Some good articles about product development and product management

Apr 29, 2006

A long while ago, Joel Spolsky added a site just to experiment. Didn’t pay too much attention to it back then. Last evening I did visit the site, and there is some good links there. So, not feeling that creative myself, I’ll re-post some of the more interesting links.

Headrush is a blog supposedly about “Creating Passionate Users”. Cannot attest to that myself since I didn’t read mover than 15% of the content on the site. One of the best articles is “Death by risk aversion”. The article talks about always targeting the outer extremes of scale instead of being mediocre. DO yourself a pleasure, follow that link and just look at the 3 graphs used in the article and you will understand what the article says.

Most of my colleagues know that I have a dog, and we (me and my girlfriend) are pretty serious in training her. During some of the training sessions we use a technique called the “clicker technique”. It works like this: first you give your dog a lot of little cookies, one by one. With each cookie you don’t say a thing but make a little “click” with the clicker. After a while the dog will associate the click sound with something positive (and will actually start drooling just by hearing the sound). Kathy connects this with e-mail addiction (blackberry anyone?).

Thirdly, she has a nice article (still fresh!) about information anxiety and trying to keep up with everyone else. One of the things I do personally is go really fast through all my Bloglines subscriptions and force myself to only read two full articles, done. Too bad if the blogosphere decided to write more than two interesting articles – if they were so good someone else will re-post them tomorrow and I can go for a rebound.

A second blog, called Rand’s In Respose, has a really nice article up about why web start ups are most of the time failing and what to do about it. Really, the article is too long and too good to just summarize here. So, go read it! No really, the article is good, go read it!

A second article on that blog is about the “Free Electron” in your development team:

A Free Electron can do anything when it comes to code. They can write a
complete application from scratch, learn a language in a weekend, and, most
importantly, they can dive into a tremendous pile of spaghetti code, make sense
of it, and actually getting it working. You can build an entire businesses
around a Free Electron. They're that good.

There is some gold in that article as well. Example: don’t send your Free Electron off fixing those three memory leaks:

When he returned, the bugs were fixed and the entire database layer had been
rewritten. A piece of code that would taken two engineers roughly six months to
design had been totally redone in seven days. Sound like a great idea until you
realize we were working on a small update and did not have the resources or
time to test a brand spankin' new database layer. Oops.

That’s it for now…Thanks for all the fish.