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The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through…

The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial…

by Scott Belsky

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The Messy Middle is about project management – specifically, the mysterious and volatile middle that nobody talks about. Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer at Adobe, a product advisor and also an entrepreneur describes this part of the whole process as something extraordinarily bumpy that gets very little coverage on the news. No one really talks much about it, because it’s just a series of positive and negative bumps. On the other hand, everyone loves talking about the moment of conception, and everyone loves talking about what happens at the end. What can be so easily summed is celebrated.

Anyway, in order to gather first-hand data on the middle part of the project management he met with as many entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and others that have endured a very messy middle. Instead of stating about the classic questions, where did their idea come from? How did you get started? And so on… He tried to really delve deeply into the stuff that they probably choose to forget that happened in the middle.

It was interesting because it was his own sixth year of his own journey building Behance company (an online platform to showcase & discover creative work later acquired by Adobe). In order to retrospect his messy middle, he looked at his mobile phone and searched for messages he has shared with his teams. The first thing that immediately struck him were screenshots of bugs and things that didn’t look exactly right. The second thing he has found were screenshots of what customers were saying. Some of these messages weren’t in line with what he was feeling, nevertheless, the feedback he received was used as some kind of credibility of his judgement

There was also another reason for these screenshots in . He was trying to capture a form of reward when there was none. He was trying to also capture some of the things people said they were excited about, and he used this as a form of nonfinancial reward for himself and for the team. It was also a great proof that they were making progress. He also saw tons of pictures of his teams, meetings, hard times and fun times. This was another thing – when there was no product to be excited about, they were excited just to be with each other.

Finally, he got to the point where he could summarise the middle journey of project management by two words and this led him to the book which is broken down into two sections of insights reflected in the picture below... (if you like to read my full review please visit my blog https://leadersarereaders.blog/the-messy-middle/) ( )
  LeadersAreReaders | May 18, 2019 |
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