A Smart Bear

Small Thoughts

Shorter articles 2022, easy to read on any device, including print.

JIT selection from independent streams: An alternative to the “big backlog” of work
We’re often told that a “single-threaded, ordered list” is the correct way to prioritize the work of the future, however this confuses “prioritization” with “work-planning,” and forces the comparison of un-comparable things. Here’s how to solve those problems.
Productive meeting activities: Leverage the team, empower the individual
Meetings are most productive when we create something that none of us could have created alone. How can we leverage the wisdom of the crowd, while ensuring that decisions and responsibilities continue to reside with an individual?
Moats: Durable competitive advantage
Industries commoditize over time, delivering similar products at similar prices resulting in low profit. Like entropy, this is the inevitable fate of a company, unless it exerts intentional force to the contrary. Moats are this force, and your strategy must identify how to create one.
The Impossible Product Manager, a.k.a. the "Great" Product Manager
According to the Internet, being a Product Manager is impossible. Can you ever measure up? No, but don’t worry, there’s a better answer.
Failure to face the truth
This concept recurs in different forms throughout myriad books, frameworks, and topics, across decades of time. When something is so consistent, it must be wisdom.
Extreme questions to trigger new, better ideas
It is difficult to brainstorm fresh, transformative ideas. Telling everyone that “no idea is a bad idea” isn’t enough of a prompt. These questions will stretch you beyond your daily experience; if you’re lucky, they could even lead to a unique business model and a long-term competitive moat.
Who's lying?
Pilots use multiple dials, employing different sources of energy, to report identical data, because they understand that in a dashboard full of information, something is always lying to you. The lesson is useful for data and metrics at our companies.