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

The Core Questions of Product Management

Product management is a complex discipline, with a lot of moving parts and no shortage of things to think about. Luckily, breaking out of this is actually fairly easy. There is a set of core questions at the heart of product management, and if you simply return to those regularly you can't go wrong, and you'll be able to cut through the noise.

Thoughts on education

My thoughts on educating children and teenagers; an evolving document as I think more.

Don't play 3D chess, play fractal chess

3D chess is a tired metaphor that will lead you in the wrong direction. Instead, you want to play fractal chess: increase the layers of game that you're playing, not simply the complexity.

Product managers should straddle utopia and reality

Product management is a hard job. Some of the reasons for this are mundane: long hours, lots of responsibility, isolation. But one big reason for why the job is difficult is not related to the execution factors (i.e. what you might call work/life balance), but rather the fundamental nature of the job itself: the need to live in two worlds simultaneously.

How should a Product Manager spend their time?

For Product Managers, the core dilemma – one I see many fresh PMs struggle with – is how to allocate your time. You only have 40 (ha!) hours in a working week, so what should you do with them?

How fintech companies should think about financial crime risk

Sometimes when we talk about risk within fintech companies, we lose track of the core concept. Since risk is such a central aspect of what we do, this can harm our ability to make good decisions. ‘Risk’ does not stand alone as a concept – it requires additional information to be meaningful.

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.