Brandon Chu on Product Management

Matt Mullenweg recommended this post and I love it! I summarize as a means to learn, and here’s my learnings. —JM

Where To Invest

Return on Investment

Comparing Stocks
S1(t,m,p) vs S1 (t,m,p)
more money

Comparing Projects
P1(t,m,p) vs P2 (t,m,p)
more customer impact

Maximize customer impact/unit resource.
Time Value of Shipping

Pa: Build better feature
Resulting in big customer value
launch slower

Pb: Build small feature
Resulting in smaller customer value
launch faster

Measured over a longer time, Pb is 👍.
Time Horizon

If time span for impact is large THEN
comparatively speaking, Pa is 👍

If time span for impact is short THEN
comparatively speaking, Pb is 👍

The allowable horizon of time governs all.
Expected Value

Eva = Pav,success * Psuccess
+ Pav,failure * Pfailure

Evb = Pbv,success * Psuccess
+ Pbv,failure * Pfailure

Pick the higher Ev is b-school-y thinking.

Designing and Scoping

Working Backwards

Start with problem
→ devise solution outcome

Start with outcome
→ devise starting point

Working forwards doesn’t optimize impact.
Confidence ↝ Speed and Quality

Importance of Quality
∝ High confidence in problem + solution
→ validated thru customers

Importance of Speed
∝ Low confidence in problem
→ no customer validation

For quality, no shortcuts; for speed, test fast.
Solve the
Customer Experience

Don’t overfocus on the in-product experience.

→ Design the marketing experience.
→ Design the support experience.

Support experiences engender trust.
Experiment, Feature, Platform

Experiment / hi-speed, lo-quality
Learn how to solve customer problem

Feature/ speed = quality
Solve customer problem

Platform / lo-speed, hi-quality
Enable more features
Feedback Loops

Equilibrium is easily upset for good and bad.
Recursive Feedback Loops

Flywheel effect in a system is 👍.

Building and Iterating

Diminishing Returns

“When you focus on improving the same product area, the amount of customer value created over time will diminish for every unit of effort.”
Local Maxima

“Incremental improvements creates no customer value at all, forcing you to make a step change in product capabilities.”
Version Two is a Lie

“Make sure that whatever you ship is a ‘complete product’ which, if it was never improved again, would still be useful to customers for the foreseeable future.

“When the current UX is so bad that by making any reasonable change based on intuition is likely to make it much better.”
Most Value Is Created After V1

“You will learn the most about the customer after you launch the product, don’t waste the opportunity to build on those learnings.”
Key Failure Indicator (KFI)

“Pairing your KPIs with metrics you don’t want to see go in a certain direction, to ensure you’re focused on healthy growth”