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Episode 114 - Adventures in Product Management (with Dan Olsen, Author "The Lean Product Playbook")

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Episode 114: Adventures in Product Management

Dan Olsen, Author "The Lean Product Playbook"

4 Mar 2022

4 Mar 2022 Dan Olsen head shot

Listen here!


Content Warning - May Contain Adult Language or Themes
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About the Episode

An interview with Dan Olsen. Dan's a product consultant, text adventure & interactive fiction fanatic and author of 2015's "The Lean Product Playbook", a book that aimed to help people innovate faster with minimum viable products and rapid customer feedback.

We talk about a lot, and try to get as many tenuous 80s gaming references in as possible:

  • Whether "The Lean Product Playbook", published in 2015, still holds up and how a new generation of product managers are finding it for the first time, and why it wasn't published as a Choose Your Own Adventure book
  • Given that software is eating the world, whether it's good software and good product companies doing the eating, or whether there's a dastardly bad product Pac-Man on the loose
  • How his passion for interactive fiction & text adventures was good practice for getting deep into the problem space, and whether product managers even belong there
  • The need to develop a common vocabulary with users, being able to use the right words and ask the right questions to get the results you need from discovery and prototyping
  • The key attributes you need on your Character Sheet to be a good product manager, and how a wide dynamic range of abilities can help you succeed in your quest
  • What to do to battle HIPPOs when they come crashing through the door trying to derail your roadmaps and why it all stems from starting the quarter at 120% capacity and having no protection from incoming Asteroids
  • The types of tasks that product managers should carry in their limited inventory, and why they need to advocate for the value of hiring other disciplines and not just fill in gaps

And much more!

Buy The Lean Product Playbook

The Lean Product Playbook cover

"The Lean Product Playbook is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful products through clear, step-by-step guidance and advice."

Visit the book website or check it out on Amazon or Goodreads.

Contact Dan

If you want to catch up with Dan, you can reach him on Twitter or his website dan-olsen.com.

Dan Olsen and me before the recording