Learning Log, Dec 2021
The biggest development this month: my significant other and I bought a house! 🏡 We’ve been working on this the past couple months and closed juuuust before the end of the year. Being a part of the millennial generation, becoming a homeowner did not seem assured, especially in a market as bonkers as Seattle. We got incredibly lucky in our search and we’re so excited to (continue to) build a life together in our new home. Friends, please come visit when public health allows! (Aside: should you find yourself in the market around Seattle, we can recommend an agent and lender who were really chill but helpful partners to have as first-time homebuyers.)
Workwise, I just reached my 90-day milestone at Netlify before the holiday break. It’s been super fun being in sponge mode, strategizing about how we can continue to improve the developer workflow in the coming months.
Something I’ve been considering as more projects move into execution mode is how to keep a healthy balance with high-level strategic work. I don’t know that I’ve met an [individual contributor] product/program manager who feels they have enough time to focus on strategy. Ironic and inadvisable, given that setting a well-informed strategy is core to the PM role.
IMHO, the root cause of PMs over-indexing on execution lies in unrealistic expectations as to how many investments can meaningfully progress simultaneously—at least at a high bar of quality. As I’m still fairly new to the company, now is the perfect time to set an intentional rhythm of execution.
In addition to not spreading myself too thin, I’ve decided in the new year I’d like to try out what I’m calling “Future-Facing Fridays”. I’ll make sure to carve out time on Fridays to feed the team’s future work:
- Conducting or planning customer and market research
- Reviewing customer feedback/bugs and seeking out thematic opportunities
- Doing some early thinking about higher-level strategy or the next period’s roadmap
- Laying the groundwork for the next known iron in the fire
Will see how this goes! I always seem to be tinkering with how to make myself more productive and the outcome of my work more effective.
On the Internet
- This Twitter thread on so-called self improvement
- Mess with DNS: a playground for learning DNS!
- Bolivian architecture
- Some highly stylized cookies. People are amazing.
Web design and development
Other interesting articles
- How Jane Rosenberg Became America’s Most Celebrated Courtroom Sketch Artist
- How to Care Less About Work: great article on embracing hobbies for no reason other than joy.
- Fascinating point from this article on the dangers of spider charts: just ordering the categories differently on a spider chart can have meaningful impact on the visual shape of the data, and thus human perception of said data.
- How to Use こそあど Words to Refer to Things You Can’t See