My Product Principles


I wrote these at the beginning of my journey within product management and these principles guide my decision making on a daily basis. These principles were written from the perspective of doing product management for data products but most could easily be used for other industries.


On Product

  • Grow. Products not growing faster than the market are becoming less relevant over time.
  • We are a subscription product. Customers buy us every second. We survive if they keep choosing us daily.
  • Ask yourself: “what am I requiring a user learn? how would they know to find this? when would they look?”
  • First, write down the problem.
  • If nobody’s using it, it’s not a product.
  • Be native. Don’t fork. Blog posts users find should work.
  • Be empathetic: Talk to users. Understand and feel their pains as directly as possible. Remember you are not the user.
  • Remember users are busy. If we ask our customers to take an action, we’ve failed.
  • Have a curated dashboard – behind that offer a ton of raw data.
  • Be consistent - if you’re going to use a trick, use it a lot.
  • Be proactive; find problems and reach out. Don’t mistake having an answer for someone finding it.
  • Simple is better than easy.
  • Prefer fewer better features.
  • Don’t build it till you need it.
  • Have the fewest, simplest dependencies possible.
  • Be ultimately responsible for what you do.
  • Performance is a feature.
  • Availability builds trust with customers. If you break that trust, be transparent and start building it back.

On Teams

  • Clear boundaries around product surface area are needed to allow teams to build effective solutions
  • Disassociate the problem from the implementation. Let the team come up with the best solution.
  • Pager and operational burden are real
  • With any new team, define a shared set of values for how we operate as a team and build product