Sunil Gupta: 3 Paths to Essence

Sunday, 8 May 2016 

It seems fitting to start this site’s posting feature with sharing a link to Sunil Gupta’s “3 Paths to Essence” post. It’s about 4 years old at this point, but the wisdom conveyed is timeless:

  1. Create, then Edit – but not both at once
  2. Build half, not half-ass
  3. Discipline your schedule

While #2 is directly valuable to a product manager and their development team (and what led me to the post), #1 and #3 are worthwhile reminders for everybody.

As a product manager in an Agile / Scrum environment, I’m very cognizant of scoping sprint development into those “thin vertical slices”1 that enable the full use (and testing) of a feature and building from there.

It should come as no surprise however that the other two paths are extremely helpful not only in product management but virtually any discipline. For practically my entire life of putting words to page (literal or virtual), I’ve followed the inefficient create-and-edit-in-tandem routine. I have just recently started to retrain myself to instead get everything on the page first, then edit. I still have a ways to go, but I’m already seeing the benefits.

And being ruthless about my schedule / task list? It’s an excellent habit to get into as a product manager, but I can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants to improve on their delivery.

  1. For the uninitiated, a popular Scrum teaching analogy by is to imagine your development of a tandem bicycle starting with the release of a unicycle, followed by your next release of a bicycle, then finally the tandem bicycle. At each release stage, you have a standalone usable product that is slowly iterated into the planned final offering.