My Product Philosophy

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My product philosophy is the fruit of various influences throughout my life, including football coaches, mentors, and books/blogs written by product leaders that I admire. This document serves as a snapshot of my framework. I aim to make this a living document that evolves as I do.

My Responsibilities

  • My chief responsibility is to be a customer advocate. A customer can be a buyer or user of the product — in which trade-offs will be managed. I strive for every decision to drive value for the customer, not only for my company.
  • I strive to understand our stakeholders better than anyone else in my organization and tactfully manage their expectations.
  • I believe in generosity of time. Every moment I can teach and boost a teammate’s effectiveness benefits the team’s output in the long run.
  • I will understand my company’s vision, business strategy, product strategy, competitive positioning, and customer persona so well that any decision I make will instinctively be influenced by those. If my company does not have any of these things articulated clearly, I will help create that articulation.
  • I have the fullest understanding of the product strategy but don’t have all the answers. Talk it out, field opinions, and ask devs for their ideas.
  • I am responsible for simplifying complex information and building a knowledge base for my organization. I build this knowledge base by documenting my processes & key decisions and by leading guided analysis workshops with my colleagues.
  • Communication, both written and verbal, is essential to my role. I must continuously strive to improve upon it and ensure that minimal information solely rests in my head.
  • Be grease, not glue. The gears of the organization may not run as smoothly without me, but it should keep running.

Organizational Standards

  • Bias toward action, with a reason. Intentionality is the name of the game, and we have so few hours in the day to work aimlessly, but magnificent theories create no progress without action. Be on the quantity side of the ceramic class. bias toward action graphic
  • Feedback is queen. A new feature should not be celebrated until receiving positive feedback from stakeholders, via direct feedback on its positive impact or high user adoption seen through analytics.
  • Be rooted in value creation. idea is not an opportunity graphic
  • Continuously learn about our customers, our craft, our teammates, and our environment. Learn from other product leaders — become an expert by studying the experts.
  • Keep the North Star front and center while shipping and validating the tiny pieces through feedback and revenue.
  • The details matter. Create frameworks that align what is important to consider so that dotted i’s and crossed t’s provide clarity when fires arise.
  • Find passion in the problem, not the solution.
  • Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. Stay humble and be prepared to be proven wrong.

Decision Making

  • Be data-informed rather than data-driven. Make fearless decisions with incomplete information, document it, then evaluate them going forward.
  • I am wrong often enough, so I shouldn’t make high-leverage decisions in a vacuum. Talk it out and test hypotheses through experiments.
  • Once a collective decision is made, we run with it full steam ahead until we reach a predetermined time to reevaluate. There’s no time to second guess when initially plunging in.

Life

  • Have fun. Life is too short, and we spend too much time working for it to lack fun.
  • Pursue rich life experiences outside of work. Those experiences enrich me thereby enriching my effectiveness when working and, ultimately, my organization.
  • Seek ikigai with fervor. ikigai, a japanese concept meaning

Special thanks to Warren Wan and my team at DailyDoctor for pushing me to grow exponentially and hone my craft.