PRODUCTHEAD: A reality check

PRODUCTHEAD: A reality check

PRODUCTHEAD is a regular newsletter of product management goodness,
curated by Jock Busuttil.

lotus product #

every PRODUCTHEAD edition is online for you to refer back to


Customers care about your mission, less about how you’re achieving it

For rapid feedback in discovery, ship and learn from more users, earlier

Changing something that’s been that way for years is hard because of the inertia behind it


Back again after a short break for holidays! It’s time for a reality check.

Every now and again I try to think about the habits I’ve formed and assess whether they’re still serving my needs. Amongst other things, I’ve been thinking about the ways I work and keep healthy.

It’s all too easy to be lulled along by our routines. There comes a point when we have to change things up, even if that change in routine is a pain to begin with.

All it can take is to sit down, remember what we were hoping to achieve by starting something, and to review whether that’s actually happening.

Sometimes we’re still doing things that had a significant impact to begin with, and over time have become less effective.

Sometimes we realise that we’ve been doing something in the same way for so long that we’ve missed the newer / easier / quicker / cheaper ways of accomplishing the same task.

And sometimes we need to remind ourselves where all this is meant to be leading. Are our goals still the same as they were when we started?

It’s always difficult to break habits and form new ones. It can be daunting to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.

Equally, there’s no point in doing something purely for its own sake. If there’s no longer any value in doing it, stop, then adopt a different approach.

For you this week #

I remember sitting in the audience listening to CPO of Wise Nilan Peiris at MTPcon back in 2015. This didn’t seem like that long ago until he came back eight years later to review whether his original talk had stood the test of time. You can find out what held true and what didn’t below.

As with any business book recommending a particular way of doing things, I always find it interesting when people talk about how they it found applying the theory in practice. One of the books that’s often on the reading list for product people is Teresa Torres’s Continuous Discovery Habits.

Product Lead at Progression Katie Marcus talks about her experience running continuous discovery for a quarter with her teams in a startup. As you might expect, some aspects worked well, others didn’t.

I’m not the only one who’s been reflecting on how they are doing things. In an interview for Lenny Rachitsky’s podcast, CEO of Reforge Brian Balfour talks through his top ten lessons from a successful career building and growing startups.

Speak to you soon,


I’ve included an Amazon affiliate link this week, meaning I would earn a small commission on any purchases you made.

what to think about this week

10 years Wiser: Lessons learned from scaling Wise

Eight years ago, Nilan spoke on the Mind the Product stage and made a couple of bold statements. He said that 70% of Wise’ users found out about the company from a friend, and that Wise worked in autonomous independent teams with a focus on KPIs that make a difference to customers and drive the company’s growth.

He examines how these statements have scaled as the company has grown in the last decade.

[VIDEO] What’s changed, what’s stayed the same

[Nilan Peiris / Mind The Product]

Nilan Peiris – 10 years Wiser: Lessons learned from scaling Wise

Lessons learnt from a quarter of continuous discovery

Progression is a young startup that’s still at the crux of finding product-market fit in a crowded market. I was given a carte blanche to discover the product that takes us to the next stage. No pressure!

Everything was up for grabs — strategy, roadmap, ways of working — and the team was particularly keen to improve their product discovery practices. So I decided to implement some continuous discovery techniques, heavily informed by a re-read of Teresa Torres’ book Continuous Discovery Habits.

How to establish new team habits

[Katie Marcus / Progression]

Brian Balfour: 10 lessons on career, growth, and life

Brian Balfour is the founder and CEO of Reforge. Prior to Reforge, he was the VP of Growth at HubSpot and co-founded three other startups. In today’s episode, Brian shares 10 lessons from his career, growth, and life.

[VIDEO] Reflections on a career growing startups

[Brian Balfour / Lenny’s Podcast]

Brian Balfour: 10 lessons on career, growth, and life

recent posts

I want to update my pricing strategy. Where do I start?

“My product currently has one tier of per-seat pricing for all customers. I want to change my pricing strategy to cater differently for SMEs and enterprise customers. Where do I start?”

A few pricing concepts to consider + further reading

[I Manage Products]

How do I make my product roadmap a better communication tool?

“My product roadmap is not getting the right information across to other people in my company. In particular, my customer success and marketing teams are struggling to plan their work for upcoming product releases. I’m also not sure how I can show my roadmap’s relationship to the half-yearly OKRs we set. How can I improve it?”

Your product roadmap is a communication tool

[I Manage Products]

How can I keep track of all these product metrics?

“Do you have any advice on productivity tools for tracking product metrics? I’m seeking guidance on streamlining feedback and metrics management. Juggling continuous discovery insights, team feedback, and metric tracking has become increasingly overwhelming.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start

[I Manage Products]

can we help you?

Product People is a product management services company. We can help you through consultancy, training and coaching. Just contact us if you need our help!

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Helping people build better products, more successfully, since 2012.

PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from an antique, hand-cranked pillar drill.

Read more from Jock

The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management book cover

The Practitioner's Guide To Product Management

by Jock Busuttil

“This is a great book for Product Managers or those considering a career in Product Management.”

— Lyndsay Denton

Jock Busuttil is a product management and leadership coach, product leader and author. He has spent over two decades working with technology companies to improve their product management practices, from startups to multinationals. In 2012 Jock founded Product People Limited, which provides product management consultancy, coaching and training. Its clients include BBC, University of Cambridge, Ometria, Prolific and the UK’s Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS). Jock holds a master’s degree in Classics from the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the popular book The Practitioner’s Guide To Product Management, which was published in January 2015 by Grand Central Publishing in the US and Piatkus in the UK. He writes the blog I Manage Products and weekly product management newsletter PRODUCTHEAD. You can find him on Mastodon, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn.

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