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This Winter break, I embarked on a journey to apply what I've learned so far about Product Management during my first semester at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley.
The best way I found to do this: build a Product.
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I started by thinking about a problem. I wanted to find a problem that I personally encountered as that would make it more fun and motivating for me to solve it.

After finding a couple problems, I went about identifying the user segments that share the problem and would be appropriate to target. I ended up choosing North American University students (specifically undergrads) and interviewed a couple of them to identify:
- Their use cases & the frequency of the activity
- The problems they encounter
- Their work arounds to these problems
- How solving this problem would impact their activity/their experience

With all that data collected, I was able to target the specific problem to solve and its use case. It was different from what I had previously envisioned but it allowed me to format a couple solutions that I refined bit by bit.

Finally, after choosing one, I was able to start planning and implementing the solution. I started by planning my architecture with front end, back end api and database.
After spending 2 days planning a detailed API for the solution, I realized that I was approaching the problem the wrong way. I was planning the product as a whole, without allowing myself to react to change once the project started to be released. Furthermore, I was trying to plan an architecture that would be resilient to change and scale to +1000 concurrent users without even knowing if the product would be used by such an amount that required this type of infrastructure.

Coming from a more technological background this was difficult for me to come to this realization as I felt that I needed the architecture and it would have a positive impact on the user.

-> I asked myself this: what is the most valuable to the user?

The architecture is invisible to the user, a black box. Using tools such as #Supabase I would be able to created an MVP that could scale to at least 100 concurrent users with good loading time and responsiveness (<1s).

My Plan:
1. Create an initial working product (mvp) in a way that allows flexibility for change. Remember to keep it simple.
2. Identify how users react and use the product. Do they return often? What would improve their experience the most? Is scale an issue that has an impact on users' use of the product?
3. Iterate quickly and test to find what works and what doesn't for users.
4. Go back to step 2. is scale/architecture now an issue that needs to be addressed?

Learning points:
- Identifying a problem that is valuable and can be solved
- Releasing a product
- SEO and product marketing
- Tracking metrics and reacting to new users
- Open Api v3
- SvelteKit
- Tailwind Css

Let me know in the comments if you want a part 2 of this journey.
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In 2021, I tried to build a product I thought I could grow into a company. It didn't work—but it was exactly what I needed. I just published some of the lessons I learned along the way.

I learned a lot about why the product failed, but the bigger lessons were about me, my relationship to work, and how I cope with doubt and insecurity.

https://mirror.xyz/robbymacdonell.eth/-ZRIctsRIlbHZNie_Cavx24FpQFagqRbno70omAQ1vc
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Senior Developer Advocate, Freshworks
Apr 06, 2021
For a long time, I have immersed myself in many success quotes that are biased or irrelevant. In different contexts, success is felt in different ways. In the current generation, motivational content is a well-performing segment of social media and elsewhere.

Read on
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Senior Developer Advocate, Freshworks
Mar 06, 2021
I don't remember my age precisely. Over the period of my 20 years, my parents shifted over 6 homes in my hometown. It's the time when we were in our first house. A small house and a table with a PC on it. My dad used to build software using Oracle forms reading some physical books. I didn't really give a second thought, I went near only to observe. The approximate age of mine would be me with some friction I can sit on the chair and reach the mouse. 

https://world.hey.com/saif.shines/computers-games-and-decade-of-2005-2015-dcece7d8
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Corporate Sales , GoCardless
Nov 12, 2021
Last January, I set myself a small target of 12 books for the year. As of last week, I had finished my 52nd book. One of my friends recently asked me: "Was I reading the whole book?". The answer is YES! :)

I initially thought one book a month would be a stretch target, but as I started to read, I realised I was enjoying it more and more. So one book a month became one book a week and sometimes two.

🔎 The average person reads around 40-60 pages an hour.
📚 The average book is around 350 pages.
🕰 That's approximately 7 hours a week.
🧘🏻‍♂️ That's one hour of reading a day.

What's also interesting is that I've been keeping notes the whole time using Roam Research. The founder Conor White-O'Sullivan talks about divergence in thinking at the beginning and then convergence near the end. Roam Research acts as a wiki, so it helps you connect your thoughts and ideas. You can then look back and see how your views have evolved.

My only advice for reading is to start. Yes, it will be mentally taxing initially, but once you form the habit, you will find your flow.

What's your favourite book this year?
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Senior Developer Advocate, Freshworks
Feb 09, 2021
There is something that I don’t want to remind myself very often. There are some instances those flash in my head and take down my optimism to my knees. I guess that is a by-product of my nature being thoughtful most of the time.

Read on
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