Daniel Thomason's Essays

I write about anything that interests me, for two purposes:
1. To help myself understand the topic more deeply
2. To spread knowledge and ideas
I've highlighted some of my favourites just below, plus at the bottom you can find a list of my categories and tags.

All Essays

Fables and Fortune Hunters, the lost second half

In The Four-Hour Work Week Tim Ferriss tells a story about a Mexican fisherman and an American businessman. Not many people know that there is actually a second half to this fable. I was lucky enough to hear it from a wandering shaman in a Berlin nightclub, and with his permission I have reproduced it here.

How to prioritise Fincrime features

Prioritisation frameworks run into some difficulties when thinking about features targeting Fincrime. Defining Reach and Impact is challenging in the area of fincrime product areas, since there are components that don't convert easily to a common denominator. Here's my suggestion for how to deal with that.

Hiring is a matching problem

Hiring is a matching problem: finding the right fit (the right employee + the right company) is hard but vital. Investing more effort into this search will pay big dividends.

A better vocational curriculum for university

There have been a few good posts on Twitter and the blog sphere recently on the question: how would you redesign a university curriculum to optimise for success in the job market? Here’s mine – or at least a first draft.

Scales for Product Managers

Like most knowledge work jobs, product management isn’t a profession that has success metrics nearly as clear as sports. This makes it more challenging to find a smart practice regimen, but far from impossible. Before we can figure that out, though, we need to zoom out a little: what does success look like for a product manager?

When should a company hire a product manager?

How does a company know that it’s the right time to hire a product manager? This is not such an easy question to answer, as it turns out. There’s no precise formula (although there are still some helpful rules of thumb), because different companies have different focuses.

Aim to learn skills, rather than ticking off titles

Don’t choose something (a class, a book, a job, a partner) based on its headline – choose it based on what you want to get out of it, then engage in a way that makes this happen.

Georgian card game

This card game was taught to me by an excellent designer from my former country, who is a proud Georgian citizen and game aficionado.

Lessons from games: dynamic difficulty

Games are products too. In fact, I’d argue that some video games rank among the best products in the world – look no further than Breath of the Wild for a recent example. There’s a lot that Product Managers can learn from games and how they have been developed.One example is the idea of dynamic difficulty.