Dustin Getz

Jan 21, 2022

Aphorisms for Product Management


  • Assumptions get you killed

  • Focus or die

  • “Focus is about saying no” — Steve Jobs

  • Startup = Growth

  • ROI is measured per unit time

  • Companies are valued at a discount to sum of future cashflows

  • Risk requires Accountability

  • One key to success is establishing clear lines of blame

  • Establish KPIs Today (you make what you measure)

  • Sufficiently Powerful Optimization Of Any Known Target Destroys All Value

  • Validated Learning requires data

  • “Never Lose Money” — Warren Buffet

Product Management

  • Engineering is done with numbers. Analysis without numbers is only an opinion

  • intuition and reason are opposites (it can be counterintuitive)

  • “distinction between real and fake startup progress”

  • MVP = build-measure-learn feedback loop

  • The Build Trap / “If you build it they will come”

  • Throughline: the thinnest complete end to end slice through your product that proves you understand all the work

  • Vision – What does success look like

  • Lindy's Law – the longer things take, the longer they’re going to take

  • WIP is the silent killer — Phoenix Project

    • Gaining Control of WIP: The Operational Freeze

  • Wait times depend on resource utilization levels

    • 50% Busy / 50% Idle = 1 unit of delay

    • 99% Busy / 1% Idle =  99 units of delay

Org dynamics

  • It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

  • You Can’t Tell People Anything (you have to show them)

  • Conway’s Law – Don’t ship the org chart

  • Brook’s Law – Communication overhead increases rapidly as the number of people increases

  • Two Pizza Rule

  • Principal Agent Problem

  • Groups never admit failure, you get a schism instead

  • Wiio’s Laws – ​​"In mass communication, the important thing is not how things are but how they seem to be." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiio%27s_laws

Dustin Getz

Founder @ www.hyperfiddle.net, a low-code software modeling tool for building transactional information systems. Real software, just simpler.