Product Management Methodology for Internal Tools

I wrote this document on my TuSimple anniversary. I revised it and posted it here as today is already my second anniversary at TuSimple. Time flies!


  • The best tool is no tool
  • The product management/design for internal tools should only be guided by efficiency
  • The design of the tool should be from top to bottom
  • Find pain points based on processes, not users
  • Design tools based on nodes and triggers
  • Users should be consistently educated

A well-designed tool should have:

  • Quantifiable efficiency metrics
  • Good information visualization and synchronization capabilities
  • Good status visualization and synchronization capabilities
  • Linear and well-defined usage processes
  • Clear tool boundaries
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reMarkable 2

I have a habit of keeping everything, including my thoughts, on notes for a long time. However, after losing three of my notebooks last year when I moved to California, I started forcing myself to scan all my notes every night before sleeping. Scanning plus OCR is sufficient for saving and retrieving notes, but it is painful to roll the immense boulder up the hill like Sisyphus every night. So, I had the idea to digitalize my note-taking process.

I tried the iPad and Apple Pencil solution, but the writing experience was not quite good. The screen was too hard and slippery, and attaching a ‘paper-like cover’ on the screen made the display blurry, so I paused the plan. However, after a heavy giant book smashed me in the face while I was watching it in bed last week, I finally decided to order the ReMarkable 2 notebook.

Don’t ask me about my decision-making process… I bought it simply because The Verge gave it the highest rating (at least to me) among all the e-ink notebooks. I bought the ReMarkable 2 (USD 399), the pencil with an eraser (USD 99, and the funny thing is that I had to pay an extra 50 dollars to get the digital eraser… I miss the time when erasers were only 0.5 dollars each), and the polymer weaver folio from the official website. ReMarkable is very efficient, and I received all of my items only four days after I placed my order. They were shipped from China (of course…).

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Shopping Mechanical Keyboards

Before we begin, there are a few things we need to consider before selecting a keyboard:

Switches: The switch is located underneath the keycap and determines the tactile feel when you press down on a key.

Number of keys: Do you want a full-size keyboard with 104 keys, a tenkeyless keyboard with 87 keys (no number pad), or a compact 64-key keyboard with only letters and function keys?

Wired or wireless: Do you want a wired keyboard or a wireless one?

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Leaving Comments?

Look at the message input box, how elegant.

I am able to take my time, relax, reflect on what I just experinced, take a coke from the fridge, type in some feedback, do some proofreading, add the missing ‘e’ to ‘experienced’ that I just wrote, and then click the submit button. Isn’t this one of the best ways to encourage people to leave feedback? At least much better than the chatting window on Amazon that always reminds you your session will be out in one minute, right?

But, yes, it’s true, people don’t use the feedback function. How weird it is (at least to me)!

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If you pronounce BMW out loud your hear “Bee Em Double You”. As with many things we like and I guess dislike, we tend to give cars shorter and easier to pronounce names, kind of to bring them closer to you and make them your own. So owners all over the world started giving these shortened personal names to the cars “Bimmers”.

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The more impoverished one’s knowledge is, the easier it is to possess a sense of courage and pride out of nowhere. The more impoverished one’s knowledge, the more absolute their beliefs become – because they have never even heard or seen viewpoints that contradict their own.

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