Adam recently told me that my list of product management resources helped him land his first product job. His next question was simply, “any advice for my first week?” So for Adam, and for anyone starting a new product role, here’s your first week:

  • set up weekly one-on-one (1:1) meetings with your manager, and
  • work with your manager to set goals for 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.

The 1:1s build your relationship with your manager and make sure you’re aligned on what needs to happen for you to succeed in your new role. You want that person to…

Anna’s* leg was amputated when she was 8 years old. Her earliest memories are of nurses, cold white halls, and fear. Anna and her family spent several years fighting an uphill battle, uncertain if they could win.

At 7 years old, Anna was brought into a room with a doctor to discuss for the first time the cancer she’d already had for many years. He showed her backlit images of tumors that had been removed and tumors that had grown in their place. …

A roadmap is a tactical plan for executing your business strategy. The roadmap should clearly communicate how you will build products that deliver predictable business impact.

Note that I’m saying “how you will,” not “how you can.” There are infinite things you can build. But a good roadmap, and a good product team, will focus on the most impactful opportunities. These opportunities solve a significant unmet user need, are viable and feasible, and align with your vision, mission, and core values.

A good product roadmap should:

  • be useful for the whole organization
  • be human-readable
  • evolve in response to external change

Use or delete sections as needed! You can find the Google Doc version of this template here. There’s also a “lite” version here.

Problem statement

Here’s a one or two sentence overview of the project or feature. The level of detail should allow users to visualize what the following sections are about, but should not be too prescriptive about the actual design implementation.


Clients or stakeholders required for sign-off:

  • First name, last name, role
  • There shouldn’t be too many people here, these should only be the folks needed for signoff
  • You can indicate where each stakeholder is on the RASCI chart (in…

Divergent thinking is the art of generating abundant ideas, unbound by false constraints.

Convergent thinking is the skill of distilling many ideas into a focused few.

Diverging to create choices and converging to make choices is the basis of Design Thinking.

To invent solutions where there are none, and then identify the right way forward, product people must switch between divergent and convergent thinking regularly, flexing these perceptions like a muscle. Generate as many ideas as you can, refine. Generate, refine. Repeat.

I call this exercise “Product Thinking.”

It’s important to time box this cycle, to protect ideas and give…

Co-authored with my husband, Ben Horowitz. No, not that Ben Horowitz.

Before you start building any new solutions, it’s important to understand the difference between innovation and invention.

This is an important distinction because invention is more expensive than innovation. I use the word expensive, not about money but about all resources. It takes more time, money, effort, and opportunity cost to invent a solution than to find an innovative one.

Innovation is simple

Innovation is very straightforward. You take a solution that you know works in one place, and you apply it to a similar problem in a different space. Break down…

My uncle Ronnie, whom I think I met only once when I was 3 years old, taught my father how to drive according to his 4 rules of driving. My father, in turn, taught me and I’ve never forgotten them. In no particular order, they are:

  • Anything bigger than you has the right of way
  • Never back up an inch further than you have to
  • Never drive faster than your headlights
  • Always be wondering what the stupidest thing the cars around you could possibly do, and then be prepared for them to do that

When I was 15 and learning…

Product Managers sell futures in never-before-seen, intangible things. To earn buy-in, you need to help people visualize what this is and get excited about it. If you’re asking people to give you resources to build it, they need to feel the painful void of not having this yet and to itch for it to exist.

This takes a little sales and swagger. You need buy-in from your boss, their boss, and key stakeholders. You also need support from influencers inside your company — people that everyone else listens to.

If you find yourself struggling to reach alignment, start by reading…

Image for post
Image for post

Our mission is to normalize consensual non-monogamy and sexual exploration by creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive community for the young and young-at-heart to explore sex and alternative relationship structures, and by sharing our values with the world.

Our consent culture outlines the minimum requirements for participation in our community: Don’t touch people without asking. Only act on enthusiastic consent. Disengage when someone revokes their consent. These are the rules of engagement at Organ House!. We share these rules with new members, before every play party we host, and we’ve written about them .

This worked well when we began…

Kate Horowitz

Silicon valley product manager. Founder, Published thought leader and public speaker on consent and alternative relationships.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store