Two great pieces on @Medium: must reads

I have to admit, I have not visited Medium for a while to see what new thinking and opinion had been raised there. So, it was refreshing to be interrupted on my Sunday morning by their weekend reads email. Simple, targeted and understanding what is important to me, it hit the spot and lead me to these 2 great pieces:

Editor, Product Manage Thyself
from Paul Smalera

readers are being trained to expect simple yet elegant complexity in their online experiences. Woe to the media company that is not scrambling to deliver both.

When people get confused about “BS metrics”
from Josh Elman

What is important about a key metric is that it is uniquely tied to the business value of the company and indicates there is some set of growing adoption and usage of that company’s products.

I have been working (and thinking through) both areas over the past 2 weeks in my new job, and there is a start of a tide change within the world of journalists and media companies to understand that it is the experience they are providing to their customers that is most important, not just the content. Also, that using vanity (“well, I got loads of readers”) metrics is great, but pointless, if you are not keeping a close eye on the actionable metrics that drive the business or acquisition, activation or retention/referral for customers.

Lots to be gained (and lost) if journalists and also media focused product managers understand that it is a focus on the customer experience and the convenience of this to the customer that will delight readers/customers and those that matter … a little like the Medium email that drove me to these reads in the first place.

50 things we don’t do anymore

Technology is to some still a little daunting, but too nearly all people it has changed fundamentally how we live everyday. Think about the time before you had a computer in your pocket? Think about the time when you had to arrive on time for appointments? (and you should still do!) Think about how you would go about selling an old chair? etc. etc.

This infographic provides a very good view of what technology has bought to our lives, and how we no longer have to worry about some things, to be replaced by others … like, where is my mobile?


Sage thoughts and insight from Simon. There is a need for business planning to embrace the fact that future states will evolve not be prescribed.


What’s the point of doing a roadmap? It doesn’t help get rid of uncertainty (although some people behave like it does). There’s no way to be certain about any future outcome.

The act of describing desired future states in a roadmap identifies where we want to play and have impact. It provides a frame of focus that helps us figure out what we need to pay attention to and how we can get better. Within that frame we can identify options; we can continuously make small bets about the future and respond rapidly based on measurement of the outcomes and impact. We’re saying “this is what we think will happen.” Then we watch what actually happens. We observe any deviations from our expectations, we take appropriate action and, as early as possible, we update the roadmap and new bets based on the new information.

Without a roadmap and unambiguous, quantified…

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