• How (and why) to document the assumptions underlying your product

    Making a product people want is hard. Successful products often look like strokes of genius or incredible luck – things you can’t just buy. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to make consistent, fast progress toward product success?

    Turns out there is. A disciplined approach to product management works, and if you look behind most “overnight success” stories, you’ll find years of disciplined effort. And while every product expert will have their own set of tricks for each part, the essential principles of disciplined product management are so simple, I can list them right here:

    • Know that to succeed, your product must be desirable, feasible, and viable.
    • Identify your assumptions – the working theories of how your product will be all of these.
    • Iteratively test and refine your assumptions.
    • Prioritize testing your most prevalent and uncertain assumptions.

    In this post, I’ll explain how these pieces fit together to enable a disciplined approach to some of the biggest challenges faced by ambitious companies.

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