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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What heuristics do you use to build great products?