ramblings about entrepreneurship, life and product management

Posted by Mike Mason on

How to deal with conflict

Conflict is an unavoidable consequence of large collaborative effort toward a common set of goals. We can do a lot to organize teams in a way to avoid too much conflict and we can create a culture that doesn’t break down when conflict arrises but it will occur nonetheless. Conflict occurs when two or more people are in disagreement or experience a clash of interests. It’s normal, and should [...]

Read Article 6 Min Read Behavior

Posted by Mike Mason on

Github for Product Roadmaps

GitHub’s reputation as a tool for developers to collaborate on code contributions is well known, as is it’s use in open source. However the tool still hasn’t broken through on large scale use for product planning on private project. At Shopify we’re not large consumers of project management software so you’ll see teams leveraging docs and sheets more than anything else [...]

Read Article 1 Min Read Product Management

Posted by Mike Mason on

Seven Ways to Make Product Decisions

You will make tens of thousands of decisions in your career but not all decisions should be treated equally. Learning to use the right decision making approach can result in better decisions, improved team health, and greater speed of delivery. Below are seven ways you can go about making a decision. You can use them in your everyday work but it’s helpful to get alignment from others that the [...]

Read Article 10 Min Read Product Management

Posted by Mike Mason on

Building Trust with your team

Throughout your career you will undoubtedly find yourself in many situations where you will be joining a new team or gaining new team members. A make or break factor in your ability to collaborate effectively with said team and with those new team members is the level of trust you have between one another. Trust is crucially important for product managers, since the members of your team you need to [...]

Read Article 2 Min Read Behavior

Posted by Mike Mason on

On everyday politics

When I was growing up, the rule of thumb was – there are two things you don’t talk about in social gatherings. 1. Religion2. Politics Why have we stigmatized politics? Perhaps we don’t want to ruin the positive vibes, or hear uncle Larry’s rant about Trudeau. The reality I think is we don’t know where someone will take the conversation and that conceptually, we won’t [...]

Read Article 11 Min Read Behavior

Posted by Mike Mason on

On Systems Design – Limiters

As a marathoner, I am always trying to cover the distance at greater speeds. When you pursue endurance sport goals like this, you run into physiological limitations that impede your ability to go faster. When you start off, it’s likely that what will be limiting your gains is how capable your muscles are of firing with force for 33,000 consecutive steps (muscle endurance). The interesting thing [...]

Read Article 2 Min Read System design

Posted by Mike Mason on

On meetings

Post-covid meetings are changing. The ebb and flows of meeting fatigue is an endless cycle we’ve all sunk into. Your calendar slowly builds up with well-meaning re-occurrings, or you expand your sphere of influence and become a required voice on critical decisions. We can’t forget that we have 252 working days in a year, 1260 productive hours, and for many of us 882 of those hours are spent [...]

Read Article 6 Min Read Learning

Posted by Mike Mason on

Ten things they didn’t teach you in school

If you’re like me, you spent more than 3000 days going to school. You spent 24,000 hours in and out of classes and countless more on homework assignments and test preparation. You were subjected to standardized “tests” that normalized your responses to questions and hypothetical problems relative to the performance of your peers. Forced to consume and memorize second-hand facts and frameworks, [...]

Read Article 23 Min Read Change

Posted by Mike Mason on

Meaning machines and growing pains in thinking

We are “meaning machines,” we are continually trying to make sense of the world around us by looking for symmetry, and if we can’t find it, we force a square peg into a round hole to make our meaning fit the circumstances of the situation. We crave meaning as much as eating, sleeping, and reproducing. Giving something meaning is controlling for it in our internal calculations of how [...]

Read Article 7 Min Read Growth

Posted by Mike Mason on

Three mental tools used by the Stoics to practice Joy

Alternative title: We’ve been setting goals all wrong. I recently purchased a few extra credits on Audible and was looking for books to listen to as I ride my bike when I found: A Guide to a Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. My initial thoughts were that the book might have a 50/50 chance of being a self-help book that I would drop after chapter 2. Those thoughts might have been justified [...]

Read Article 8 Min Read Behavior