Profound and introspective, Vijay solves problems no one else even realizes exist.
He’s a keeper.
Extremely balanced, Paula recognizes the trade-offs between doing too much and too little.
Olaf’s smart and effective, but not a product guy. Sometimes he needs to be guided.
Strongly opinionated and poorly informed, Bruno loves to hear himself speak.
Toxic. Stay away.
...building profitable web, mobile, and API products...
...leading killer product development teams...
...and improving the way things get done.
Building useful, interesting, and topical stuff every day.
Practicing true product ownership.
Data-driven tweaking and experimentation.
Culturally ingrained from the CEO on down.
Question everything and accept nothing at face value.
Data doesn’t lie, though it doesn’t tell the whole story either.
Informed and transparent, but not afraid to negotiate.
It’s cool that you have beer on tap. And free lunches are definitely appreciated too. Sleek desk designs and MacBook Airs for everyone? Nice.
Yep, I get it. Your office is hip.
But if your company makes things no one cares about, no amount of perks can save it. I’m restless. I require meaningful opportunities.
Challenge me or I walk.
The electric car’s innovation curve is in its infancy while the internal combustion engine’s is mature.
It’s only a matter of time until someone figures out how to flash charge a battery at an intersection.
Or how to get a 50,000km range on a single charge.
Meanwhile the internal combustion engine is stagnant with only minor incremental improvements.
So, what amazing product are you dreaming up for Q3?
Well, I had a killer feature in mind. But we don’t have the technology stack to support it. It’ll be too hard to build from scratch. We don’t have enough time. I don’t even know how to release it. I’ll probably just upgrade something we already have.
Do you also dream of coming in eleventh at the Olympics?
A customer just said our transactions aren’t working. We need to add three tables to the database, create three new pages in the app, add in two new models and deploy it right away!
Or, perhaps, we can spend a few minutes to see what “aren’t working” actually means.
Question! What is failure? To the ignorant or those in conventional industries, the recent Nucleus glitch may seem like a failure in the negative sense. But we in this Valley know that failures like this one are really stepping stones.
The point being, what those in dying business sectors call failure, we in tech know to be pre-greatness.
We don’t need a methodology. We just get shit done.
I think you put the emphasis on the wrong word.
If you can't justify the return, you're running an experiment.
If you can't measure the experiment, you're winging it.
If you're winging it, you're going out of business.
I have a great idea for a Hello Kitty app. Everyone told me that they’d use it. I guarantee it’s a money maker.
I think I know of a way to reduce our customer service costs by 10% with 10 weeks of effort.
Bruno (sigh), go away. Olaf, take 5 days to prototype your idea.
Wireframes and prototypes visually communicate the product’s objectives.
Epic user stories and business rules guide product direction.
High level estimates provide a sense of scope, effort, and timelines.
Success metrics help you determine if you’ve set and met good goals.
Tee up sprints using a fully groomed and estimated backlog of user stories.
Provide ongoing continuous support to the team and keep focus on end goals.
Sign off on all completed work and diligently monitor quality and deliverables.
Communicate with stakeholders about progress and roadblocks.
Continuously analyze data, monitor feedback, and tweak where necessary.
The first thing to do is map out the endpoints for success criteria.
Then map each endpoint back to its startpoint.
Fill in each step to get from the startpoint to the endpoint.
And, according to my spotty theory, business rules and use cases should emerge.
However, a product owner must learn to understand root problems by teasing out details and asking probing questions.
This can come in many forms. The easiest is via a narrative.
Usually, though, I just want someone to tell me their story.
The cheapest way to vet an idea is through guerilla testing. That is, put a lo-fi prototype in front of users and see what happens.
Another way to vet ideas is through a design sprint. Get a few teammates. Then get a few craft beers. Then get creative.
(It works best when everyone has time to prepare. Don’t surprise ’em.)
Another way to vet ideas is through lean canvas boards. Don’t start any real work until you can fill it out entirely.
After a little refinement, our idea starts to take form. Now we can create a few working prototypes and validate once again.
If the prototypes are good, we can start to collect data points. Otherwise, we’ll continue with our subjective analysis.
Eventually, after a little more refinement, we will probably have one or two good ideas worth pursuing.
We take our A/B tests, behavioural data, and any other metrics we’re tracking in order to create a user persona.
These personas help us understand the customers’ journey, motivations, and expectations. Now we can sell them what we know they want.
...and great leaders.
Leaders count supporters while managers count subordinates.
Leaders make it rain while managers are just the weathermen.
Leaders say "I can’t not" while managers say "I can’t."
Possibly, but probably not. I’ve built some good stuff but I’m still often treading water.
However, I am getting better every day.
Almost certainly not. While I feel comfortable in a leadership role, I can’t say that I’ve made others any better.
However, I am getting better every day.