The Messy Process Of Building Things People Want
When deciding what to make, most people overemphasize delivery and underemphasize discovery. The goals of delivery is to get things out the door as fast as possible. What is the goal of discovery?
The goal of discovery is to avoid spending years working on a product, only to learn at the end that nobody wants it.
A lot of the frustration around this culminated in 2001 with the release of The Agile Manifesto. Agile encourages us to do two things.
- Develop in smaller batch sizes. Write code for weeks, not months.
- Show it to people and see if you are on the right track.
This was a good step forward.
Around the same time, we started seeing the rise of user experience design and design thinking. We started talking about building empathy for our customers.
Then came the Lean Startup, informed by Steve Blank’s work, and we shifted from asking “Are we building something that customers...
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