How to Build Great Products

Build at the intersection

The best products are created at the intersection of product, design, and engineering. Successful teams start, build, and finish together. Fewer handoffs, and more multidisciplinary debates and considerations.

Cross Functional Overlap

Decide at the intersection

The best product decisions are made at the intersection of data, empathy, and instincts. Using a variety of inputs helps balance the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches.

Decision Making

Embrace healthy tension

There should be healthy tension between product, engineering, and design. Each team brings unique perspectives and will create a checks and balance system that ensures the end result is viable, desirable, and feasible.

Healthy Tension

Be data informed, not driven

Measure what you can, but recognize the limitations of data and that many important things cannot be measured. If you're interested in this topic check out my related post.

Data Informed

Make time horizon appropriate goals

Orient short term goals around inputs, medium term goals around outputs, and long term goals around outcomes. Make sure they all connect. Deciding appropriate goals and time horizons depends on the maturity of the product (new vs existing), the type of behavior you're hoping to drive near term (engagement, transactions), and the type of behavior you're hoping to drive long term (loyalty, retention). The devil is in the details.

Time Horizons

Zoom out to recognize true tradeoffs

Short term vs long term business value is a more appropriate and useful framing for many business vs user tradeoff discussions. Focusing on consistently delivering value will create more long term value than using dark patterns to boost near term conversion rates.


Think big, start small

Break down large ideas into iterative experiments that stand on their own but build towards a long term goal. Learn more from the guy who popularized this here.

Iterative Development

What heuristics do you use to build great products?