Daniel Markham
Replying to
Features are not the sole driver of product value. “Quality” almost never comes from new capabilities — usually adding stuff makes things worse for a time. It comes from the quiet work of tending the garden. 2/10
In the rush to find PMF of course you’re going to build like crazy — you’ve got to cram as many ideas into the product as you can to see what plays. If you’re lucky you have the time to evaluate what’s working as you go. 3/10
From PMF onward the drive to add more will never stop. Users have new needs and your product teams have awesome ideas. You fall in love, and you want to give those users everything, you want to support every amazing opportunity your teams can dream up. 4/10
Gravity will always pull you toward building more. And keep building it fast, of course. Don’t worry, we’ll come back and refactor later. You won’t though — unless you treat code quality and design investment as essential to the success of your product. 5/10
It’s fucking hard. No prospect tells you they’d buy your product if only you’d complete that JS to Typescript conversion, or finish your design system. But I’ve worked in an org that was so mired in debt they couldn’t ship. Literally could not. For two years. 6/10
This doesn’t happen with a bang, but with a whimper. Work to the right ignored or delayed in favor of what’s next in the backlog. Code reviews rushed, or guidance ignored. Tests skipped because they’re broken. IA becoming increasingly byzantine. 7/10
Product leaders, y’all need to deeply give a shit about this. And when you get religion and understand how these problems will harm your users, you need to use whatever capital you have to pull back on adding features, as hard as that will be. 8/10
What harms your users will, in the end, harm your business. If you continue to crank out features without regard for the other dimensions of product health, enduring value will elude you. 9/10
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Breakneck speed of features is a recipe for disaster. It usually implies desperation. Security, skill level, solid engineering all suffer as is noticeable when things break. People immediately notice garbage software and hate on it. Don't be that one.