Reflecting on Twitter's (Anti) Product Management "show"
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The Twitter Blue debacle is the true reason why Product teams, PMs, empowered cross functional groups and a proper process matter. It starts with a convoluted approach at a feature:
This is what happens when:
- Product Managers are too busy putting out fires
- Designers are trying to explain why "thinking" matters
- Engineers have to design UX experiences
Oh, and top-down decision making instead of empowered product teams.
But it doesn’t get any better.
For CEOs and Founders who just want to rush things out, here’s a “hindsight 20-20”
And let’s include as well the:
- “this only takes 5 minutes…”
- “Can’t we just add this?”
- “Trust me, we really need to build this feature”
After shipping +30 quarters of roadmaps there is one pattern that I believe correlates with a weak (or lack of) process: I call the 9x slap. And Twitter is about to live it.
Ask anyone working in product, if there's one thing that is certain is that estimations are always wrong. How much? Anecdotal data shows stuff can take 3 times as long as you expected.
Ask anyone in engineering, if there's one thing that is certain is that it seems the expectation of impact are never as big as PM's promised. How much? Anecdotal data again shows impact is generally 1/3 as much as people expected.
This means doing exactly what you want and achieving the results you expect will take 3 times longer, with 3 extra iteration cycles. Total: 9 times the effort.
I think Twitter folks and investors are about to be hit with a 140 character long slap.
Welcome to some harsh truths of product.