Hi Michael! I want to work for you at WDI.

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Just for you.

I created this book to show you that I could be a great Product Manger for your team under your leadership at WDI. Proof? I present to you…

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The Making of the Children’s Book – “Michael & J.J.”

A walk-through of the goals & steps taken to create the book on your desk.

Why did I create a children’s book when I’ve never created one before?

one

I want to show you that I can do something well that I have never done before.

two

A children’s book begs for creativity & imagination, both difficult elements to create.

three

Respectful amount of time to experience. Short & sweet.

four

A plethora of complex elements. Design, story, theme, attention to detail, nuance, wit etc. You can see the quality execution of all of the elements in one place.

five

Have you ever been a character in a children’s book before? Now you have 😉

How was J.J. a good Product Manager for this book?

A good Product Manager “Helps your team (and company) ship the right product to your users”.

Helps…

Normally a PDM helps coordinate & communicate with the team. Although I didn’t have a formal team, I created goals, plans, and timelines. I also followed a sound PDM workflow.

…your team…

My team was family and friends who were kind enough to give feedback as to the quality of the idea and execution.

…ship…

Great product managers understand the very tricky balance between getting it right and getting it out the door. A high quality version is on your desk in less than 4 months from ideation to execution.

…the right product…

What makes this the right product? The fact that you are reading this now, makes it the right product. But it is the perfect product if I get an interview for a PDM position.

…to your users.

This product should deliver the value and delight you are looking for. Is this unique and creative? Does it bring a smile to your face?

The Process.

Let’s dig into the details of why and how this book was made.

Goals

Every good PDM must know the goals of the product. The goal of this product was very clear from the moment I finished my interview with you.

Goal: Impress Michael Stein. If he is impressed, he will want you on his team at WDI.

Ideas & Brainstorming

How many bad ideas preceded the one good idea?

  • Idea: Send cinnamon rolls & bread rolls to Michael with witty saying, “I want to work for you no matter what role you put me in”.
    Bad: Funny but unimpressive.
  • Idea: Make a creative video on-site at Disney Land showing how I help Disney employees.
    Bad: Probably be escorted out of the park.
  • Idea: Do a bad lip reading of my skills from a presidential debate.
    Bad: Probably can’t get them to say the right words. May not be funny.
  • Idea: Send gifts to myself at WDI although I don’t work there yet.
    Bad: No one will notice the joke. If they do, not the right people.

Idea: Write a children’s book about the hypothetical future first couple of weeks of J.J. working under Michael Stein at WDI.
Good: Funny & bold! Includes design, UI/UX, creativity, planning, wit, humor, metaphors, yet not to time-consuming for Michael to experience.

Book – First Draft

Let’s give you a glimpse into the making of the book. The following is a snapshot in time of one of the first drafts of the book. You can see how elements made it into the final book, and other elements were abandoned.

Excerpts from my notes:

Potential Theme of Book: 
  • Taking a chance on J.J. leads to unimaginable success. Michael taking a chance on J.J., Michael teaching J.J. that he can’t do it alone.
Voice: 3rd person, with quotes in 1st.
Metaphors & Narrative Elements:
  • The “project” is to help the green monsters get on the same side of the valley as the red monsters. metaphor for being on same page, working together, communicating together.
  • Bob Room (Homophone with Board room?): Get the humor of the 3 “bosses” above Michael all being named Bob. Word play with oronyms on Bob Iger, Bob Chapek and Bob Weiss.
Elements:
  • Team members all over the place. In the background, far away, in space, or missing.
  • Clock on every page? To show the passing of time before deadline.
  • Make indirect references to WDI. But don’t call it WDI.
See the Text of the First Draft of the Book

Prototype | Storyboard & Layout

I decided to prototype the book in Adobe XD (Similar to Sketch, Figma, & InVision Studio). This was an ESSENTIAL step in making sure the idea was viable and that I could actually create it. This is a crucial skill for a PDM.

View Prototype

Design

Drawing is not a strength of mine, but design is. I know what looks good. So although I used existing vector illustrations, I tweaked, animated, & customized them to create the pages that you see in the final project. This was a painstakingly detailed process, but the result is beautiful.

See some of the beautiful elements below:

Print & Bind

This was harder than it should have been. Most places wanted me to order 200+ books. I seriously conteplated getting an ISBN number and selling the rest on amazon. Luckily, after server drafts, each taking weeks, I found the perfect book bind, hard back, 100# paper, matte finish, perfectly bound, & layflat. All the elements that I thought important in an impressive book. One of a kind, made just for you.

Present the Product

How can the details of the Product Management and Design process used to create this book, be adequately shown to you?
You’re looking at it.

Technology Skills Used to Impress Michael Stein:

  • Prototyping: Adobe XD (Sketch, InVision Studio, Figma, etc.)
  • Design: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, & Adobe Photoshop.
  • UI/UX: WordPress, CSS3, Javascript, & HTML.

Product Management Skills Used to Impress Michael Stein:

In addition to everything you have already seen:

  • Evernote: Initial brainstorming of ideas.
  • Google Sheets: Making sure every important element made it into every page. Theme, wit, references, clock time, etc.
  • Asana: Used for task management. To ensure I stayed on task, focused on the goals.

Are You Impressed?

Others who want to work for you may send you a resumé, but I wanted to send you something a little more special that hopefully put a smile on your face.

Michael Stein: I want to work for you.

I created this “product” just for you. I believe that I could be an invaluable asset to your team. Give me a chance. Just toss me a green badge and I’ll prove myself as the perfect hire!

Contact J.J.

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