The Razor’s Edge of Product Development

The Razor’s Edge of Product Development (a thread in 7 parts👇) Focus on the competition, and you won’t take the risks necessary to make it big. Ignore the competition, and you’ll miss plausible threats until it’s too late. Be optimistic, but paranoid.
Utilize every playbook, and you’ll never innovate. Do everything from scratch, and you’ll waste time repeating someone else’s mistakes. Differentiate in a few key areas, but don’t reinvent everything. 2/7
Hack code swiftly, and it’ll crumble under the weight of future features. Engineer code carefully, and you’ll toss it when the product pivots. Move quickly to test ideas, but invest in infra for things that stick.
A/B test everything, and you’ll get stuck on the treadmill of local maxima. A/B test nothing, and you’ll leave lots of compounding growth on the table. A/B test optimizations, not product concepts. 4/7
Ship a sloppy user experience, and users won’t stick around to get value out of your product. Ship a brilliant user experience, and users still won’t stick around if your product isn’t valuable. Ship fewer valuable things, but make their experience shine. 5/7
Demand people prioritize work above all else, and they’ll burn out of your team. Fail to inspire people to prioritize work, and they’ll quit because your team isn’t going anywhere. Pick the right battles, and be transparent about your culture. 6/7
See the world through the lens of the far future, and you may not survive the harsh realities of tomorrow. Stare only at the next 3-6 months, and the biggest trends and opportunities will pass you by. Execute with pragmatism, dream with vision. 7/7
Builders are always on a tightrope. Nothing that sounds simple actually is. Some days you play to your strengths. Other days you play defense. Context is everything in product development. The art is in knowing where you stand, how the wind blows, and what direction to lean.

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