These First Principles are the basis of all the things I do. I constantly revisit them. Most of the times, I find new insights like when I read a book for the second time.
1. Core Principles
This is an oldie but a goldie. JJG draws the path from strategy to interface design. The model perfectly shows how to make product decisions. (Teaser: I’m working on a framework based on this. Coming Soon!)
b. Agile Manifesto
- Several Authors including Martin Fowler, Jeff Sutherland
I HATE Scrum but I LOVE Agile. Especially how it prioritises people and working product over everything else.
Eric Ries is fine but Steve Blank is the man! His human centered approach on finding the product - market fit and insights on startup management are the main reasons I love his work.
2. Psychology & Social Psychology Principles
Another oldie but goldie. A product is an attempt to persuade people. All those research, ideation, design, optimisation… is done to persuade people to use our products. “To persuade people, first we should understand persuasion ourselves” says the master of persuasion Cialdini. (Saw what I did there? Recursive persuasion…)
Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner, has the full picture of how people think. Really. The full picture. Two systems thinking is not a brand new approach however the heuristics and biases he lists in the book are groundbreaking. They are quite practical, too.
BJ Fogg provides very practical theories on the nature of behaviour and how to motivate people to do things. His theories are quite helpful for designing habit creating products.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (from his book: Flow)
Flow State is when we lose track of time while doing something and Flow Model explains how we enter into the Flow State. It is an awesome tool to understand how to keep people motivated even for seemingly repetitive tasks.
- Nir Eyal (from his book: Hooked)
Csikszentmihalyi (what a name!) showed us what flow is and Eyal teaches us how to make people to come back even though they don’t experience flow. Retention is the key for any product’s success. Be it a startup or a large enterprise.
— This is the first part of the First Principles. With the next issue, I’ll complete First Principles with design, branding and decision making principles. Stay tuned! —