Looking At Horizons πŸŒ…

Aug 13, 2021 7:29 pm

Hi there,

I was thinking this morning as I looked at my current situation about the nature of change and the view I have to keep bringing myself back to.

There is always some far-off idea of what good looks like, a destination on the horizon almost.

Then there is where we're standing today. The distance between where we are and where we want to be can sometimes get me down, but where some people try to do some weird space-time folding trick to leap to the end state first, I just look for a step I can take.

What I'm focusing now, for instance, is product validation and discovery. This is conceptually conducting interviews and other things to remove the risk from launching a product that customers don't want. The temptation of most groups, however, is to start building quickly to show movement and meet some deadline that someone set.

On the horizon, I see senior leaders with strategic goals and measures to see if things are moving well. I see their direct reports formulating ideas on how to get there and attempting to move those needles, and the product people on the ground discovering the value and discarding the ideas without merit.

The step today though, is talking to one customer to see if they have the problem we want to solve.

If you're wondering how you might do that readily, more than likely you're following something like Scrum. See if you can't get a real customer to join one day. It may not go the way you want, but the learning you'll get will be of immeasurable value.

We did this in our last product, our actual customers joined our reviews, and had access to the in-flight product. By the time we were done, our customers were comfortable with the product, and we cut months of scope along the way. They've used that product without bugs or defects for almost a year now.

So, what might your next step be?

Oh, as an aside I'm publishing an article series on resumes to see if I can get some interest in my online class. I also made an email series on stuff I wish someone had told me as a senior engineer. Check them out.

Here's my weekly update for August 13th, 2021...

πŸ—’οΈ When Flow-State is Dangerous


Flow-state is a zen-like experience for developers where code seems to produce itself with low effort.

As much of a joy as this experience is, there are hidden dangers to this flow-state, so let’s explore them.

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πŸ—’οΈ One Tip to Make Feedback Less Terrible


Feedback is a popular thing to offer and receive, but most of us have a love-hate relationship.

Setting up the feedback conversation is key, and one technique is to ask about the type of feedback they want.

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Ryan Latta