It’s the start of a new year, so once again, it’s time to reflect a bit on 2017 and look at what went well and identify my goals for 2018.
Reading: My target in 2017 was to read 12 books and to write about the ones that I found interesting. I had also wanted to get outside my comfort zone of self-improvement books and explore biographies, history, and non fiction. Sadly, I did not achieve this goad as only two books were outside the work related and self improvement categories. I managed to read a total of nine books (and write about six).
- The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
- INSPIRED: How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro
- Emotional Design by Don Norman
- The Everything Store by Brad Stone
- The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
- Product Leadership by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw
- Radical Candor by Kim Scott
This year, I am going to try harder to move outside my comfort zone and explore other categories. I think the problem is that every year, there are at least 5-10 books in the core categories that I find interesting. Hence, in 2018, I plan to raise my target to 15 books and cover these categories.
Writing: I had set a target of 18 blog posts in 2017 and managed to do exactly half. The main issue was that I was unable to branch out from my main category of book summaries. I had a few ideas for a product management topics but kept procrastinating until I lost interest in the topics.
The blog received a total of 330+ visitors this year which was about a 35% drop from last year. Most visitors still visit the blog for the MBA related posts. I am not really worried about visitor numbers at this point as the main goal is to churn out good content.
In 2018, I am targeting 15 blog posts. I hope to get at least 5 posts that are not book summaries. In addition, I want to learn how to use an illustration tool to create simple drawings and graphs to make the content easier to read.
Career: 2017 was the year in which I became comfortable as a product manager. The added experience meant that I was largely unfazed even though the domain that I am working in (APIs, platform) is largely technical. Last year I noted that I had not yet decided if I wanted to be a technical PM but this year I realised that I am good at it and it is a niche skill and I quite enjoy it.
The company that I work for underwent an agile transformation and my team was one of the more successful adopters of the new process. We plan to continue being champion for the agile way and set an example for other teams. Having fixed the execution problem, in 2018 I want to move away from 6 month roadmaps and focus on goals/metrics based roadmaps.
In 2017, after two years on the job, I was promoted to senior product manager. Therefore one area that I want to focus more this year on is my managerial/leadership skills. I have started reading a few books on this topic and have enrolled in management training that is being offered by my company.