PRODUCTHEAD: Introverts, extraverts and just a smidge of pseudoscience

PRODUCTHEAD: Introverts, extraverts and just a smidge of pseudoscience

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

how to product completely


Even introverts need a bit of social time in lockdown – just on their terms

If we’re persuading, we’re selling, says Daniel Pink

Selling is listening, understanding, empathy and only then does persuasion factor in

Myers-Briggs test is pseudoscientific nonsense


This week I came across a piece on how introverts and extroverts handle lockdown differently. It shared the perspective of several introvert-extrovert couples, whose experiences I could very much relate to. They seemed to be coping pretty well, all things considered.

Lovely Wife is an extrovert (or “extravert” if we’re being precise). Of the two of us, she’s had by far the most juddering stop to her social life as a result of lockdown and subsequent government mandates. She’s coped remarkably well in the circumstances.

She does occasionally prowl around the house like a caged tiger. When she’s finished letting off steam, I remove my bite-proof suit and stop throwing morsels of raw meat at her from the top of the wardrobe.

I’ve long known that many product managers are introvert-extrovert personality types. We can turn on the social skills for people when we need to, but we then need to go and hide away somewhere solitary to recharge for a while.

It turns out we’re probably ambiverts. According to Daniel Pink, “ambiverts tend to be adept at the quality of attunement. They know when to push and when to hold back, when to speak up and when to shut up.”

That seems to neatly describe a product manager, don’t you think?

Speak to you soon,


P.S. The friend I mentioned last week starts his new job next month :-)

what to think about this week

How introverts and extroverts handle the COVID-19 pandemic differently

Introverts may seem to have a leg up when it comes to quarantine and social distancing, but getting through the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been easy, even for them.

Best not to lock up extroverts, then


To Sell Is Human

Daniel Pink equates persuasion with selling and gets to the point in the last 40 pages or so. You might not need to read his book now ;-)

Extroverts don’t make the best salespeople. Extrovert salespeople disagree


25% off my Product Management Masterclass

I’m running a series of four live, conference-style sessions on Tuesdays in October.

  1. What Do Product Managers Do (And Not Do)?
  2. Understanding User Needs
  3. The Secrets of Meaningful Product Roadmaps
  4. Landing and Starting Your Product Manager Job

Each session is USD $20 to attend, and right now if you buy tickets to all four, you’ll get 25% off.


Product management is selling

But what most people think is selling isn’t actually selling.

I called it first, Pink


Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless

“The characteristics measured by the test have almost no predictive power on how happy you’ll be in a situation, how you’ll perform at your job, or how happy you’ll be in your marriage.”

You had me at the title


recent posts

Save yourself from product management hell

You know you’re in product management hell when you realise corporate strategy is absent or dysfunctional. I’ve certainly been there. This video shows you how to define your product strategy and use it to (hopefully) influence corporate strategy.

‘Get of hell free’ cards available here


The black art of designing content

While distracting myself from doing real work this week, I learnt the phrase ‘black art’ comes from the world of printing presses. So I delved deeper into the world of content design. Eventually I found a product management angle.

Fonts, content and solid user research


Open, honest and always improving

In government, product is borne out of transparency, quite a lot of cake and a fanatical desire to serve the needs of users. What does it look like when the usual commercial drivers such as revenue, profits and investors are taken out of the picture? Video and slides.

Setting a good example


upcoming talks and events

6th October 2020, 16:00 BST / 11:00 EDT

Product Management Digital Masterclass

What Does a Product Manager Do (and Not Do)?


13th October 2020, 16:00 BST / 11:00 EDT

Product Management Digital Masterclass

Understanding User Needs


20th October 2020, 15:00 BST / 10:00 EDT

Product Management Digital Masterclass

The Secrets of Meaningful Product Roadmaps


27th October 2020, 15:00 GMT / 11:00 EST

Product Management Digital Masterclass

Landing and Starting Your Product Manager Job


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 misplaced 1s and 0s.

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 freelance head of product, product management coach 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, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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