My Secret Technique To Creating Better Roadmaps!

A secret technique to solving difficult problems and creating dependable product roadmaps, a lesser know job portal and an amazing "must read" book review!

Hi, and welcome to “The Business Of Products” Newsletter. Every 2 weeks, we share insights about building products, processes and teams that work!

This week, on the newsletter,

  1. A secret technique to create dependable roadmaps.

  2. The most famous job portal that no one knows.

  3. Book Review: "Anything You Want" by Derek Sivers. A refreshing and must read book for genuine tech founders.

The secret to creating better product roadmaps

Creating dependable roadmaps that can guarantee success is not easy. But over the last 10 years, I’ve discovered a secret technique to create roadmaps that are fool proof and today I want to share it with you too.

I call this technique, the “Inversion Principle”.

The Inversion Principle

The Inversion Principle means flipping the problem upside down. When you invert a problem, you are defining the outcome you don’t want and then planning out the steps to avoid getting that result.

Here’s how that works.

  • Define the problem - what is it that you're trying to achieve?

  • Invert it - what would guarantee the failure to achieve this outcome?

  • Finally, consider solutions to avoid this failure

The brilliance of this technique is only realised when you apply it to real world issue.

"It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent." - Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s business partner) talking about how much this principle has helped him.

When I create roadmaps, I remember that I’m not a fortune teller and I cannot predict the future. I approach Roadmapping (a verb) as an ongoing process following what I call, the “Adaptive Iterative Approach” as coined in my book, “The Value Framework”.

Keeping these shortcomings in mind, I always invert the question and ask myself “how to ensure that the roadmap is a failure?” as a technique to avoid stupidity instead of trying to be a genius. Then I actively avoid taking that route.

This may seem like a risk averse strategy, but it’s not. This has nothing to do with risk, but everything to do with avoiding obvious pitfalls that our biased selves cannot and will not recognise if we do not perform this exercise.

“Once a person has an idea, we then start whacking at it. We invert the concept. Instead of trying to prove a person’s idea, we try to kill it, and if we can’t kill it then the person is onto something. Whether it is my own idea or someone else’s, that is the process we go through.” - Bruce Berkowitz

In Summary

It’s never easy to decide “what to do”, but it is easy to define what “not to do” which is the basis of the inversion principle.

It’s easier to avoid stupidity than it is to try being a genius. It’s a technique used by some of the most successful people in the world and I trust it will help you too!

Tip Of The Week!

My Secret Job Portal...

A lot of people use sites like Naukri, Indeed, Monster and Linkedin for job searches. However, if you’re a job seeker the real star contender here is, drum roll…Google Search.

Did you know that Google Search offers job listings and actually does a great job at it.

Here are some reasons why I personally use Google Search to find new jobs.

1. Consolidates jobs from different portals

Google shows me jobs from different portals simultaneously. I can check the job’s description without having to go through each individual site.

But perhaps my favourite reason why I love google is that it introduces me to amazing portals that are specific to product management that I never knew about.

Last week I discovered that YCombinator and ProductFolks have their own job portals where some great (funded) startups have have some amazing jobs product management jobs posted.

2. More filter criteria and easier UI

Google’s job listing has more ways to filter jobs based on location, industry etc. These filter criteria help you become laser focussed on your search and saves you time.

So go search for your next job on Google and let me know how it worked out!

Leave a comment

Book Review

Last week I read the book “ANYTHING YOU WANT” by “Derek Sivers”.

Derek, Best known for creating CD Baby, the most popular music site for independent artists, chronicles his "accidental" success and failures into this concise and inspiring book on how to create a multimillion-dollar company by following your passion.

Derek Sivers details his journey and the lessons learned along the way of creating and building a business close to his heart.

In 1997, Sivers was a musician who taught himself to code a Buy Now button onto his band's website. Shortly thereafter he began selling his friends' CDs on his website. As CD Baby grew, Sivers faced numerous obstacles on his way to success. Within six years he had been publicly criticised by Steve Jobs and had to pay his father $3.3 million to buy back 90 percent of his company, but he had also built a company of more than 50 employees and had profited $10 million.

Anything You Want is must reading for every person who is an entrepreneur, wants to be one, wants to understand one, or cares even a little about what it means to be human.

I listened to Derek’s book on Audible and I loved it. My key takeaways from the book were,

  1. Don’t feel like you need to do things the way everyone has done it before. There is no template, so don’t be stressed out about what you need to do. You’ll know what to do when it’s the right time.

  2. Keep your team small. Fewer people mean lesser problems.

  3. Focus on creating value for your customers and fall in love with solving problems for them and avoid the trap of falling in love with your product.

Anything you want is one of those books that I actually finished reading…amazing book, amazing guy.

Buy Book On Amazon

🔥🔥🔥 Coming Up Next Week 🔥🔥🔥

Stay tuned for our next weekly update. Next week I will share

🔥 My strategy to always get recruiters to open my resume!

🔥 Why Microsoft is hiring 4000 developers to build desktop apps!

🔥 Book Giveaway!

Your Pal, Pramod George! 🙌