This philosophy is truly timeless. It was advocated in ancient Hindu mythology and then in the teachings of Buddhism. In more recent times, it was known as the Kaizen principle. All of these point to one thing. Keep improving. Period.
Any product manager will tell you that the beta phase is a hard one to navigate. The product has some obvious bugs, doesn’t deliver on promises and creates self-doubt in the minds of those who once believed in the vision. It’s tough phase to live in and requires a lot of skill and experience to navigate through it. The top 1% product managers know a way to power through this. And they stress on continuous improvement.
The title of this post was inspired by Reid Hoffman’s talk at Stanford University, where he mentions this concept directly and indirectly on several occasions. (See video below for the talk). Simply put, Reid Hoffman believes that individuals have reason to start living life as entrepreneurs. Meaning, that they should be searching for constant improvement, take risks and make trade-offs necessary to keep moving forward in life.
This, he believes, is similar to the life of a product that is in beta. And unless a product manager pushes for constant improvement a product could very well hit the road and come to a grinding halt.
Check out this video for Hoffman’s full talk.