In product management for nearly a decade, Marc Abraham is head of product engagement at ASOS.com, a global fashion e-commerce company headquartered in London. He particularly likes “extracurriculars,” which led him to write two books: My Product Management Toolkit, and his most recent, Managing Product, Managing Tension.
In discussing his most recent book, Marc is adamant that tension and conflict are necessary — and useful — parts of successful product management: “To create really great products and deliver value to your customers and to deliver value to your business, you need to have that tension to innovate, to make tough decisions.”
He also shares his take on the classic tension between speed to market and the perfect product. He likes the idea of minimum viable products, as well as de-risking decisions through experimentation.
“As a product person, I want to get things in the hands of customers early and often, and learn early and often, whether it’s a completely new product or I’m making change to an existing product. … Learning early and often comes with a lot of unknowns and a lot of uncertainty, because that's the whole point. … You try to experiment, you work on assumptions, you try to get those out in hands of customers.”
Learn more about Marc’s thoughts about tension and uncertainty — as well as how to make them work for you instead of against you — on this episode of This Is Product Management.
Download the transcript of this episode here:
Here are the Highlights:
The difference between internal tension and external tension: 8:10
Why Marc likes MVPs, and the importance of learning early and often: 14:34
Using storytelling to navigate uncertainty: 22:25
How product management is like playing pinball: 26:21