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  • Writer's pictureJohn Kim

Product Management

Psalm 85:6 “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” The other day a friend of mine pinged me to let me know that he had gotten promoted to Product Manager (PM). I’ve been praying for him since before he joined the company, and it’s been so satisfying to see God move in his life. He actually didn’t know that this sort of role exists before being offered the position. I explained to him “Some say that a start-up CEO’s job is most like business development. They need to have connections in industry and be able to sell a value proposition. Some say that a founder needs to be like an engineer, because a tech company needs to manage technical resource. But actually the job that’s closest to start-up CEO is that of product manager, because a PM’s job ultimately is to figure out what to build given scarce resource. PM experience sets you up to be an awesome start-up CEO, which is why these roles are so coveted. Many people scheme unsuccessfully for years to land a PM job, and here God just drops one in your lap... Favor!” Now the best practice in building a product is to find a small group of users and create something that they absolutely can’t live without. If they love it, they will tell their friends, and the userbase will grow naturally. Many PMs and founders get tempted with shortcuts that grow their userbase in the short term, but dilute the intensity of community delight in the long term. For example, instead of spending resource on building out a new set of badly needed features, a PM might be tempted to spend that same resource in paying for ads or signing a partnership to grow the users with a sub-par product. Many of you know that my friend recently went into a coma, and in addition to prayer I’ve also been reading The Essential Guide to healing. Scripture shows that when people have more faith, they tend to see more healing. So in addressing why the current church has less faith for healing than the early church, Randy Clark outlines a number of historical movements that start with the Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion. When he subsequently made Christianity the state religion, Constantine forced swaths of nominal believers into the church. At one point, pretty much every Christian had first-hand experience of a supernatural miracle, but now an average Christian was an average person, with average experiences and average expectations. In a way, the “user base” got diluted. I’ve wondered what would happen if Xi Jinping experienced a move of God and made Christianity the state faith of China. But today I’m realizing perhaps that’s not the right thing to pray for. Of course I want everyone including Mr Xi to experience God’s love, but we currently have the greatest revival the world has ever known breaking out in China, and a state organized mass conversion might be the fastest thing to crush that. I’m not sure I can say that God didn’t use Constantine in his own way. But I am sure I can say that God does use tough circumstances to refine us and bring supernatural favor. I am absolutely sure that I can say God loves my friend and is going to use this coma as a testimony somehow. Lord please revive our friend, so that your people may rejoice in you. We don’t understand why sometimes you allow bad things to happen to good people, but we acknowledge that your ways are higher than our ways. We know that every setback is a setup to experience more of your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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