The Millionaire, the Beggar, and the Monk
A free video tutorial from Charles Du
Award-Winning Product Manager @ NASA, Apple, Ticketmaster
Learn more from the full course
The Concise Product Management Course
A brief, yet comprehensive course covering the skills, tools, and processes needed to become an irreplaceable PM.
05:35:12 of on-demand video • Updated March 2019
Learn core skills that make up the entire Product Management process. From ideation to market research to wireframing to prototyping to user stories to leadership.
Become an Agile Product Owner and learn how to use industry-standard tools like Pivotal Tracker, Axure, and Popplet
Discover the secret method behind how Apple creates laser-focused products
Build your product portfolio with 10 step-by-step exercises that will take your product idea from concept to spec
Get a behind-the-scenes look at case studies like the NASA app (over 10 million downloads) and Getaround ($0 to $200 million valuation in 5 years)
Analyze the market landscape, discover weaknesses in your competitors, spots trends that will hyper-grow your product
Quickly test and validate your product idea over a weekend
Effectively lead developers / designers and manage stakeholders
Hack the Product Management interview process and stand out from the competition
In the beginning of the problem management lifecycle you'll go through a stage called discovery. This is where you gather as many product ideas as you can. At this stage the number of ideas is more important than the quality of ideas to generate the most number of ideas. There are three mindsets that I like to adopt to come up with the most number of ideas as possible. The millionaire the beggar and the monk. Let's start with the mindset of knowing you. I want to tell you a story. This story is the story of how one of the fastest growing companies in the world got its idea. The year was 2009. Two friends were planning for their New Year's Eve adventures. They both want to party all night long. And they did not want to think about driving and parking. And luckily for them both of them were millionaires. So they had pretty much an unlimited budget so they thought how could we get around town without dealing with driving and parking. Taxis might not work since some of these parties that we want to go to are the mansions and they are all up on the hills. So after they bounced around a few ideas they said huh. We'll hire a private driver we'll just pay them for their time and have them take us around all night and that's exactly what they did. So they end up spending a hundred dollars for the entire night letting a private driver take them around town after that night. They had their epiphany. They said What if we made this experience available for everybody. What if everyone had their own private driver. The two friends in the story are Gary camp and Travis Kalanick. The idea became a company called uber uber today is worth billions of dollars. Their idea enabled everyone to hire their own private driver so when I'm brainstorming ideas for problem I think about how I would solve it if I were a millionaire. How would I solve it if I had unlimited resources. Now this mindset will lead me down a path filled with ideas now not every single one of these ideas will be doable because of course not everyone has the resources of no one here. But you know what. A few of these ideas will have the potential to become a product or service because all you have to do is scale them back a little bit. So think like a millionaire another mindset that I like to have. It's the mindset of a beggar the beggars mindset. If the complete opposite of the mindset of knowing you're a beggar tries to think of clever ways of making money and saving money. I want to tell you another story. The year was 2007. In these two roommates were struggling to pay their rent the housing costs of the time was crushing them and then one day they got word that a big design conference was coming to town so they thought you know what. There's probably gonna be a huge demand for rooms this weekend. What if we made extra money by renting out our living room space and that's exactly what they did. They end up buying three air mattresses rented out their living room and made money in the idea for Airbnb ambiguous -- now when you think like a beggar you increase your awareness for excess space and resources. And this new awareness makes us mindset super powerful. I mean just look around you at all the things that people own but aren't using all the time. What if they rented it and how many ideas can you think of. They'll let you make extra cash by renting out the stuff that you own will let you save extra cash by renting something and not purchasing it. So this mindset led to the formation of many other companies like eBay and Etsy the last mindset is the mindset of a monk. The monk is a minimalist. He says no to all the nice to have things in life. It only says yes to the things he needs to live a simple life. There once was a company out there that noticed you know what it looks like. People enjoy expressing themselves by writing on the Internet and they write pages and pages but what if instead of letting people write pages and pages of time what if we let people express themselves with one sentence at a time that company became Twitter. Another company once said you know it looks like a lot of people enjoy taking and sharing pictures. What if we built a product that focused specially on that task that company became Instagram and it was acquired by Facebook for a billion dollars. When you think like a monk you'll focus your energy on the activities people do the most. Monks meditate and practice a mindset of focus sometimes a product becomes great. Not by having more features but by having less features in the features that end up launching are the features that mean the most constraints lead to creativity. The millionaire the beggar and the monk. Each of these three mindsets apply a unique constraint that allows your creativity to flow. The billionaire is constrained on effort the beggar is constrained on cost the monk is constrained on features let these three mindsets help your team. When you brainstorm ideas and when your team gets stuck in a brainstorming session. Encourage your teammates to come up with stupid ideas and let that be the process that helps your team get to the bright idea.