Where do you learn from?

This post is by Giff Constable from giffconstable.com

I’ve learned more about being a good product leader from people outside of product than inside. There, I said it.

Maybe this is because there were fewer to learn from back in the day. Nowadays we have amazing people like Gib Biddle, Melissa Perri, Teresa Torres, Tommi Forsstrom, just to name a few among so many I respect and follow.

Still, my biggest mind-expanding moments have been from brilliant people in engineering, design, data science, and other fields. This is not news — interdisciplinary thinking is what made Bell Labs and Sante Fe Institute so amazing.

However, in online communities, I see far more knowledge exchange happening within the disciplines than across them. Designers follow design leaders, PMs follow product leaders, etc.

This is natural, but there are some negative side effects, and not just in missing out on important ideas from different perspectives.

It can lead to some odd sicknesses in our respective fields, where people talk up their own discipline to make it ever-more IMPORTANT.

Example: “It’s product’s job to set the what and why, and design and engineering’s job to think about how.”

Seriously? You’ve got to be kidding me. Get over yourself.

As product management has grown as a field, it has pushed into the UX world. Older designers rolled their eyes and thought, “Yeah, you just invented the wheel again [golf clap]. BTW, why do you get to own this now?”

Similarly, as the capital-d Design profession has expanded into service design, “design strategy”, and (Read more...)