Every now and then I’ll have a discussion with someone on the team who is looking for more money, a promotion, or just wants to talk about how they progress their player token on the financial scorecard of professional life. People want to progress. Sometimes it’s being called something different, sometimes it’s more money in the bank. Often it’s both.

Across various companies, both with myself and other managers, I have seen people ask for money well and get what they want and I have seen them ask terribly, and get nothing. I have also seen huge levels of incompetence…

How do we know we’re building the right product?

While the engineering roles at Whispir primarily focus their energy on building the product right, the product, design & intelligence roles focus on ensuring we’re building the right thing for the right market. That’s the idea at least.

The way we do this is to simply follow the math. When teams come up with ideas without validating if those ideas will help us reach our goals — it’s a bad situation that usually leads to disaster and lots of wasted effort. It’s easy to forget, but every time you make a choice about what to build you are spending real…

Job interviews are mostly nonsense. According to Ron Friedman, a psychologist and author of “The Best places to work”, 80% of people lie during their interviews — so if that's the case, the information you’re hearing is likely fiction, or at best, inspired by real-world events. On top of that, there are now huge volumes of research from academic circles, as well as popular journals like Harvard Business Review, INC.com, and Forbes — all pointing to a simple fact. Job interviews mean you hire the best actor on the day — not the best candidate.

So we don’t do them.

No matter what we do at Whispir, we want to make sure we’re building the right things — but truthfully, you never know if something will work until it makes the first contact with customers. If you ask people in the industry, people will say 70% of your ideas will probably fail, and of the ones that work, they will require 3–4 iterations before they start delivering significant value.

Each feature is a bet you make to deliver value to a customer— but it will often take multiple iterations of a feature before you get it just right. The probability of you getting it right in the first iteration is not quite zero but it's close, so make sure you’re iterating your ideas to ensure you’re learning what's wrong and why.

So if you’re not iterating over things you’ve already shipped, you’ll likely end up with a product that is not helping customers effectively. …

I wrote a variation of this for the various product teams at Whispir recently and then as fate would have it, a friend I know reached out to me on LinkedIn asking the same thing — so I thought I’d share the same instructions with the world I gave everyone at the office.

This process allows you to go from ‘I have no clue what to do’, to ‘we should do this!’

Why does everything take so long to build? Have you heard this before as a product manager? Maybe everyone on your team is working hard to ship good, high quality software only to be faced with comments from different parts of the business about why things take forever to build. …

Okay - so I’ll level with you. One area I need to get much better with is preparing for interviews. On average I can have somewhere between 15 and 27 meetings a day depending on what’s going on and because of that, shaving small amounts of time off my day has a huge impact to just how much work I can get through.

A few years back, I interviewed for a position at Google in Sydney to work on the Google Maps team as a product manager and one thing I really liked was the interview format they used, which…

Everything I know about OKRs in a 40 minute video with tips from European royalty

Mental Contrasting, a visualisation technique developed by Professor of Psychology at NYU, Princess Gabriele Oettingen, has shown strong results to helping people reach their objectives compared to control groups.

A few weeks back, I was asked to run a training session at Whispir about OKRs to a few leaders in the business. The meeting got cancelled at the last minute but because I had prepped the content, I decided to just record it so people could watch it at their leisure.

The content is generic, so anyone who uses the OKR framework (or is thinking to) will benefit. It also covers general psychology around goal setting, motivation, and how companies merge in compensation and driving purpose within teams.

One thing you will learn from this video which you won’t…

For those of you who have seen the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma; my words here will mean something. I work for Whispir (ASX:WSP), a messaging platform that’s used for all kinds of things, but in essence, we send messages, under certain conditions — If this happens, send that message. It’s used for sending critical, life-saving messages that navigate people away from live bushfires, to sending COVID-19 updates via SMS, which many of you will have seen already.

I started as the Chief Product Officer here less than a year ago because I saw an opportunity to do some good…

Either the world is ending, or its not — or maybe there is a third option, a kind of middle ground, nobody knows at this point, and anyone who says they do is just making stuff up. But one thing I reflect on at a time like this is that where there is chaos there has always been opportunity.

A few years back I read “The intelligent investor” by Benjamin Graham, the professor at Colombia who became Warren Buffet’s teacher and mentor. Graham was a pioneer of value investing, a way of trying to find businesses which are undervalued by…

Brad Dunn

Chief Product Officer @ Whispir (ASX:WSP) 🖥 Writer 📚 Tea nerd 🍵 Machine Learning Enthusiast 🤖

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