When the transition is necessary - Deepstash



Get an account to save ideas & make your own & organize them how you wish.



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

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.
  • You're trying to expand the product, which requires more work to understand users.
  • Existing staff members are responsible for too many different areas.


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything


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

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




Key Ideas

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 development systems using a few tactics.

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 not be ready for the change. The most important changes for a product:

  • You are no longer your customer. Once you hit product market-fit, you need more data as you can no longer reasonably represent all your customers.
  • You have the ability to test much more. At this point, you can start optimizing because you're pulling enough users or customers to correlate product tweaks with behavior.

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 with independently.

As you grow, your leverage will be in having many autonomously led teams, working side by side. This will enable you to scale easily later.

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 have the data you need to do this. Your company, in itself, is your hypothesis. As you start to grow, your ability to make educated guesses becomes the core and fuel for making your product better.

Areas of change

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

  • How you generate ideas
  • How you execute those ideas
  • How you continually build on 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.

    • If you don't have the volume of data, start with qualitative feedback from user surveys or testing.*
  • Use competitive analysis. Have your competitors achieved a similar outcome to the one you like? How can you build on their ideas?
  • Interview people who you want to have as your target audience. What do they use that's similar? Why might they not choose a product like yours?

Once you have some working hypotheses, you can start quantitatively measuring results to drive future brainstorming.

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 user tests, surveys, and other inputs. Prioritize this filtered list:

  • How important is the outcome this idea will serve?
  • What is the likelihood of success?

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 everything. Thematic org areas include:

  • Core product: How to make typical use of the product better.
  • Signup experience: How to bring more people into the product.
  • Internal tools: How to optimize the way you're working with infrastructure.
  • Content: What content do you present to users? How?
  • Community: How to set up communities for success.
  • Channels: Where and how to engage with users outside the core product.
  • Monetization: How to sustain what you're doing.

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 gives up the need to know everything, its easier to reorganize along thematic lines.
  • Each team needs to be able to drive themselves forward with their own point people.
  • Focus on handing out prioritites, not tasks. Then let your people be creative about their own execution.
  • A holistic focus is recommended over a pure tech focus.

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.
  • You're trying to expand the product, which requires more work to understand users.
  • Existing staff members are responsible for too many different areas.

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.
  • Set quarterly operational targets. Tie individuals' OKRs to objectives.
  • Have the founders or executives direct the smaller thematic teams by setting minimal but big company-wide objectives, and allocating resources.
  • Continually reevaluate where there are bottlenecks in the system and address them.

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, and
  • Guiding everyone to build features and run tests that connect to company goals.

If you don't have proper communication on your product team, many individuals may pursue their own goals for their own feature, causing a sprawl of your product.

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 test, you already have the format of an email to explain what you're testing. The template consists of fields where you'll insert the results.

Preventing rigidity

  • Pick only a few hard-and-fast rules.
  • Provide autonomy between firm commitments.
  • Be clear about the role of product ops.
  • Just start. Rather start something in ops than to have a master plan and the process figured out. Start light.


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.

5 more ideas

Charlie Munger

"Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and..."

Charlie Munger
Kaleidoscope Thinking

Latticework is similar to the prism of a kaleidoscope. If you only have one bead in your kaleidoscope, everything looks the same. The more beads you add, the more images you see with each turn. You can look at the same objects, but see it in many different ways.

Charley Munger and Warren Buffett are so successful because when they consider investing in a company, they slowly turn their kaleidoscopes and see many different images, angles, opportunities, and risks. The outcome is powerful. They can look at the same reality as everyone else, but identify opportunities and threats that others miss.

An Effective Latticework For Thinking Faster

There are two key components to form an effective latticework that allows you to think faster and more clearly.

  1. You need to have many mental models from a wide range of disciplines, different ways of looking at the world and solving problems. For example, supply chains, propulsion, and aerodynamics are some of the models explaining how cargo moves to a pacific island.
  2. You need to learn to use mental models in a very routine way.

one more idea