Optimise for effectiveness, not efficiency
One major mistake PMs do is optimising for efficiency over effectiveness.
Efficiency is defined as the ability to accomplish something with the least amount of waste. Effectiveness is defined as the degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result.
In early stage, zero to one product, the market rewards being effective (progress) over being efficient (optimisation).
How can you be more effective as a PM:
- Make small wide-ranging bets to seize each opportunity, and see what sticks. Ignore the “cost” of the ones that fail. Don’t overspend on thinking “what is the one, right, best thing?”.
- Focus in signal. Being effective means getting traction, seeing numbers grow or get data that informs the next step. You will have time to optimize later.
- Do just enough "process". It might be a bit chaotic early on, but you earn time to speak with customers and ship. Long, cumbersome processes, too early, hinder learning.
- Don’t spend too much with prioritisation frameworks, complex excels or farfetched presentations. It’s about shipping and learning. Let results judge your decisions.
Imagine how much you can get done if you optimise for effectiveness.