Weeknotes 318

Photo of the week:

View from the top of Snowdon.

Things I did this week:

Big loop, little loop

Spent a bit of time thinking about the feedback loop between the governance of work and the implementation of work, and how there needs to be smaller looping mechanisms within the bigger loops to keep each part of the big loop in check. Feedback loops are an essential concept in any modern business model (even for charities) and designing how they work and fit together at multiply levels and scales is really interesting.

Creating and curating

This week’s irregular ideas email was about how curating creative work is more important for the success of the creative work than perhaps we give credit for. “Perhaps as creativity and the creative act becomes even more abstract and mediated by technology, curation of the works in meaningful ways becomes even more important for making sense of the world.”

Certain and uncertain problem solving

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for more than a week about how certainty/uncertainty is the one dimension that divides the project and product problem solving approaches. I wanted the post the go into more depth and have some references to back up my point, but in the end I just wrote a short post to get the idea out there. It isn’t meant as a criticism of project management or project managers but as a bit of a rationale to my point the product management is about applying the scientific method in an organisational context, as the scientific method is the original technique for turning uncertainty into certainty.

Things I’ve read recently

I read 18 things this week about technology, agile, strategy, Ethereum, culture change, digital ethics, marketing, diversity, equity and inclusion, and user testing.


I don’t so much swim in the sea as float, which isn’t easy when the wind makes waves, but I want to try to carry on doing it as later into the autumn and winter as I can.


I hiked up Snowdon on bank holiday Monday and was briefly the highest product person in Wales. I found the hike up easier and faster than I was expecting, and apart from a few blisters

A few things I thought about:

Becoming good compost

I’ve thinking about how to achieve my goal of becoming good compost by working on things that create fertile grounds for other’s to grow things. I mean this in a conceptual/intellectual way for how I use Twitter more intentionally, write more blog posts, etc., that pollute as little of possible and fertilise as much as possible.

Social experiments

I thought back twenty years to when I was interested in the kind of social experiments where groups of people have to live together in contained environments. Castaway was my favourite, Big brother quickly became just about celebrity. I wonder how much of life is like an experiment.

Charity Futures

I wonder what’s happening with The Oxford Institute of Charity. The website doesn’t seem to have been updated since 2019. Maybe they’ve realised that this kind of organisation can’t represent charities in and of the future.

Some of what I read/watched:

How To Build Products Like a Scientist

I’m hundred percent behind the idea that product management is the application of the scientific method to an organisational context. Unfortunately, this article doesn’t do the idea justice. It just talks about running experiments, not applying the six steps of observation, research, hypothesis, experiment, analysis, conclusion. Guess I’ll just have to write something about it myself.

Design for Planet

Hours and hours of conference talk videos from the Design Council’s Design for Planet event “to galvanise and support the UK’s design industry to commit to a sustainable, climate-first future.”

The problem behind all of Twitter’s other problems

This is a really interesting article about the problems of platforms. Twitter has “a broken business model that is fundamentally at odds with the freewheeling nature of its platform”… and… “it allowed users to remain anonymous and flaunted an “anything goes” approach that allowed activists and dissidents to speak truth to power — while also tolerating racism, bullying, bots and pornography. In many ways, Twitter was built to be unpoliceable.”