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Pick two—time, quality, or cost.
Thoughtfully choosing the scope such that things are built on time, on budget, and at a high level of quality.
Saying “X will be done by Y date” means the person listening will do mental math (+30% or x2) to get a realistic estimate.
Saying “X will be done by Y date” is a commitment and the person listening will actually believe you.
The next major milestone is “launch” and it is 2 months away.
The next milestone is at the end of next week, and there are many such mini-stones before “launch.”
All decisions are rigorously considered and debated.
Expensive, hard-to-reverse decisions are rigorously debated.
Cheap, easily-reversible decisions are made quickly.
(Most decisions are the latter.)
The product looked and worked better in your head / on the mock.
The final product feels like its earlier incarnations come to life in full, vivid color.
The team, lost in Groundhog Day, continues to debate last month’s decision because they don’t agree with it.
Once a decision is made, everyone moves in lock step on implementation. Only substantial new information reopens the case.
The full map of what’s happening across the team only exists in fragments across different people’s minds.
Everyone shares the same picture of what’s happening because an up-to-date map is consistently maintained and distributed.
Teams behave like one-dimensional characters, constantly erring in the same ways.
Teams only make the same mistake once. Their disciplined practice of post-mortems lead to constant improvement.
Decision-making feels like playing slots. You never know what you’ll get depending on the time of day or people’s moods.
Decisions are made on top of easy-to-explain and internally consistent frameworks.
Ask each team member what success looks like, and everyone gives you a slightly different answer.
Not only does the entire team follow the same North Star, they know precisely how to wayfind based upon it.
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More from @joulee
Is it Fortnite Battle Royale, where you outshine an arena of others?
Pokemon, where you collect and show off your rare finds?
Minecraft or Roblox, meta-games where you build games that others play?
Tetris, the game of slotting stuff into the right place with increasing intensity (aka management)
Minesweeper, the game of avoiding being cancelled
Myst, the game of figuring out what the hell this world is all about.
The “Be influential on [App] about [Topic]” game
The “Show off your wealth and fancy possessions” game
The “Look attractive and get liked” game
Maybe it takes 5 clicks to do anything.
Maybe it works but is kinda ugly and clunky.
“I bet I could make a new app that’s 15% better,” you think. “Instant business success!”
This is a fallacy. Thread 👇
Especially since it seems like a given: if millions of people use a mediocre service every day, and I come along and make the same thing but better, won’t they obviously choose my product?
What they should be asking instead is: “Is our product better enough to motivate a change in behavior?”
There is a big difference.
So of course I looooove thinking about interview questions.
Thread of my favorite questions to ask folks to understand how they think and work.
If I interviewed your siblings and 3 best friends and asked them to describe you, what would they tell me?
What was your decision-making process to join/leave your last 3 roles?
How does this impact the product development process?
She asked me when my work would be done by. I had no experience with design scoping, so I said I’d get back to her.
“How long should a project like this take?”
A shrug. Then: “It’ll take as long as it takes until it’s good.”
This was a piece of feedback I received once from a colleague.
Yeah, it burned.
It felt like a shitty thing to say.
1) Immediately I’m cast as different, part of the “other” group
2) Saying I’m a “complexifier” makes it sound like this sucky label is my permanent identity.
3) Geez this statement is broad. How about some examples?
Were they trying to sound insightful? Smart? Superior?
Maybe they thought this kind of delivery would have the biggest impact?
Maybe they wanted to see me squirm?
Not sprawling networks of people (though technically that’s right)
Rather, thinking about a company as an individual makes many things easier to understand.
Pick the company to join like you’d pick who you’d want to hang out with every day.
Zoom’s focus on superior tech leaves it lacking when it comes to product features.
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