Product Habits - Is your product good enough?

 Hiten's Pick 

Just Because Your Product Is Ready Doesn't Mean It's Good

Even if you have every box checked on a product, that doesn't mean it will deliver a high-quality experience to users. Especially if you want to make a product intended for both small companies and large enterprises, you have to build with the latter in mind. One of the best ways to do that is to allow for scalable organization. Here's what it looks like in practice

 Business 

20 Things I've Learned in 20 Years as a Software Engineer

I thought this was a great, unexpected list of lessons from an engineer who has spent 20 years working in software. One of my favorite parts is his preface: Almost all advice is contextual, so it helps to have context upfront. I couldn't agree more. Every software engineer should read this list.

Who Should Make Cyber Risk Management Decisions?

At many companies that hold explicit cybersecurity risks, the final decision-makers are often advisors (such as lawyers) or information security and compliance professionals. But this structure is flawed because most of them are evaluated on their ability to minimize risk. They are seldom responsible for the company's customer satisfaction or bottom line. I enjoyed this read about more effective ways to manage cybersecurity risk.

 Product 

Products Yield Value Differently

One of my favorite tweets of the week was about how products yield value differently. There are three main ways:

  • Products that produce most of their value with a small number of initial features
  • Products that yield minimal value until they hit a certain threshold, leading to rapid growth
  • Products that aren't viable until they have a critical mass then yield exponentially

Balancing Short-Term and Long-Term Product Bets

Dan Rubinstein joined Google as a PM in 2005 before Google Analytics even existed. His team shaped it virtually from the ground up. Even though many of those capabilities are now available to all product developers, most companies struggle to use analytics to build valuable products effectively. Here are the two key insights Google had that are still poorly applied by most organizations today. 

 Marketing & Sales 

Using "How to" vs. "Why to" Content

If you have to explain an answer, process, or feature more than once, it's probably worth making it a piece of content for future customers. There is a lot of room to surprise and delight users with help center articles, training tutorials, and best-practice posts that are genuinely useful. This article serves as a good reminder that both "How to" and "Why to" content scales well. 

How To Launch Effectively on Product Hunt

Product Hunt is an excellent platform for getting early traction, but it's changed over the years. It's essential to know how the platform has evolved and adjust your launch plan accordingly if you want to succeed. This is a helpful, detailed guide on planning for a successful launch—from timing to community interaction.

 Growth 
What Duolingo Does Differently From Most Companies

I enjoyed reading through this deep dive of Duolingo's S-1, which covers everything from how the company thinks differently about product growth, key operating metrics, and its future strategy. There is so much to glean from the entire read, but if you're short on time, check out this tweet thread summary.

What Most Fast-Growing Startups Have in Common

Julian Shapiro recently wrote a tweet thread about product-led growth, and it's one of the best I've seen in a while. He defines PLG as "when existing users drive your growth." PLG is the holy grail of growth, but it doesn't happen overnight. Read on for more thoughts on how to build a successful PLG company from the ground up

 Management 
When the CTO Quits

Especially for smaller teams, it can be devastating to lose a CTO. At a startup, this person often knows the codebase better than anyone, and knowledge transfer takes too long on their way out. One company shares the four significant lessons they learned in the wake of losing their CTO. If you heed this advice now, you'll be thankful you did later. 

The Startup Org Chart From Founding to IPO

Things inevitably break at high-growth companies. Some of the pain is unavoidable, but you can also mitigate many of the growing pains. If you have a plan for who you should hire and how you should structure your team at every growth stage, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches. Here's a helpful guide on how to structure your org chart as your company scales.

 Insight of the Week 
The Letdown Effect

I read this tweet and thought it was such a great piece of advice. Whether you're launching a product, fundraising, or doing speaking engagements, it's essential to plan what you'll do right after each "event." This is especially true with significant achievements, which tend to lead to even harder crashes. Take time to consider how you will handle the aftermath of big moments. Your mental health will benefit from it.



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