We're getting to see product development done spectacularly badly
oh dear gods...
Yup, this is another paid subscriber post, which tend to go out every other Thursday(ish) and are more stream of consciousness about what’s top of mind recently.
Product work is hard work. Even if you strip it down to “offer things that people will pay you money for, keep doing that”, juggling all the conflicting viewpoints, opinions, and requirements to make it happen successfully is a risky endeavor. This is why companies that are past the 2-person startup stage try to build processes and institutions to enable productive product work while minimizing the risks of doing so.
You’ve got the engineering people designing the code and infrastructure so that things can change to fit future needs at minimal risk, You have sales people bringing in feedback and feature requests from customers about what they care about. There’ll be research teams trying to understand all the motivations of users. There’ll be data scientists squeezing more money out of the system with their clever tricks. There’s product managers who are tasked with scanning the marketplace, synthesizing all the inputs, and then coming to a risky vision of where to go.
Teams are supposed to feel psychologically safe to maximize their productivity and creativity. Users have agendas for our product that no one in the room can even dream of, which is why we need to do research and listen to them.
None of that is put on display surrounding Twitter the past week.
Towards the beginning of the week while I was putting in the initial lines of this post, I was going to laugh at how a twitter poll was being used by EM as an “interesting” data point about how many people were willing to pay for a Blue checkmark. It was mostly going to be a bit about the huge gap between what people are willing to say they’ll pay in a survey, and what people actually pay when actually forced to pull out a credit card and spend money.
Then the news and craziness just kept ratcheting up day by day, hour by hour.
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