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⚖️ Build products with taste / PM Snacks 76
Today’s email → How Linear builds product • From Data-driven to Decision-driven • A magic prioritization trick • User research is a waste of time?
I’m introducing this new paragraph about why I handpicked today’s articles and why it might be interesting to you. Hit reply to share your feedback.
I’m opening this edition with the deep dive on how Linear works, for several reasons:
1/ Even the obvious methods can be challenged to optimise for specific outcomes. They promote quality & speed over everything else, so their process is built around it.
2/ Building a quality product and marketing it in a unique way, enables you to enter a very crowded market (like ticketing).
3/ I’d argue that building quality products with intent and taste, is about to become even more important in a world where every software category is going to be flooded by AI-powered tools.
4/ Finally, it’s a way to talk again about the importance of intuition (I shared articles about it 2y ago) and spread a new perspective: being decision-driven instead of data-driven.
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1️⃣ How Linear builds product • Sept 2023 • 8 min read • #culture
Much discussion happened on Twitter after Lenny published an article on how Linear builds its product (to the point that they recorded a follow-up conversation - must watch).
1/ Disclaimer: I don’t think you’ll be able to copy-paste much of it in your organisation. It’s the kind of method that usually works better if you built the company around it. For example: you can afford to empower the team with no metrics-based goals only if you hired an A-team that values the craft and knows the industry inside-out.
2/ I’m still promoting it because contrarian ideas are one of the best way to think from first principles to interrogate our own ways.
3/ One thing that I would generalise more (independently of the company) is to prioritise conviction and taste in what you build, not just optimise for data. See next article to deep dive 👇
2️⃣ From Data-driven to Decision-driven • Aug 2023 • 5 min read • #mindset
On several occasions, I’ve highlighted the importance of intuition over data (in PM Snacks #7 or #8 for example) but today’s article brings a fresh perspective that I find useful: moving from a data-driven mindset to a decision-driven one. The key takeaway is that you should invest equal time in learning the science of data as the science of “decisions”. The whole website is worth checking out (the uncertainty project).
3️⃣ The Magic Prioritization Trick • Sept 2023 • 3 min read • #execution
Let’s talk about something very actionable: a workshop exercise cleverly designed by John Cutler to prioritise in group settings. He proposes to assess the urgency, value and building durations in sequence, in order to determine the optimal roadmap through better conversations. I’ve not tried it yet but I would bet it might be useful to product a strategic roadmap for 2024.
⏳ User Research is a Waste of Time • Sept 2022 • 4 min read • #discovery
Most clicked link one year ago in PM Snacks 65.
I’m a huge fan of discovery methods and their impact on most organisations but I’ve to concede that the author may have a point… more often than not, we try to blindly apply these methods while working on pretty basic products, with limited ability to conduct great interviews while hoping for the answers (= the right design) to emerge from a few interviews before building the product. I see this controversial opinion as a reminder of the importance of product sense, not hiding behind the research to form a vision, and iterating your way as fast as you can towards a well-functioning design (= shipping is the only validation that matters)
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