Aug 1, 2023Liked by Aatir Abdul Rauf

Such a great post. And definitely triggered. In part because like I'm assuming happens to many of us - you really want to feel like you're doing work for good/doing the right thing but you just don't have the support system or reside on a product team that is ready to build on your findings.

As mentioned, I have taken the "don't stop discovering" approach. If anything, you really get to build up your knowledge and can speak to problems of your users in any scenario which helps with trust across the org.

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Thank you so much, Mike. That's right. Too many PMs get disheartened and stop discovery altogrther. That creates a disconnect that simply worsens the problem.

There's always a degree of misalignment between a culture and the right ambience for a product role - some companies have more of it, some have less.

Ultimately, changing the culture takes time and education.

As you said, if you keep your customer voice strong and keep broadcasting it, sensible leadership and teams will come around eventually.

It might take time but it'll be worth it.

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I've experienced mistake #10. It still evokes recurring guilt trips. It was related to scheduled booking feature in the mobility industry. We didn't research deep enough to understand that customers weren't looking at scheduling as a feature for convenience; rather they were assuming that "scheduling = an assured ride".

The conversation was something similar to the example given in the post. "Do you think you'll scheduled booking to plan your day better? Makes your life convenient?" "Yes!"

Loved the post.

(Small typo in that #10 paragraph. Here vs hear*)

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Great share, Nikhil!

And thanks for pointing that out.

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Do you think you'll use*

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These mistakes definitely spoke to me. One thing I’ve done which seems to work so far is scheduling ‘routine’ interviews as well as ‘focussed’ interviews.

With focussed interviews, I come with an agenda. I have pointed questions about specific parts of their experience and, ideally, I’m backed with product/company vision.

With routine interviews, I am much looser. I come to the call to chat with the customer/prospect. I ask broader questions and try to drill down into things they might randomly bring up. This often produces nothing actionable, but that’s ok. Those routine calls are partially to keep a pulse on anything I wouldn’t have thought of asking and also just to listen to customers, show presence.

I definitely don’t talk to churned customers enough. That’s a great one… Gonna be painful though!

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