Crying Baby

People who build products and run them live learn some lessons the hard way. For example: speed and haste are not to be confused with each other. This is true in product management and it is definitely true in parenting.

Ask any parent and they will tell you: putting a baby to sleep is a tough task. Gibberish sounds and songs, oil massages, change of clothes, feeding, burping, rocking, humming, bouncing, swaying, some more feeding, pleading, crying, laughing (but mostly crying) and more bouncing and swaying. Finally, the crying/ wailing/ sounds of general irritation stop. The baby sighs deeply. Its breathing becomes more rhythmic. It shuts its eyes. It is asleep. Phew! The night is cold but you are sweating with all the effort. You put the baby down and try and extricate your arm from under it. Ah oh. A leg twitches. A hand moves. And just like that the crying resumes.

The baby is up.

So close yet so far. The whole cycle begins again. You remind yourself a millionth time – be patient. Let the baby get into deep sleep in your arms. Keep humming and swaying. Wait an extra minute. It will save you a lot of extra effort later. Haste is the enemy.

Product managers face similar dilemmas.

The product/ feature looks ready to ship. The company is counting on it. A lot of effort has gone into building it. The team prides itself of its execution speed. From concept to completion it took only a few weeks. Go go go. The product is launched with fanfare.

It’s a dud on arrival. The metrics are awful (or you couldn’t measure anything as someone forgot to add instrumentation – “Hey! You wanted this to be released fast.”). In the startup world, speed and haste are often confused. While speed is important (and critical for survival), nothing kills products faster than haste.

So wait an extra minute or an extra day. It could save you countless sleepless nights and development cycles.

Parenting and Product Management: Speed vs Haste
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  • Vikramaditya Singh

    Today you came to our school for an interaction, The Shriram Millennium School. I myself am a student there and have been blogging for about a year. Even after that I have managed to secure only about 8,000 views. I would like your input as to how I can increase the traffic to my site without relying too much on social media. My blog is blogitsquare.com. It would be wonderful to receive your inputs

  • Mukund Aggarwal

    Mr Ruddra, you are absolutely right, point on the mark. The same thing happened with Windows 10(I believe). Microsoft is on the right track now, but when it released Windows 10, it was under huge pressure to replace the new Windows 8, and the same thing I think happens with product managers.