How the Hemnet product development article club helped us grow together

By Kristofer Palmvik ·

There isn’t much I miss from 2020 and the time of pandemic restrictions. But there is one thing: Hemnet product development article club.

It started as a traditional book club a few years earlier. We read and discussed Reinertsen’s brilliant The Principles of Product Development Flow, and Perrin’s eye opening Escaping the Build Trap. Just to mention a few.

But a book club requires you to spend focused time to read. And focused time is not always in large supply, especially not during a pandemic when everyone works day and night.

So we realized: we don’t have the time to read through an entire book. Instead we started posting short articles and videos and podcasts, more or less related to product development, in our Slack channel.

Still, discussing it together felt valuable. So once a week we selected one of the shared links and asked everyone to go through it. Then we spent 30 minutes on Wednesday morning to discuss it together.

Everyone in the company was welcome to join and share their thoughts. And that really included everyone, all the way from product management to user research and development.

By discussing together, our collective product development thinking expanded. Over time we increased it by a magnitude.

Together we could continue to build on the concepts and thoughts we had discussed when we got back to our day to day work.

Together we experimented and tried new things, both with the product and with how we created the product.

Together we continued to grow, as individuals and as a company.

I spent most of our discussions out walking. Walking and talking and thinking. Together during the isolation.

That is what I want to remember from those very special years.