There are quite a few ways to roadmap — but there is one I have used over and over, regardless of the type of initiative I’ve done.

And that is the “now” -> “next” -> “later” style of roadmapping and planning.

One of the hardest things about roadmapping in general is, well, things change. Constantly. The best laid plans are the plans that are waiting to be disrupted by some unforeseen force. Roadmapping can be a headache because if you’re not careful, your roadmap will be constantly outdated or impossible to manage.

Many teams that are asked to roadmap struggle…

Over the years I have framed a lot of problems and have spent a lot of time thinking about Design Challenges and how to ask the right questions. Because very often, asking the right question influences your Optics.

What are optics? They are (for our purposes) the way you see problems or generally the world. Optics are important to innovation and disruption and often it’s the reason companies like Blockbuster, Kodak and many others get disrupted — they are blinded by their own optics — which is one of the main dilemmas of “disrupting from within” and intrapreneurship.

I find…

For this article I thought I would introduce some concepts and a framework to help product teams break out of the feature / release date method of roadmapping.

This style of roadmapping comes out of work I’ve done in large organizations that had multiple stakeholders, product teams and product lines. One in which there were a lot of unknowns, a changing landscape — where we had to make some assumptions and formulate early hypotheses.

In other words, where you need a plan but also need flexibility.

There is no “right” way. Hopefully this will give you some new ideas of…

People talk about being passionate all the time. Follow your passions. Be passionate.

But when it comes to being happy or at least satisfied, I think this is a trap. Following what you’re passionate about, while a noble pursuit, can also create undo stress or worse unhappiness.

Partially because I believe passion isn’t a goal or even a life path — it’s an outcome, a result of doing something you are happy with.

I read Scott Galloway’s newsletter. That and Dense Discovery, along with a few other things, that help give me perspective.

Anyway in Scott’s latest there was a…

What is “Good Design”?

There are alot of ways to define it — I still refer to Dieter Ram’s principles of design — but I think it’s just as important to think about design in terms of problems — that Good Design solves important problems, hard problems, interesting problems.

For me, Good Design is inherently linked to Good Problems to solve.

Simply asking “is this a problem” or “why is this problem” while fine questions, shouldn’t be the only questions we ask (although I’m still surprised by how often people don’t spend enough time even exploring these questions).

Even more we should be asking, does it really matter? What do “we” (you, me, others, the world) get from solving this problem?

In other words, is it really a Good Problem?

Anyway a great think article for a Friday — Taste and Good Design:

Customer Journey mapping is classically a linear exercise but I also have seen how this can be a mental trap.

I recently was working on a project where we started to think too linearly. We got caught up in the mechanics of the journey (is it stages, phases?) rather than the stories — which is really where insights lie.

I prefer, especially lately, to look at experiences people have in terms of virtuous cycles… concentric circles of modes people are in as they go about solving problems.

Thinking this way allows me to start to think differently about how to…

It’s a classic story of disruption — the thing that made you successful in the past being the very thing that not only gets disrupted but clouds your ability to see into the future.

But it’s not always that simple. True vision takes changing your optics. Looking beyond the obvious.

For Kodak it wasn’t simply digital cameras vs. film cameras, it was to quote HBR — “people shifted from printing pictures to posting them on social media and mobile phone apps. And Kodak totally missed that.”

The stories over the past decade are numerous and it keeps happening. Brands only…

I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity and technology lately. This weekend I was cleaning out my bookshelf and found a 2008 issue of Contagious Magazine that featured my Scion Speak project.

That project was unique for me as we spent time hanging out with car owners across the country talking about customization, tattoos, graffiti and self expression. It was truly about and for the culture.

Off of that we built a crest making tool that let people (car owners but really anyone) create their own crests and even produce vinyl stickers they could put on their cars (which they…

This morning in my inbox, among all the other email, was one that started with “The days are long but the decades are short”.


It’s from a list Sam Altman wrote 6 years ago. Of all the things on it (there are 36), the one thing that stood out to me was this — the idea of cognitive load.

Thinking about or trying to do too much actually doesn’t result in much that’s meaningful except perhaps some more stuff checked off your ever expanding todo list.

Often our todo lists are the enemy of clarity and focus. …

If you would like a full example of a Discussion Guide Template, you may access and download it from here:

This is the first in a multiple part series where I will talk about some tools and techniques that you can use to conduct user research, get insights and present them to others.

Most interviews I do are generally around 45 minutes long and have a few main topics I cover. Keep that in mind as you plan things out and write questions (more on this in the next sections).

Interviewing someone is an exercise of recollection — what…

Chaz Mee

Product Innovation Strategist. Advisor. Owner

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