16 top stories on the Aha! blog this year
December 20, 2023

16 top stories on the Aha! blog this year

by Brian de Haaff

Last updated: January 2024

"Lawe i ka maʻalea a kuʻonoʻono." I learned this phrase, translated as "Take wisdom and make it deep," during our recent company "onsite" in Hawai‘i. We recited it together as part of the Pono Pledge: a promise to respect the environment and honor our surroundings while on the island. This line in particular resonated with me and others in a meaningful way. It is a powerful statement about growing with intention.

This year, we wrote about how to think deeply about what you want to achieve — building with purpose, integrity, and soul.

2023 marked an important milestone for us. We were fortunate to celebrate 10 years as a company. It has been a joy to revisit memories with folks who have been here for nearly as long — while welcoming new people to the team who bring fresh energy to the start of our next decade. It is an honor to be able to continue this adventure.

But I recognize that this year was not without its challenges. Layoffs persisted along with the worry of a recession. Inflation continued to accelerate (until very recently). Hate speech and hateful acts soared. Events like these can rattle your worldview, and they certainly led me to some deep reflection.

Still, I remain an optimist (and a realistic one). This post-pandemic era we are in is a hopeful one for many. Some uncertainty lingers, but I also sense a deepening hunger to grow and achieve — to build something meaningful. Our values matter more than ever.

These themes emerged in the many conversations we had on LinkedIn as part of The Startup Adventure newsletter (which now has more than 64,000 subscribers) that I began this year. They are also reflected in the posts that were most popular among our blog readers. It is exciting to see so many of you striving for both success and authenticity. And I am grateful that we can help guide you in how to get there with what we write.

Here are the 16 posts from 2023 that inspired you the most:

How to be a better product manager

Product management continues to be a compelling career choice for many individuals. From expert tips to a new Aha! Product Management Professional Certificate, we shared perspectives and resources to help you succeed in the role with these posts:

1. 4 Ways To Prepare for a Role in Product Management

2. 8 Things We Wish We Heard Before Getting Into Product Management

3. What Software Companies Are Hiring for Right Now — According to Tech Leaders

4. You Said Product Managers Need These 4 Skills — Right Now

5. Aha! and LinkedIn Learning Partner on a Professional Certificate to Expand Access to Product Management Training

6. The One Trait Every Great Product Manager Needs

How to build what matters

We all want to build something of value and be happy doing it. These posts offered guidance to the bold, high-achieving product builders who dare to deliver more lovable experiences:

7. Have We Forgotten What "SaaS" Stands For?

8. Are You Building a Minimum Lovable Product?

9. Activity vs. Achievement in Product Management

10. Releases vs. Features vs. Requirements — What Is the Difference?

11. How Product Managers Overcome Consensus Building

12. 16 Books That Will Change How You Build Products

How to stay true to yourself

Integrity starts with looking inward. But it matters most when you can show it outwardly. These posts featured stories of how we strive to live by our values each day, with ideas on how you can do the same:

13. Happy 10th Anniversary Aha! — A Decade of Bootstrapped Success

14. Goodbye to Twitter (for Now)

15. Maybe You Should Rethink That "Game-Changing" New AI Feature

16. Introducing a Fresh New Look for Aha!

I am not fully certain what the next year (or 10) will hold. But I do know we will remain committed to helping product and company builders of all levels achieve great things.

I have immense gratitude for your continued readership of the Aha! blog. Thank you for joining the conversation and inspiring us in return. I hope everyone finds time for rest and reflection in the coming weeks, and I look forward to reconnecting with you in the new year.

Looking for a new approach to product building? Try Aha! and be happy.

Here for templates? Here are a few of our most popular:

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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