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methodical product design - first principles part two (final)

First Principles part two features Product Management, Product Design and Brand Strategy categories.
methodical product design - first principles part two (final)
By Akar Sumset • Issue #2 • View online
First Principles part two features Product Management, Product Design and Brand Strategy categories. This part features more practical principles than the first part.
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First Principles (Part Two)
There is so much to learn in product world. And it all seems controversial. To overcome this we need some kind of a North Star. That’s what I call First Principles.
This is the second and the final part of First Principles. (Here is the first part.)  
1. Product Management
Objectives and Key Results - Andy Grove, John Doerr
When it comes to building products, there is so much emphasis on business goals and user needs that we forget about people who actually build the product
OKRs recognise employee goals (like learning new things and working on areas of interest) and provides a model to satisfy employee goals as well as company goals

OKRs help companies create a shared understanding of their mission and show how each individual contributes. I am really having trouble to cut it here but I have to. Otherwise this is going to be an OKRs only issue :) Just read it. 

Lean And Agile - The Spotify Way
To me, the way Spotify marries Lean and Agile is the epitome of product design and management. Simply put, Agile answers how to build products and Lean answers what to build. (And OKRs ensure we know the Why) If we know what to build and how and why to build it then there is not much to discuss but to get the job done. (I hear you thinking “timing is important too”. Yes, it is. And it is embedded in How part of it.)

AARRR - Dave McClure
McClure’s model (also called Pirate Metrics) is a universal model to track customer life cycle. AARRR reminds us that product design isn’t only about designing new, big products but also optimising and what we currently have and thus growing. From marketing to customer support, there is a lot to optimise before building any thing new to so that we grow. AARRR bases it all on customer life cycle. This is a very human centered approach, I’d say. Additionally, I like how it considers metrics beyond conversion by considering referrals which fuels growth.

Kano Model - Noriaki Kano
Kano Model provides a universal feature segmentation and prioritisation model. It brilliantly illustrates how users perceive features. When we couple Kano Model with a Value vs. Cost matrix then it’s (almost) the ultimate prioritisation method. Additionally, Pareto Principle and Occam’s Razor are very helpful when it comes to decision making.

like DMMM because unlike popular marketing methods, it doesn’t put tactics at the core. Instead, Kaushik’s model maps marketing efforts directly to business goals and the very reason the business exists. Implicitly, it drives marketers to think more about user needs and context. Thus, it provides a common ground for marketers and product people to think about the business.

2. Product Design
MVP - by Y Combinator 
Often times MVP is referred as the smallest product possible. That’s wrong. Very wrong. (On a separate note, MVP is a perfect example how “words” shape reality.) MVP is the smallest effort to validate an assumption. Preferably, the riskiest assumption.  It doesn’t even have to be a product. Y Combinator, being usual Y Combinator, describes what it is perfectly. Approaching MVP as a process is genius and that is the very reason I put it under Product Design.

5 Whys - Sakichi Toyoda
The funniest, toughest and the most fruitful of all the questions -except when it is annoying like this. (Watch until the end. It’s brilliant. Louis CK is a philosopher disguised as a comedian btw) 
Asking “why?”  may be the only thing we need to carve the essence out of any thing. It seems easy but requires a lot of courage to ask it 5 times in a row. Try it.

These three, ordered from least tactical to most tactical, provides %80 of the fundamentals a designer would need

Copywriting for UX -  Talissa Chang
I care deeply about copy writing. It is the most overlooked part of design and ironically has the highest return on investment because it is much less costly to test and iterate on. So, the first link is for more of a brand level guide and the second one is for the nitty gritty part of product design.

3. Brand Strategy
Luckily I had gathered all the methods I use for brand strategy together for Unreasonable Group. Here is the full how to guide for brand strategy for startups.
Success... is difficult.
Success... is difficult.
Conclusion
As said in the first issue, my mind, work and life are strongly shaped by these above. I find extreme value in following these principles. But again, there is no such thing as blindly following principles and achieving success. We need intuition, judgement and courage to make the hard decisions. Principles can’t make decisions. They just provide us help making decisions.

Please share ideas and feedbacks by replying to these mails.
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WTF!

Best,
Akar - Continuously brainstorming
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Akar Sumset

Hey product person! Can't choose what to read? Can't trust what you learn? Methods (frameworks, guides, principles...) are the solution if you know when and why to use them. Unlike other newsletters, Methodical shares content in a structured way so that you know when to use what.

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