Receive a hand picked list of the best reads on building products that matter every week. Curated by Anders Toxboe. Published every Tuesday.
The best resources on Experimentation.
OKRs are a way of expressing outcomes. Outcomes are the results of actions taken. Both business and product outcomes can be expressed as OKRs.
Discover the impact of prioritizing speed over perfection in product experimentation and the advantages of continuous iteration for better outcomes.
Continuous discovery is all the rage—but what is it, why is it popular, and where does it fall down?
How to build upon a previous experiment, without throwing it all away.
Product intuition is a skill: it is the observation of human behavior, trained by data, and applied to software.
Dont go out and build actual stuff.
Without writing a single line of code.
Building an online platform/mobile app/e-commerce doesnt always have to be such a long and expensive process.
Step by step: From idea to validated concept
What would it take to change your mind? The default is the action you’re okay with falling into passively whereas the alternative action is something you need to be actively convinced to do.
You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again: pricing is your most powerful and most immediate lever to accelerate growth.
Let’s get you kickstarted on product-led growth.
Spend enough time talking with entrepreneurs, product people, designers, and anyone charged with proving something, and youll bump into questions about validation. How do you validate if its going to work? How do you know if people will buy it to not? How do you validate product market fit? How do you validate if a feature is ...
Often, the best way to get unstuck on the quest for originality is to combine two old ideas to form a new one, rather than searching for a single, novel creative nugget. That was certainly true for a young singer at the dawn of his colossal career in the 1960s.
Generate UI components with simple prompts using AI. Describe in detail the component such as colours, texts and sizes – and get a ready-to-use HTML mockup of that interface - complete with microcopy.
Customers say they need something and indicate a strong intent to buy it. Is that enough?
Why arent people converting and what experiments can you run to try and fix that?
Visual thinking can quickly become a super power, unlocking powerful insights.
On diminishing marginal returns. At some point, the work you put in isnt going to move the needle enough to matter.
It uses a poorly phrased question, a response scale that's entirely too big, and an absurd method of calculation.
3 Steps to Better Product Decisions
Testing turns your designs into trash
Product discovery doesn't just happen. One has to cast the net of dedicated research to catch ideas. Ideas in the waiting.
How do we know which hypotheses to test?
Dont ask, cant tell: Asking people what theyd pay for and how much rarely works
The danger in prototyping too soon is investing resources in answering a question no one asked, and ignoring the opportunity cost. Testing a prototype can help you refine an idea that is already good, not tell you whether youre solving the right problem.
Do you know how to survey customers properly?
You dont need to do perfect research, but you do need to collect reliable feedback. – Tweet This
Assumption testing is a faster path to success than idea testing.
The Pinterest Growth team has over 100 members, and weve run thousands of experiments over the years. Its difficult to run that many experiments and still maintain a high success rate over time
Design thinking works well when user needs are properly understood. Grand design approach has greater scope to succeed under conditions of high uncertainty.
An Unprecedented Situation
Think about this. Our behavior is different when we are alone compared to when we are surrounded by people. Why? Because then our subconscious alert reminds us the social rules and standards we should follow. We become aware of what is expected from us as social beings.
Why Understanding Failure Can Lead to Success
Programming is about building products that solve problems for users not about writing beautiful code for its own sake.
Real Innovation is Hard, Rare, Not Always Obvious. The challenge is that innovation is in the eye of the beholder customer. We can’t make them love something or spontaneously declare us to be innovative
Once youve defined who youre hoping to speak with, it will be much easier to choose the tool that will help you to reach those particular people.
This fresh take on "Willingness-to-Pay" analyzes three types of customer motivation, leading to superior strategies for growth that also better the world.
Written by Marc Randolph
Loops help explain winning growth strategies. Loops flatten an otherwise complicated, tangled process.
Too many MVPs simply miss the mark completely because they are guesses
When figuring out what to build is as important as the building process
Nothing will better prepare your new venture for success.
When Your Colleagues Are Your Customers
The top rules that can help to put MVP thinking into action
Get interviews to work in a lean continuous discovery setting
How to ask the right product discovery questions
How to develop a product without developing a product
Success does not come from a god-given opinion smarter than everyone elses. Success is in our ability to recognize what we don't know, and in our ability to apply the scientific process to discover empirical truth.
Canvases often only explain the business model of companies AFTER they were successful. How do you capture the learning that got them there?
How to run a Discovery Track
Give up growth hacks in favor of a data-driven method.
Here's how Product Hunt evolved from a 20-minute prototype to a full-fledged service
We’ve done everything right, we’ve user tested the site, had an open beta for users to test, we’ve A|B tested and it’s on par with the current version but our users HATE it, worst of all our CEO is ‘concerned’.
Good product discovery requires discovering opportunities as well as discovering solutions
Study: What to pay user research participants – based on a sample of 25,000+ research sessions
Engagement on its own does not result in the kinds of outcomes that healthcare organizations hope to achieve. You n…
To successfully #innovate, companies need to make experimentation an integral part of everyday life.
Normally the question I focus on in my work and in my writing is How can we leverage the best practices of the very best companies in order to give ourselves the very best chance for continuous innovation?
Amazons breakthrough happened because of a focus on failure. Redouble your effort to understand whats NOT working so you can succeed.
Smoke testing is a simple way to check the most important aspect of a product: that it works. This guide will introduce you to its best practices.
Real-world examples demonstrating how companies have grown revenue, refined product design to better meet customers needs, identified where customers perceive strengths and weaknesses, and cross-sold services.
Taking an incremental approach can de-risk your innovation effort.
Problems can't be validated. They are best discovered.
Redefine what facilitate means
Which of these tests will actually tell us if we have the fabled Product Market Fit?
Don't reward certainty when the thing we're talking about is rife with uncertainty.
Listening to our customers and aggregating their feedback is our best tool for taking the pulse of a product.
After repeating the MVP mantra for a decade: It's time to re-evaluate whether its the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer.
Learn how to get your digital ideas to market sooner, but still deliver a product that users fall in love with.
The Problem Is Focusing on the Solution
Most can agree that testing is important, yet so few actually test.
There are other ways to innovate than building yourself.
There's more to experimenting than A/B tests
"The right price can make all the difference - too low and you miss out on profit; too high and you miss out on sales."
Why Strong Leadership Is Crucial
Varying Scopes and Why They Matter
Product development is not about developing products. It's about developing knowledge about the product. Great products emerge as a result.
When Is a Discovery Needed?
To get the full picture, look at a constellation of data.
A quick-and-dirty reference doc for flawless quantitative experiment design.
Many founders believe it's better to be a toolmaker than a miner. But is it?
When people review a product online, they are not necessarily reviewing the product itself but rather how well the reality of using the product matches their perception of what they were expecting.
Enhance your design skills by developing your ability to listen actively, empathetically, and with intention.
Solving pain points is not enough
How to prevent costly mistakes by learning what you don't know, now.
Ask any executive what the top 3 metrics they watch in their company are and youll get some combination of revenue and sales metrics and, of course, the companys NPS. Net Promoter Score....
How Buffer did it
Best practices of asking for customer feedback when they don't leave feedback themselves
Design and launch better MVP's to validate your business ideas with this easy and free to use tool
And why you shouldn't use it...
Latest from me on how to make experimentation a repeatable leanstartup
Iteration time is a critical aspect of starting a new business, and there are a few key misconceptions that we may have been guilty of: Our burn rate is the amount of money were spending each month.
Thoughts on Tech Startups and Venture Capital
When we generate more ideas, we generate better ideas. Ask “compare and contrast” questions, not “whether or not” questions.
A guide to bootstrapping a sustainable business. It will make you familiar with how bootstrapped enterprises are created, ran, grown, and sold.
While Design Thinking gets all the attention, it is not the same as (Digital) Product Design.
Here’s how to de-risk it.
The types of questions we ask (and how we ask them) are the compass of the interview process, guiding the trip in directions most useful to our topic of inquiry (or at the very least preventing us from going in circles).
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To better understand the different nature of growth teams compared to other departments in the organization, we first need to clear up what's the difference between an outcome and an output. Some
Depending on SAAS, PAAS, and IAAS is great, but it can hurt when you should have turned left at Albuquerque if you havent insulated yourself from some of those choices.
How do you come up with fresh, transformative ideas?
Question: How do you test a customer’s willingness to pay for a solution?
I've spent 15+ years being one of the biggest advocates for Agile as the silver bullet. I've moved on.
The problem with business plans is that the expectation is to implement them.
You don't have to involve engineers (or even a designer) to build awesome products.
Interesting case study on using Teresa Torres' Opportunity-Solution Tree
Here's your checklist for Evaluating Experiments
Almost all startups begin with low pricing, heres how to avoid this common mistake.
The best UX is no UX. The best code is no code. Pretty much everything I, and probably you, have worked on would be better if it wasn’t there.
Matt Lerner: Why I No Longer Score Ideas by Effort vs. Impact
If you’re a product leader and recognize your company’s approach in any of these, I hope this post will provide language to characterize the problem and guidance on fixing it.
The Life of a Product Manager
Is telling founders to focus on finding product/market fit really helping anyone?
As we experiment we learn and through that learning we earn the right to invest more in our ideas. The Truth Curve makes that obvious.
Low-code prototypes work best for Applications - where there is low execution risk and high market risk.
Example: How time spent per active user can be misleading
Ways in which friction can live in your product, throwing roadblocks in a user's path to becoming a customer and how to best uncover counterintuitive insights that can pinpoint friction points, and spells out the three-step process for eliminating them.
The California Roll is simple: people dont want something truly new, they want the familiar done differently. The unfamiliar can impede adoption.
Product teams need to understand how the work they are doing impacts the business. It’s up to product leaders to share this strategic context with their teams. Tweet This
How to reduce learning cycles and base those faster learnings on more data points.
How do you decide what to work on first?
The Build Measure Learn loop is backwards.
Discuss validated customer insights and their impact on current and future product decisions.
If the uncertainty you face is too high, start with product discovery and not with product delivery.
Use dot voting to whittle a list from lots to some. Use experiments to evaluate the smaller set.
There are many different conflicting definitions of Product Market Fit. Most are quite ambiguous, and make it difficult to understand when you have achieved it.
Risk 1: your data might be wrong (more often than you think)
Consider all the products in your portfolio in a holistic manner so that you can focus on learning about your customer, balance explore and exploit mindsets.
What the big studies have shown
If you're going to use algorithmic nudges, create win-win scenarios, be transparent about what you're collecting.
Every person at a startup should be talking to customers.How do you do that in a fast-growing company? Is it even possible?
A complete, actionable list of growth hacking tactics you can use to supercharge the growth of your business and build your user base. Fast.
A step by step guide to doing A/B tests right
Assumptions and hypotheses are not the same. Assumptions should be challenged with research. Hypotheses should be tested.
Reporting on and during the process not only on the outcomes
A behind-the-scenes look how we're building the democratized research culture at UI, with examples, outcomes, and self-reflection questions.
Remember: The journey is 1% finished. Lets keep trekking and learning.
How everything youve learned about being a leader can work against you when creating a culture of experimentation. Chances are, you jumped in way over your head and learned as much as possible, as
Innovation strategy is about more than tackling whats in front of you. You have to know how to find, and manipulate, the advantages of hidden markets.
If we plan on creating an engaging career path for future Growth Leaders, we need a process to provide objective feedback across the whole team. This is where the Growth Competency Model comes in.
Control and Predictability in Corporate Strategy
That means limiting handoffs, using different data sources, building empowered autonomous teams, committing to radical transparency, and focusing on curiosity rather than pride.
Business transformations can take many forms and often occur at the same time. To understand which approach youll need to take, ask yourself two questions: 1) Is your transformation driven by internal needs or external forces? 2) Does it need to happen quickly, or do you have more time to transform?
So how fast is fast enough?
This weekend I took a long walk with a fellow founder/CEO. We talked on the phone before, but never met in person. We found ourselves in the same city, so it felt like it was time to shake hands and catch up IRL. He runs a company that's an order or magnitude larger than 37signals, so his experiences, responsibilities, and perspectives...
Strengthen your fortress walls
Receive a hand picked list of the best reads on building products that matter every week. Curated by Anders Toxboe. Published every Tuesday.