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Product exercises

When someone asks me how to become a product manager I’d use to say “by just doing it”. ‬ ‪It’s what
Product exercises
By Robert Gaal • Issue #3 • View online
When someone asks me how to become a product manager I’d use to say “by just doing it”. ‬
‪It’s what Elton John would probably say about becoming a piano player. It’s not… helpful.‬
‪Here are 2 exercises anyone can do to train product skills. They’re easy and, yes, fun.
1) Plan the launch of a new feature for a product you love.‬
‪Think of 3 products: your favorite toothbrush, app, gadget, whatever. Have a great PM you know pick one. Then write the product requirements for it, in your own signature style, and have her review it.‬
2) Invent the history of a recently launched product you love.‬
‪Think of what made it great for you. Without googling anything, come up who the team should’ve been. How did they solve their obstacles? What might’ve happened? Start a year ago and write down your estimate.
Product is a muscle
‪I’ve used these exercises to interview PM candidates, to help a team member grow into a PM role, or just to keep my product muscle exercised. 💪‬
‪If you’re at a party with product people (I’m so sorry) ask questions similar to the exercises to get different viewpoints.
There are a ton of online resources right now that you can keep as a reference while doing these exercises.‬ Anything from First Round Review to High Output Management by Andy Grove. I share those resources with team members upfront.
‪I’ve listed a few of my favorites at the bottom of this post.
Getting started
‪Product managers need a scope of Three Three’s: what has to happen in the next 3 days, 3 months, and 3 years?‬
It’s tough to get right, but I hope these exercises get you started.‬

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Robert Gaal
When someone asks me how to become a product manager I’d use to say “by just doing it”.

It’s what Elton John would probably say about becoming a piano player. It’s not… helpful.

Here are 2 exercises anyone can do to train product skills. They’re easy and, yes, fun.
2:35 AM - 24 Feb 2020
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Robert Gaal

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