Check this out. 52 product managers and designers. Over the full spectrum of career progression and background. And all of them sharing one important, ridiculous, insightful or meaningful lessons they've learned.

We're launching this soon. And you can help.

What is it?

52 Voices of Product is a fun community project that's been in the back of my mind for a bit. I threw it out to some product friends and we decided to kick it off. It works like this.

Each week we publish a new lesson from a product person. You get to learn something interesting that they've explored or encountered in their journey as a product person. And you will also discover a product person in the process.

The idea is inspired by Kevlin Henney's wonderful "97 things every programmer should know". An O'Reilly book I have from 2010 that curates a collection of diverse developers sharing their insights. Thank you Kevlin for the green light to adapt the idea (now just to work on O'Reilly for a product version of the book... šŸ¤”).

I'm also inspired by the wonderful community. Founders Jess Lee, Ben Halpern, and Peter Frank have built a vibrant developer community with an emphasis on learning and sharing at all levels. Not just the 10X rockstar ninjas. It's easy to overlook how powerful that early and mid level encouragement has been. And how this has resulted in an astoundingly positive community in an era where Stack Overflow has become toxic, Hacker News is sometimes referred to as a cesspit, and the experience of people of colour in tech can be described as very lonely.

Why is this important?

The lessons of our decade are that representation and diversity are worth the effort, that meritocracy doesn't really work in the real world, and that it's imperative to send the elevator back down.

As a kid born in an outback mining town in Australia to immigrant parents, I can tell you it's been luck as much as merit that's led to my journey working around the world shipping products and building product teams. Trust me when I say that these stories make a difference. Something I learned from an inspiring family member was how seeing a little bit of yourself in a community makes things seem possible. It also gives you people to reach out to.

Okay. So not to go too deep. This is just a fun weekly showcase after all. But yes we think representation is important in our industry. So we're doing it. And you can help.

How can I help?

As a community project we're looking for a diversity of authentic community stories. We need you to suggest product managers and product designers we should talk to.

First step: šŸ‘‰ sign up to the upcoming page here.

We don't want you to nominate yourself, but we want the full spectrum of our product community... we need to go a little wider than the typical "length of the Caltrain" product stories.

What's next?

You might have seen my tweet storm last night as I put aside an hour to kick it off. As a community project we're doing this totally transparently. Which both makes it more fun and increases the surface area (and diversity) of people contributing.

At the moment you can sign up for more info on the Upcoming page. This week we will pull together a little team and start hunting great stories and great people to feature. So now it's over to you:

ā“ Who should we check out doing interesting things in product?

ā“ Are there any designers, product managers, or writers wanting to jump in and collaborate on this community project?

Let me know in the comments... šŸ™Œ