Product outcomes depends on mental models

The fundamentals of the scientific model are that to understand how the world works we create a mental model and then test it against reality.

Achieving product outcomes depends on having a mental model about how things work in the world of the product. These will be unique to each product but might include supply and demand mechanics for a marketplace product or customer motivations for a dating product. Without that mental model, which has been tested and validated against the real world, setting outcomes is just guessing.

So, important work for product managers is to build up a mental model that helps them understand how their product truly operates. From this they can form the outcomes they want the product to achieve.