@johncutlefish's blog

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40+ Lies PMs Tell Themselves

Published: November 01, 2016

I figured I’d start the ball rolling here. I’d love if you could contribute in the comments. No judgement (I’ve fallen victim to many of these).

1 g ZYVIBj2KWCjOiS2qumYw http://www.kera.org/2014/07/22/delusional-perspective/1. We can predict the future 2. We can impersonate our customers 3. The customer with the failed usability test is not representative 4. The customer who loves the new feature is representative 5. We’ll come back to it in a couple months 6. Our roadmaps will remain accurate for more than a month 7. The story is ready to be estimated as is 8. No news from QA is good news 9. By default, the team will feel comfortable giving you constructive feedback 10. The customer will eagerly adopt the new feature 11. Doubling the team size will double the output 12. Apps are dead. The desktop is dead. Responsive is dead. [ — — — — ] is dead 13. Sales understands how to sell the new feature 14. We understand how to sell the new feature 15. Product complexity scales linearly with number of personas serviced 16. Eventually we’ll be able to leverage all of this data! 17. It is “all about execution” 18. Only you have (and need) the big picture 19. We really have to make this backwards compatible 20. Developers care mostly about clean code and bickering about PRs. They don’t care much for the impact of their work 21. Customers will do all sorts of interesting things with our API, and we’ll have an easy time productizing all of it 22. People will read your long, eloquent emails 23. We’ll have advance warning before technical debt makes all forward progress impossible 24. Crunch time is a healthy 25. Usability doesn’t really matter in the enterprise 26. This particular customer is representative. Build for them, and the rest will be easy 27. The work we must do to close this deal “would have to be built eventually” 28. The demo will work as expected 29. We just need to “keep developers focused” and free from distractions, and everything will be OK 30. We can just “put this product in maintenance mode” and shift all resources to something else 31. If we give them too much freedom, the developers will “go rogue”. They need to be reigned in 32. We know who our competitors will be in one year 33. Developers disproportionately lack empathy 34. Our idea is the best idea, our way is the best way, our design is the best design 35. It is OK to tell the team a white lie to keep them on task 36. Customers may suffer through the update now, but will see our genius later 37. Being a jerk like Steve Jobs is a sign of genius 38. Custom work can be easily productized 39. We can start the next epic while feedback is trickling in from the last epic 40. A developer without a story is wasting time UPDATES (From comments)

  1. If we build it, they will come

  2. Sales doesn’t know what the customer wants

  3. An unhappy customer is just “the wrong type of customer”; we didn’t build it for them anyway…

  4. There’s nothing else we can do until we get a response on ________. (best way to give yourself the break you earned! :D)

  5. We’ll release n-features on X-date!

  6. It’s easy, we don’t need any FAQs/documentation.

  7. It’s obvious, we don’t need user testing.

  8. There are a lot of things users don’t like. Rather than fixing each one, we should just re-architect it.