Pareto Product Management

As Product Managers or entrepreneurs, we often have multiple good ideas and an exciting vision. That's necessary but not sufficient. 

It's easy to come up with a large collection of many capabilities and features that can together make a product compelling to users and produce business impact. But that isn't practical. 

Most individuals, startups, or teams within larger companies get defunded or lose steam before they can do everything they envision if they don't produce results along the way. The complexity of more also confuses users and overwhelms teams. 

A startup founder wisely told me, "Startups don't starve...they drown."

What's really important is identifying and prioritizing the minimal set of ideas or bets that are going to have the largest impact, and then distilling them to their core essence. The 20% of work that'll produce 80% of the results. You need to have the conviction and discipline to say no to everything else. Only if you do that, do you get to start and stay in the game and keep building toward a larger vision and impact. You also end up with simpler products that are better understood, valued, loved, and easier to manage and improve. 

It is extremely hard to predict what's important and requires astute product intuition. You need clarity on mission and goals, a deep understanding of problems, users, the product, and past learnings, and very intentional prioritization and editing. You also need sound mental models on good product patterns, technical knowledge to know what's possible and estimate efforts, and user psychology.