forces me to use parts of my brain other than the ones needed to open a P&L spreadsheet at the ‘Costs’ tab, locate cells B15:F84 and swear LOUDLY at broken formulae.  After writing a few articles, I’ve found I’m far better equipped to cope with these everyday situations.  Or at least, to curse more florally.

So here I am, writing this blog, both for your benefit and my own.

I Manage Products.  Welcome aboard.  Seatbelts are advisable.

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Live, conference-style talks with Q&A each Tuesday in October 2020, covering:

  • What does a product manager do (and not do)?
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Read more from Jock

The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management book cover

The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management
by Jock Busuttil

“I wish this book was published when I started out in product management”

Keji A., Head of Product

Read a free excerpt

Jock is a freelance head of product, author and conference speaker. He has spent nearly two decades working with technology companies to improve their product management practices, from startups to multinationals. His clients include the BBC, University of Cambridge, and the UK's Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS).In 2012 Jock founded Product People Limited, a product management consultancy and training company. He is also the author of the popular book The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management and the blog I Manage Products.

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