Weeknotes 305

This week I did:

Knowledge is power. Information isn’t.

The information goods problem explains a lot. It explains why digital products and information goods are difficult to communicate about and sell, and it explains why it’s so hard to pass on knowledge to others. I also got some really nice feedback on this issue which made me think even more about how the newsletter connects the abstract things it talks about to the every day experience of people.

Product manager, answer me!

I set up a little website called Product manager, answer me to play with the product management meme that the answer to every question is, ‘it depends’.

Read and watched:

What will charities look like in the future?

James Plunkett talks about what the charity sector might look like in the future, including the challenges of data, software and funding. He says charities should be leading the way in digitally-enabled service delivery, showing how to design inclusive services that leverage technology to reduce inequalities in outcomes.

What technology wants

This talk from Kevin Kelly is really interesting for thinking about the nature of big change and how it tends towards complexity, diversity, specialisation, ubiquity, mutualism, sentience, and evolvability.

Thinking Big, Working Small

John Cutler talks about the ‘persistent model’ needed to bridge the gap between having big goals and working in small ways.

And thought about:

Systems thinking in product management

I thought a bit about how system thinking methods could be applied to product management but mostly about how opposite they seem. Product management is often focused on quick fix solutions to change the events taking place, and systems thinking has more focus on longer-term solutions. The challenge is to figure out how to apply systems thinking to product management and shift the leverage product management can have.

Engagement or transaction

There is some product thinking that says every business model is fundamentally about either engagement or transaction. Engagement business models rely on getting users to spend more time with the product, e.g., Facebook and Spotify, and transaction business models focus on getting customer through a funnel, e.g., Amazon. So, in thinking about how product and service fit together, I’m wondering, are organisations that use a service approach tied to the transactional model?

Looking back

I’ve been looking back at past experiences from the perspective of trying to understand how much being on the autistic spectrum might have affected them. It’s impossible to know for sure but the more I learn about how ASD affects things like social interaction it’s easy to see how it might not have just been me being weird. And looking forward, it feels like being trapped in something that I can’t change.