Scott Belsky about product

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This interview between Scott Belsky & Lenny is a pure gem. Those are insights which I noted from this hour-long interview.

  1. The first mile is undervalued. AI will help build this experience better.
  2. Product = empathy. This is a never-ending source of inspiration and insight to build delight in your products.
  3. B2C needs network effect to grow sustainably. To do it well, you need amazing insight into users.
  4. Evolution from atomic apps to super apps, thanks to the users being more technologically literate.
  5. „Do half the things you want to do” to truly understand what is essential in whatever you are building. Killing features can improve key metrics.
  6. „One of the best product leaders that I’ve worked with, I do feel like they have this great […] minimalistic tendency by default […] they anchor themselves on the one thing they want people to do and do well, and they […] are […] pretty ruthless about everything else.”
  7. After tough decisions related to people or products, everything starts moving faster. Fewer people often are better for an organisation.
  8. AI could help us focus on flow rather than fixing friction in our work. Same resources, more products. Enable us to focus on „experience economy” with no-scalable work.
  9. AI will collapse the stack, one-man-armies/empowered people. PM do more data/design/engineering. Ingenuity will be the most important. 
  10. Product leaders/designers do a lot of research before presenting options to their teams. AI will help with exploring possibilities faster & better.
  11. Cheat code for PMs – bringing designers faster on board during product development helps build better experiences.
  12. „Golden gut” – micro-decisions based on experiences & product intuition. Sign of a senior product leader.
  13. What to do with AI? Play with it & pursue your curiosity. The main risk is that you get stuck in your ways when you have more career experiences.
  14. Learning helps you years later, and some small piece of random wisdom can become a crucial idea for a problem you will be facing.
  15. Say ruthless no to most things.
  16. The messy middle – phase between starting and showing what you are building is tough. Human tendency is only to build something when constantly receiving affirmations that it makes sense. Fight back with micro-celebrations & micro-goals. Otherwise, people will go crazy from anxiety. Product leaders need to show progress to avoid that.
  17. Should you continue building? How much conviction do you have now after knowing what you know now – more or less? If better – continue. If not, pivot or leave.
  18. „Great founders absolutely know in their core that something needs to exist, and know it in their core, and they will be ruthless and relentless until it does.”
  19. Best startups – founders who listen & are motivated by their mission, no to founders who sugarcoat the hard truths. Optimistic about the future and pessimistic about the present.
  20. Best startups – product is straightforward & easy to understand, „How did I get here? What do I do now? What do I do next?”
  21. We are in a resource-constrained environment. We had a „put more resources to solve this problem” approach, and now we need to be smart & resourceful. This is a great opportunity – the best companies are built in eras like this.
  22. Exceptions are the rule. Listen to the lessons from others, but simultaneously you can be crazy or be onto something transformative/disruptive.

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