things i've learned at clay
simplicity vs configurability isn’t a binary, it’s a spectrum. we have to pick where we
are on that spectrum based on business context: who we’re targeting and current
technological limitations and market need.
there are always going to be unknowns, so it’s more important to pick a direction
and move towards it then perfecting an ideal solution from the get go.
there is a balance to be found between deep thought and fast execution. Good product work entails understanding how and when to switch between those hats.
it's important to know what questions you're asking so that you recognize the people and solutions that can be of use to you when you come across them either intentionally or serendipitously
i said the below (scroll down) a year ago. i think the point still stands but the reason why tools are still general purpose right now is because a powerful tool is still hard to make. and if you invest a lot of money into creating a powerful tool it must serve many use cases for you to get a return on that investment.
so right now in order to grow a business a product must be general purpose
the market shift we're waiting for is when tools become much easier to make, i.e needing less people to build a powerful tool. when that happens, creators can make tools fine tuned to each use case, and users will have more options to choose from. this could create a 'builder economy' where builders are akin to 'creators' today
you actually kind of see this dynamic already in no code tools today. they make building easier and reduce the need for collaborative work, so you end up creating an economy of 'experts'. salesforce experts, airtable experts, growth marketers, etc. all serve this purpose. it's much easier to become a nocode expert than a software engineer, so you get a market of nocode experts who use nocode to create tools for the end user
when i first started expressing product opinions at clay i was frustrated by how wide we were trying to be with the product at the sacrifice of usability. this was an accurate sentiment, but i initially made the mistake of thinking that simplicity and breadth were mutually exclusive. what they are instead is inversely correlated, and in order to grow, products must find the balance between them that meets the market where it's at.
we started out much too breadth heavy, and have been slowly moving in the direction of usability, but the current debate/uncertainty is where we ultimately need to end up, what our sweet spot is on the spectrum
(side note: the making software dev accessible to all mission of most of these cos isn't what ends up happening here. open to being wrong here but imo that's kind of a pipe dream of engineers. humans have always fallen into creator/consumer dynamics)
i am anti general purpose tools
designers need figma
but a marketer needs a simple graphic
does everything need to be in one place?
there is so much depth to creating a high ceiling use case specific tool
you shouldn’t need to mold your software you’re software should mold to you
whose backend can be reworked to create other use case specific tools
how to productize that ,
most PMs are bad bc the only metric they think about is growth (and even then they choose the wrong growth metric)
growth is not equal to value
if you want to make good products you have to develop your own feel for what good is and move towards it
you need growth to build good product but growth itself isn't an indicator of good product
in the long run i'd hope good products are what last, but regardless i think what makes a good product person is solely the ability to make valuable tools
death of the growth pm? lol
very possible to move through a PM career showing a track record of your ability to increase growth and feeling productive and successful for it regardless of your ability to do true product work