My top 5 Product blogs of 2017

The Product space is still evolving super fast – whether you're a founder or a PM, you need to keep learning yourself for your product to grow faster than your competition.

Below are my favourite nuggets from 2017 – resources and blog posts that I found myself sharing regularly with teams, founders and PMs that are working with me. And while they have been written in 2017, they are equally relevant to building better products and growing faster in 2018.

  1. The job that's more important than "hacker, hustler and hipster" in tech companies.

    Say what you want about traditional VCs, the guys as Point Nine Capital know their stuff – and they share it consistently and in high quality articles. This one explores the role of "the product picker" in more detail – the founder who decides which product opportunities to pursue, and which ones to drop. As with great Product Managers, it doesn't matter if they are (in the 'traditional' terminology) a hacker, hustler or hipster, but someone needs to take ownership of this role and better do it right.
     
  2. Why Product people should focus more on problems and less on solutions.

    Jobs To Be Done has left a real mark in the Product world, but founders are often unaware of it. Not just of the term, but I found many of them lack the thought process of taking an idea back to the problem they are trying to solve, which often leads to their companies and product teams being unfocused and ineffective. This blog is super well written on why it is important to focus much more on the problem than the solution, and it helped me with changing mindsets quite a few times. 
     
  3. Mental Models to help you build better products.

    Product thinkers needs to be analytical, but often communicating an analysis process to others can be the tricky part. These mental models are simple to understand and illustrate on a whiteboard, yet very effective to breaking problems down. Another great post by Amplitude.
     
  4. How to grow engagement.

    Many people think of "growth hacking" as techniques to acquire traffic, but growing retention and engagement is the real deal when it comes to growth. Or have you seen any publicity stunts / growth hacks by Facebook that got them to 2 BILLION monthly actives? Apple maybe? This post by Greylock illustrates some of the systems to grow engagement very well.
     
  5. How to run a Health Monitor workshop to make your team more effective (by Atlassian)

    Often the saddest part of my job is seeing teams that consist of super talented, smart and hard-working people, but that are very ineffective in the way they work, to the extend where some are dysfunctional. Atlassian, where I used to be a Senior PM in the JIRA team, has developed an easy way out of these situations, when a retrospective isn't quite the right format or you have just never done one of those. The Health Monitor is one of the most valuable hours any team can invest into their productivity and happiness..

Bonus: An oldie but goodie that I share regularly include Rob Fitzpatrick's book "The Mom Test", which is probably the best and most practical guide for anyone doing customer interviews or user testing. If you're a founder and you don't have a background in UX, chances are this book will change your life.

Which blogs and resources of 2017 have you enjoyed the most? Anything that changed your life?