I’m in love with Tim Herbig’s guide to Product Management job responsibilities this week. I’ve read it twice, and it’s loooong. I think you’ll love it. On top of that, I’m sharing an awesome design in tech report, thoughts on active/passive mindsets, a piece on meritocracy, a look at how Monzo perceives mental health, and a great piece on voice assistants and developing markets.


Product Management Tasks – A Guide through Responsibilities of your Job by Tim Herbig.
The eternal question, “what does a Product Manager do?”, this time tackled from a slightly different perspective. This is about an organisation’s expectations of PMs, and is incredibly comprehensive. It’s a long read, and there will undoubtedly be parts that you just won’t agree with, but it’s an amazing point of view and is sure to get the brain juices flowing.

Not every company provides enough clarity about the product management tasks which are expected from their employees. That’s why this extensive guide will walk you through the general expectations on that role and which specific domains you need to master to become a successful Product Manager.

Design in Tech Report 2019 by John Maeda.
There is so much in here of value that I don’t know where to begin. Maybe it’s great because it opens by putting equality and social justice right up front. Maybe it’s because it retraces the trends from previous years. Maybe it’s the thinking around design and organisations.

Whatever it is, it’s worth a read.

Yes, It’s All Your Fault: Active vs. Passive Mindsets on the Farnam Street blog.

An active attitude means ownership. You own your failures. An active mindset means you are responsible for things you control.

The passive mindset is defined by an attitude, an assumption that life happens to you and you’re not responsible. People with this mindset also say things like, “Why does this always happen to me?”

5 steps to achieving your goals in 2019 by productboard.

[..] it often feels like you’re within one cat gif, presidential tweet, or unnecessary meeting from being sucked into procrastination’s vortex. And then, that big project you were going to tackle…? “It can wait until tomorrow.”

How we manage mental health by the team at Monzo.
I’ve always been in love with how seriously the folks at Monzo, a UK-based fintech banking startup, take mental health issues. They consider it for their staff and build that thinking into the design of their products.

We take mental health seriously at Monzo. We want to support the people who work here (we call them Monzonauts) and make talking about mental health a part of everyday life.

We’re working to create a safe and supportive environment for everyone. We still have work to do, but this is the progress we’ve made so far.

Voice Assistants Will Bring the Next Billion Users Online by Peter Gasston.
I enjoyed Peter’s observations on how prominent Google Assistant hardware buttons have become on mobile phones designed for developing markets. I think he’s right that voice assistants will be key to bringing more people online.

I can’t help but think that the sophistication of the actions that these assistants can perform, however, will be the limiting factor in this evolution. It requires the assistants to be considerably more open, and for companies to invest in creating and maintaining those integrations. This is why I’m excited to see how the overlaps between this and the open banking movement play out.

Meritocracy doesn’t exist, and believing it does is bad for you by Clifton Mark.


Nothing this week.


This tweet by Matt Sifferlen.
Yup. Ambiguity truly is the enemy of Product teams.

This tweet by Damon Kiesow.
Organisational design is easily overlooked or forgotten whilst we’re chasing big dreams.. to our detriment.