To Build Great Products, Build This Strong, Scalable System First

To Build Great Products, Build This Strong, Scalable System First

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Creating scalable systems

Creating scalable systems

The shift from product-market-fit to growth disrupts far too many promising startups.

Companies at every stage can learn how to create effective, replicable, and durable product develop...


Crossing the chasm

There is such a thing as startup puberty and it occurs when your product starts to gather momentum. A startup may be so busy working on getting to this stage that they are caught off guard and may ...


Modular teams

New needs mean you need more people. To set people up for success, you need to make your product and engineering teams modular. Then you can split up problems that people can work ...


Hypothesis-Driven Product Management

The idea is that product management can no longer say what they think users want. They need to predict what outcome a feature will have.

In the beginning, you don't hav...


Areas of change

As a company matures, three major areas of product development change:

  • How you generate ideas
  • How you execute those ideas


Generating ideas

Don't think you can continue to relate to your customer. Instead, make a list of the outcomes you want, then make a guess what will get you there based on data and research.

    • ...


Prioritize the distilled list

It is helpful when you brainstorm to separate idea generation from idea evaluation. Write down every idea. Then trim your list by applying the feedback you've received through ...


Modular execution

After you brainstorm, you may have many initiatives. After you hit product-market fit, you need to allocate responsibility across teams and empower them to work without the leadership knowing every...


Give up control

The CEO should cede a large amount of control. The CEO should shift from caring about the design of the product to focusing of the design of the organization.

  • Once a founder or CEO g...


When the transition is necessary

The transition needs to happen when:

  • The CEO or co-founders can't contain everything in their heads and don't know what's happening in various parts of the product.
  • ...


Initiating the transition

  • Appoint a business owner for each thematic area who is responsible for driving KPIs, managing stakeholders, and communicating changes.
  • Minimize existing cross-team dependencies.


The impact of product ops

As your company matures, ensure to appoint someone to care about the holistic experience.

  • This person should be focused on collecting and communicating data coming out of experiments...


Using templates

With the growth of your organization, consistently message the same things again and again. Templates ingrain this practice.

For instance, at Reddit, whenever you're about to run a ...


Preventing rigidity

  • Pick only a few hard-and-fast rules.
  • Provide autonomy between firm commitments.
  • Be clear about the role of product ops....



The Heart/Will/Head model

The Heart/Will/Head model

The Heart/Will/Head model defines three types of people and how they view the world around them.

Using this model is valuable for managers to build stronger teams en get the best w...

The secret to scaling: People

The secret to scaling is the people. People generally want to do the right thing if you set them up for success with the right conditions. They want to grow, develop, and have a meaningful impact. They don't need to be coerced or controlled.

Effectively scaling an organisation is then connected to helping people grow.

The Heart/Will/Head model: Components

The model breaks people into three types, each of which sees the world through one primary lens:

  • The heart - People of this type need to be liked
  • The will - People of this type desires to be in control and win
  • The head - People of the type wants to be smart.

We usually have a dominant type that we've come to rely on as a coping strategy. Each type demonstrates key positive attributes and negative ones. This model's strength is to highlight the positive qualities of your type while reducing the negative.

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