Product mindset, product culture, product… Why this obsession about Product?

Product mindset, product strategy, product roadmap, product leaders, product managers, product discovery, product delivery, product backlog… It feels like the word Product is everywhere these days. But why is that?

At its heart, a product mindset is about:

Delivering the best possible product – one that our users love and that works for our business.

What does the product mindset bring that’s new?

Now, you might ask, haven’t we always aimed to deliver great products that our users love? Maybe we’ve just replaced terms like software, applications, or systems with Product? But fundamentally, haven’t we always aspired to create products our users love? Have we ever aimed for mediocrity or products that leave them dissatisfied? So, what’s the big deal?

Well, while our intentions have always been good, we haven’t always excelled at it. It’s easy to get lost in the daily grind of delivering features, checking off stories and tasks, completing sprints without considering the why. What’s the purpose? What value do we expect it to bring? What outcomes and benefits are we striving for? How do we measure if we have succeeded?

And let’s not forget our primary purpose – the users. They have specific challenges, problems, and aspirations we’re here to address. Do we truly understand them in depth – their environment, restrictions, needs, and dreams? If we don’t, how can we possibly create something they’ll love?

So, rather than the product mindset being a new concept, I like to address it as a well-needed reminder to calibrate to what matters – the users and the value our product aim at excelling at. We must constantly realign with our core product’s essence and the users we’re serving.

So, every time we encounter the word Product, it’s a cue to reconnect with our product’s strengths, its potential to enrich our users’ lives, and to stay curious and committed to our product.

Are the other mindsets obsolete now?

Now, you might wonder, what about those other mindsets – Agile, DevSecOps, Quality-Driven, Lean, Design Thinking…? Are they obsolete now? Not at all. They coexist harmoniously, each with its unique expertise:

  • Agile: Small, iterative, collaborative steps while striving for continuous improvement.
  • DevSecOps: Speed, security, and stability in delivery.
  • Quality-Driven: Highest standards of quality, reliability, and user satisfaction.
  • Lean: Eliminating waste and optimising processes.
  • Design Thinking: Customer-centricity.

Together, they coexist in harmony, keeping us intensely focused on delivering remarkable products that our users adore while delivering it in a sustainable way that works for business.

The curious creator mindset

Now, I would like to add yet another mindset to the equation, the curious creator mindset. The mindset that reminds us to explore with an open mind, to try things out, learn, relearn, and continuously reflect on what works and doesn’t. It’s about embracing the unknown, daring to experiment, and learning from every adventure. The curious creator mindset ignites innovation and infuses every product decision with boundless curiosity.

This overarching mindset encourages us to see beyond the horizon, to ponder what lies undiscovered, and to question the unasked. It challenges us to think, “What else is possible?” and “What have we not explored yet?” It drives us to seek new ways to interact with our users, to deepen our understanding of their needs, and to create solutions that surpass expectations.

In the world of the curious creator, every moment is an opportunity to create, to experiment, to evaluate, and to refine. It’s a continuous cycle of curiosity and creation, where every idea is a stepping stone to the next innovation.

Moreover, the curious creator mindset embodies bravery. It compels us to step boldly into uncharted territory, to stay ahead of the curve, and to foresee what others may overlook. It’s about envisioning the unseen and welcoming change.

But above all, it’s about doing all of this with care – for our users, for our colleagues, and for an even greater world in unity. The curious creator mindset is a beacon that guides us towards a future where curiosity and creation shape a world of endless possibilities.

Within this bravery, we also find the courage to accept that we might be wrong, but still, we need to try it out to find out. It’s the bravery to make decisions knowing that failure is a possibility, but by testing our ideas, we discover valuable insights that propel us forward on our journey.

So, let’s celebrate our Product, Curious Creator, DevSecOps, Quality-Driven, Lean, Design Thinking, and more, as timeless reminders of our mission: to create exceptional products that bring joy to our users and meaning to our product team.

All these mindsets coexist harmoniously, each serving its purpose. Infusing the curious creator mindset adds that extra spark—a relentless curiosity to understand more, dig deeper, learn something new, journey into the unknown, have fun, and focus on what truly matters.

#CuriousLeaders2024 #CuriousCreatorMindset

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