Perspectives on How People Think and Unconventional Advice for Transitioning to Head of Product

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Mar 21, 2024

4 min read


Perspectives on How People Think and Unconventional Advice for Transitioning to Head of Product


Understanding how people think and making effective decisions are crucial skills in various aspects of life, from personal relationships to professional roles. This article explores the common points between these two topics and offers unconventional advice for individuals transitioning to the role of Head of Product. By examining the complexities of human behavior and the challenges of leadership, we can gain valuable insights and actionable strategies.

The Complexity of Thinking and Decision-Making:

In our diverse world, people form tribes based on shared characteristics or beliefs. These tribes can be found in various domains, such as countries, companies, and even families. Understanding how people think within these tribes is essential, as it influences the information we are exposed to and the decisions we make. However, it's crucial to recognize that the information we receive is often a curated version intended to increase personal success.

Facts and Emotions:

Many aspects of life involve a combination of facts and emotions. For example, the steel production capacity of a factory is a fact, but the value investors place on that output is influenced by emotions. Emotions cannot be predicted with a formula, making decision-making a complex task. It's important to acknowledge this interplay and consider both objective facts and emotional factors when making decisions.

The Illusion of Jealousy:

Jealousy is often misguided because it stems from selectively admiring certain aspects of someone's life. However, true understanding requires considering the entirety of that person's experiences and circumstances. If we are not willing to trade our entire lives for someone else's, jealousy is pointless. Each individual's journey is unique, and comparing ourselves to others only leads to dissatisfaction.

The Paradox of Efficiency:

Efficiency is often seen as a desirable trait, but it can hinder creativity and exploration. When every hour is meticulously planned, there is little room for wandering, discovering new things, or allowing thoughts to flow freely. Paradoxically, these unstructured moments can be some of the most productive and innovative periods of thought. Balancing efficiency with flexibility is crucial for personal growth and problem-solving.

The Power of Simplicity:

Complexity often sells better, giving an illusion of control, while simplicity can be mistaken for cluelessness. However, some of the most effective solutions to problems are shockingly simple. The challenge lies in convincing others to follow simple advice. The ability to simplify complex concepts and communicate them effectively is a valuable skill in a world saturated with information.

The Math of Extraordinary Results:

Extraordinary results can be achieved without extraordinary changes. Understanding the power of compounding and sustained returns is essential. Instead of chasing the highest returns, focus on finding the best returns that can be maintained over a long period. Consistency and longevity are key to achieving remarkable outcomes.

Actionable Advice for Transitioning to Head of Product:

  • 1. Embrace the Role of a Coach: Even before becoming a Head of Product, develop coaching skills by guiding your product team, peers, and stakeholders. Cultivate a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • 2. Think in Horizons: Break your thinking into different horizons, from immediate impact to long-term goals. Consider what needs to be done now, in the next year, and in the next five to ten years. This practice helps develop a habit of strategic thinking and planning.
  • 3. Tackle Cultural Issues: As a Head of Product, one of your primary responsibilities will be building and maintaining the product culture. Address any cultural issues that hinder progress, such as an overemphasis on output rather than outcomes. Remember that culture is a powerful force that can shape the success of your team and organization.


Understanding how people think and making effective decisions are intertwined in various aspects of life. By recognizing the complexity of human behavior, embracing simplicity, and adopting unconventional strategies, we can navigate the challenges of leadership and transition into the role of Head of Product successfully. Remember to continuously develop coaching skills, think strategically in different horizons, and prioritize building a strong product culture. With these actionable pieces of advice, you can enhance your decision-making abilities and thrive in your new role.

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