Joe Leech

2020 – My Year in Review

For all of us 2020 was a year like none other. I wanted to step back and review my 2020.

I realise in writing this how that I go into overdrive to cope when I’m struggling. So please read this and realise I deal with tough times by over-achieving and eventually burning out. I did a lot in 2020 and then crashed.

January

I updated my myths in psychology and product / UX design series. Read on to understand the weaknesses of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need or Myers Briggs.

A part of what I do is to rescue projects and companies. I outline the top four troubleshooting scenarios and how to deal with them.

February

In February I wrote what I thought was a blindingly obvious article, but it struck a chord with many:

I spoke at Mind the Product Manchester Making Better Product Decisions: A Guide to Jobs to be Done.


2020 for me was a big focus on decision making. A model I’d been using for a while, the simple, straight forward, Decision Diamond:

The Decision Diamond: a simple and effective prioritisation technique

March

I began working with a top secret property tech startup. We’re about to launch a new product that will hugely improve the house buying and selling experience in UK. Watch this space.

I also started producing more videos for my YouTube Channel on Stakeholder Management and competition.

April

I spoke at the Behaviour and Design Conference on Psychology + Design: Myths, promises and reality. Discussing psychology and design at more of an advanced level than I would normally.

It was sad times as Net magazine, the paper based magazine for web folk closed its doors. Here’s my tribute Goodbye Net Magazine and Thank You

May

I worked with a lovely bunch of seasoned internet pros to work on a plant based nutrition project with PLANT B. I really enjoyed working with heart surgeon turned stand up comedian Bassem Youssef as well as Dr Scott Stoll. Something exciting coming soon!

Summer

I worked with the nice folks at Candide Gardening using Jobs to be Done to help them with the strategy for their next phase.

Along with everyone else I realised that a fundamental shift was happening in working so I updated my setup. A better desk and better Zoom calls.

I’d been planning my next book on decision making in tech businesses; a series of interviews with product, tech and UX leaders. Ben Ient suggested I create a podcast of the interviews. So I did. You can listen to some fantastic interviews from leaders at YouTube, WordPress, Booking.com and more. Make Better Product Decisions – the Podcast

I wrote about traps for scale-ups and how to avoid them. Working with scale-ups is really exciting and something I love to do.

It was also a huge change with one of my longest client relationships. Alfresco were acquired by Hyland. These are two names I’m sure you probably haven’t heard of but they are large scale SaaS companies operating specialised process and content software. Operating B2B SaaS at such a huge scale has been a fascinating learning journey for me.

October & November

AKA conference season!

I spoke a the Global eCommerce summit on Cars & Houses vs Batteries & Books; the two different types of eCommerce and why it matters. I also spoke at Bath Tech Week and Bristol Tech Week.

I also spoke at the Global Experience Summit on Jobs to be Done.

Something I’d not done for a few years was to run a public workshop. Over 4 days in October I ran my Innovation & Product Strategy with Jobs to be Done (JTBD) Remote Training Workshop.

Finally I did a short workshop with the legend that is Chris Massey at Mind the Product on perfecting your audio and video on Zoom.

..and then I crashed

It wasn’t until I read How Are You Doing? from Kottke that I realised I was struggling.

I’d spent most of 2020 in an ok place but then hit the struggling phase just as my daughter’s pre-school closed for two weeks of quarantine. I crashed but had to hold it together to co-parent the little one.

It’s only in writing this blog post that I realise how much I did in 2020 and I wonder how much was compensating for the tough time I (and all of us) was having. Pre-school restarted and I took some much needed time off and then slept for 3 days.

December

If you are still reading this and you’re not my mother, well done!

I’ve had the joy of working with the team at hotjar. Using psychology to improve their product. A lovely bunch of very talented people. I ❤ hotjar.

December for me is going to be taking some time off to recover from 2020.

Looking forward to 2021

Introducing my new book: Making Better Decisions Based on the podcast series. You can read chapter zero here for free.

I’m running some workshops in the new year:

My focus for 2021 is looking after myself more so I can look after those close to me. I will do less in 2021!

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Helping you do the right things, in the right order, for the right reasons

I'm Joe Leech and I coach leaders and founders to radically improve their business, their team and themselves to create world leading tech products. Work with me.

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