Monday Musings

By October 29, 2018 Mondays 3 Comments

Your weekly dose of musings. This week, mostly product roadmap related:

  • I’ve been doing lots of roadmap work this week, so I counted myself fortunate to hear Janna Bastow talk about her ideas on creating effective roadmaps at the Birmingham Product Tank meetup. My process for developing a roadmap isn’t as well oiled as hers yet, and doesn’t rely on dedicated tooling. I’m still more of a mind maps and Confluence kinda guy. I can see the value of maybe bringing Trello into the mix also though. And certainly her ideas on losing dates and making roadmaps objective rather than feature driven resonated. Her talk is basically replicated in full here, and well worth a read.
  • Also speaking at the meetup was Marc Abraham, on why Jay Z would make an awesome product manager. To be fair, he probably would. But so would plenty of other folk in the media space. One day, I’ll get around to writing that Lessons Learned from Robert Rodriguez blog post… In the meantime, this podcast is worth a listen:
  • Janna got me thinking and exploring the idea of outcome driven roadmaps anyway. There’s another decent article on same here: Escape from the Feature Roadmap to Outcome Driven Development
  • Of course, one of the key things to take away from Janna’s talk and associated articles above, is that if you’re going to go down the outcome driven route, you need good ways of measuring those outcomes and determining whether or not your changes have been successful. I found the article here quite insightful in that regard, Evaluating Experiments: When the Numbers Lie.
  • I listen to a lot of music while I’m working, and much of that work tends to be fundamentally ambient in nature (since I find lyrics/words a distraction from deep thought). The idea that the music I’m listening to could be enhanced or even created by some flavour of AI doesn’t surprise me much (I always have this image in my mind of the Cornell box creator from Gibson’s novel, Count Zero), so I found this article on same interesting: Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats?
Thanks for reading. Feel free to reach out via a comment or on the socials if anything resonates.



  • Robert Day says:

    Just finished reading Neal Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age”, a 1995 novel written about a Balkanised world where the major tech innovation has been in nanotech and smart materials. Interestingly, it hardly had anything in that had dated badly; perhaps a use of the word “zaibatsu”, which has rather died out (the word, not the concept), and a passing reference to an invasive form of dust pollution called “toner”, which would be lost on people now as so few of us actually have to print anything out (and maintain printers!). Otherwise, as a picture of a possible future transformed by technological change, it makes for an interesting read.

    (Some novels written on the cusp of technological change work well, some work despite getting the tech wrong, and some just crash and burn. This definitely came into the first category.)

    • Simon Knight says:

      I’ve abandoned many of Neal Stephenson’s works in the past out of sheer tedium. Diamond Age being one of them. The only books of his I can recall actually finishing are Snow Crash & Cryptonomicon. Though as you note, he has some interesting ideas; my main motivation for picking the books up in the first place.

      Currently reading Spark by John Twelve Hawks. Both author and protagonist have interesting worldviews!

      • Robert Day says:

        I actually found myself reading “The Diamond Age” fairly quickly, though the short chapters may have helped. And I actually felt that he rushed the last quarter of the book and I could understand why his later books have been at a more – let’s say extended – scale. Still, ‘Cryptonomicon’ and ‘Snow Crash’ are both still on my To Be Read pile, as are some of his lengthier works. And Your Mileage May Vary, as they say.

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