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Three Barnyard Tales yNt of some kind based on our understanding of customer needs But simply marketing our products via engagement drivers misses a key human insight that customers don t always get most excited about the features they are most likely to use Instead the features that excite people most are often the novel features even if they aren t necessarily practical Scott calls these the interest drivers He shares how HBO GO initially promoted it s offering with the launch of Game of Thrones by introducing a detailed map of the fictional geography into it s app as a way to encourage people to download the app on their iPad Even though it ultimately wasn t a heavily used feature it s novelty drove awareness and trial of the iPad app It s important then to realize whenou are building engagement drivers vs interest drivers and to hold each feature to the appropriate measures for what it is ultimately designed to driveMystery is the magic of engagementIn this essay Scott details the leading psychological theory on curiosity known as the information gap theory describing how curiosity proceeds in two steps 1 a situation reveals a painful gap in our knowledge say a BuzzFeed headline And Then We Feel then we feel urge to fill that gap and ease that pain and then we click the link This behavior is so pervasive and is eual to other primal desires like hunger Scott encourages us to take advantage of this when marketing our products Instead of simply providing a tell all about A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000 your product the best marketing taps into the natural human tendency to want to learn and understand something that is not fully revealed Unanswered uestions drive intrigue even ifou weren t necessarily interested in the answer in the first place Apple with it s carefully orchestrated product launches and reveals is the king of this but all of us can take advantage of what Scott calls the Of EngagementData Is of engagementData as good as its source and doesn t replace intuitionWhile Scott shares lots of lessons throughout the book on how best to take advantage of data in this essay he warns us that some of the best decisions If an Elephant Went to School you make may in fact run counter to what the data suggests and are instead driven by intuitionHe shares a great case study at Suare a fewears back Suare pioneered finger based signatures in their cash register experience Ultimately when VISA and Mastercard decided to no longer reuire signatures for transactions below 25 the obvious thing to do would have been to remove the signature experience from those transactions to significantly speed up the transaction process But Suare didn t actually do that because they realized that people found the signature experience somewhat fun and it als There are some good nuggets of info in the Messy Middle That being said I would hesitate to call it a book Its got an intro and a then it turns into of a bullet point briefing Maybe its a converted powerpoint briefing or its taken from a blog journal Taking the time to really develop the thesis might have enabled the author to expand on his knowledge There is a graphic that is used around 15 time with no change to it Perhaps the printing in black and white took away from some indicators that might have been clear if it was printed in colour This book is phenomenal This was a reuested gift and gratefully receive. E way Morse Code for Radio Amateurs you hire better manageour team and meet The Ideal Muslim Society your customers’ needs Finish strong and avoid the pitfalls many entrepreneurs make soou can overcome resistance exit gracefully and continue onto ou next creative endeavor with ease With insightful interviews from today’s leading entrepreneurs artists writers and executives as well as Belsky’s own experience working with companies like Airbnb Pinterest Uber and sweetgre. .
For Product Managers Atproduct managers at startups and established tech firms Scott Belsky shares his lessons learned optimizing and enduring the messy and unsexy middle every product goes through before hopefully
thriving he does a great job of sharingHe does a great job of sharing from his own experience founding Behance and navigating Adobe post acuisition as well from the many startups he has worked with as an investor or advisor including Pinterest Airbnb Periscope Suare and It s a difficult book to summarize because it s organized as 100 mini essays that succinctly teach a specific best practice around optimizing Marcus Garvey your teamour product and FRIENDLY ENEMIES yourself But what I loved most was that Scott brought a far human lens to creating winning products than traditional product best practices I wanted to share 5 such non obvious lessons that really stem from Scott s deep understanding of human behavior human psychology and human intuitionNobody remembers or is inspired by anything that fits inWe often seek to describe what we are making in terms of what already exists like the Uber for massage or the Apple of razors in an attempt to be relatable and easily understood The downside of this is that we give up free range innovation as the expectations for what we are building then become set by the analogy Scott advises us not to succumb to society s gravitational force toward what is common and familiar because it can result inour fresh insights being pulled back to the mean of normalcy thereby killing the uniueness of the innovation ou initially contemplatedBeware of creativity that compromises familiarityWhat s so interesting about The Messy Middle is that Scott fills the book with apparent contradictions with one essay arguing for a specific best practice and then the next arguing the exact opposite By doing so Scott is sharing the real world balance and trade offs inherent in any tactic This essay served as that exact foil to the above In it he suggests sometimes in our attempt to disrupt an industry our instinct is to be different But often the best way to capture share of an existing industry is actually to be familiar He describes how the team behind the June smart oven originally designed a wildly different looking product that re imagined what an oven even looked like But they ultimately realized that if they wanted it to be considered as an alternative to an oven they were better served by a product that actually looked like an oven Since they were already trying to disrupt cooking going with a familiar form ultimately aided their adoption To reconcile this with the above Scott gives us the following rule of thumb the only time ou should force new behaviors is when they enable a uniue and important value in And a Bottle of Rum your productMeasure each feature by its own measureWe spend so much of our time building engagement drivers into products features and experiences intended to drive customer engageme. Tarts and finishes even though the middle stretch is the most important and often the most ignored and misunderstood Broken into three sections with 100 plus insights this no nonsense audiobook will helpou Endure the roller coaster of successes and failures by strengthening Crochet your resolve embracing the long game and short circuitingour reward system to get to the finish line Optimize what’s working so ou can improve th. More than a business book and that s what I loved about it It s a book about embracing the long game and leading through ambiguity whether ou re a founder entrepreneur or artist ou ll find relevance Belsky details the endurance it takes to bring an idea to life It s not always as pretty as the beginning or end but the middle is worthy of eual attention since it s where most of the journey takes place As a product manager I found the book to be particularly insightful for my daily work and career The next time I m asked for a great product book I ll be recommending this But again the beauty of this book is that it s relevant for anyone who s building something from nothing Those who are leading others or themselves through uncertainty will benefit greatly from it Far from a generic business book with the same recycled ideas it s original practical profound and one of the best books I ve read all ear I will acknowledge that this book covers a part of the startup journey that is not often coveredIn this sense the book is a good check list of sort of principles and concepts that are impor An unusual and heartening take on tricky middle ears for startups and full of useful stories and approaches to dealing with them Definitely recommended I just finished The Messy Middle and I approaches to dealing with them Definitely recommended I just finished The Messy Middle and I still not uite over the journey that I just tookTo cut to the chase and be
clear our book is brilliant It s insightful thoughtful honest humble and at the same time uite entertainingIt syour book is brilliant It s insightful thoughtful honest humble and at the same time uite entertainingIt s of advices tips and hacks and each one is combined with a compelling anecdote example or personal experienceI was attracted to The Messy Middle because its title because it s a relatively ignored topic despite its relevancy I had no idea that it would become one of my toolbox on such a vast array of important topicsIt s a must read As I scrolled through the cover blurbs from entrepreneurs and VCs that Belsky has worked with before I wondered what would I do had I been the one Scott emailed asking for a blurb Would I have written a nice little platitude reflective of Scott s impressive body of work rather than the book itself Would I tell Scott that his book doesn t excite me enough to write something for his cover I think I d probably just politely decline explaining I m too busy color sorting my Patagonia vests and AllbirdsIt s beyond clear that Belsky is a very talented and successful product person manager investor and above all entrepreneur He s right to say that the middle of a venture is messy Unfortunately the same can be said about this bookI found its beginning chapters and the ending chapters to be uite strong and especially the end about finishing well and on our own terms particularly connected with me However the rest of the book consists of various blog posts I get why it may be appealing to collate them in a book because books still carry that special weight feeling of permanence but it wasn t necessary here Belsky passes on various anecdotes and uotes some pretty cool people but after finishing the book very little has remained in my brain from it Or at least it feels nothing particularly new has been gainedI felt strongly that this is because the book lacks much of a structureclear storyline so I found it particularly ironic that in the credits scene Belsky thanks on. The Messy Middle is the indispensable guide to navigating the volatility of new ventures and leading bold creative projects by Scott Belsky best selling author entrepreneur chief product officer at Adobe and product advisor to many of today's top start ups Creating something from nothing is an unpredictable journey The first mile births a new idea into existence and the final mile is all about letting go We love talking about