Food for Thought #24: Growth Resources, Prototyping, Hardware Toolbox, Bitcoin

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of January 17th, 2016 covers: Resources to grow your startup, a guide to prototyping, the lean hardware toolbox, learning from experiments, growth and product quality, how to prevent executive intervention, leadership lessons from Hubspot, making difficult decisions, competitive learnings from Google Maps and why Bitcoin is a failure.

(via Product Hunt): These Resources Will Help You Grow Your Startup

One of the biggest maker trends on Product Hunt this past year was curated resource lists: collections of startup resources in various categories all designed to make your job easier. These products are very popular within the Product Hunt community whenever they’re submitted, so we thought we’d highlight some of the best ones by creating a list of startup resource lists!

Jerry Cao (via UXPin): What Is a Prototype: A Guide to Functional UX

What Is a Prototype: A Guide to Functional UX

Prototypes are one of the most important steps in the design process, yet still confusing for some designers and project teams.

Marcus Gosling (via The Lean Startup): The Lean Hardware Toolbox

Marcus Gosling, design lead at Highway1, on product discovery for hardware.

Teresa Torres: Why You Aren’t Learning As Much As You Could From Your Experiments

I love that A/B testing has become so popular. It’s an important tool in our toolbox. But it frustrates me that we use it so poorly. Most teams make one of the following two mistakes: They either gate releases with an A/B test trying to understand whether or not the feature had the intended impact or they test variables blindly hoping to stumble upon a better variation.

Marty Cagan: Devolving From Good To Bad

I normally write about how to evolve your organization from a weak product org to a strong one. But in this article I want to talk about a pattern that I see in many companies that are actually doing really well, growing aggressively, yet they will sometimes, over time and unintentionally, replace their good behaviors with bad ones.

Jared Spool (via Medium): Preventing the Executive Swoop and Poop with Design Sprints

We’ve all seen it. That moment when a high-ranking, influential executive suddenly takes our design project off the rails. They burst in with their ideas blasting about who they think the design is for and what it should be.

It doesn’t matter how hard the team has worked on their design. It doesn’t matter what research they’ve done. The highest paid person in the room has a “better” approach and that’s all that matters.

Brian Halligan (via Medium): Scale-up Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned Over 9 Years as HubSpot’s CEO

Over the last few years, we’ve been in “scale-up” mode, where we’re adding fuel into our engine and growing fast in a great market with nice barriers to entry. It turns out that many of the skills I need as the leader of a scale-up are much different than the skills I needed as the leader of a startup. This article attempts to lay out some of the skills and tools I’ve needed to develop in this scale-up phase.

(via First Round Capital): Square Defangs Difficult Decisions with this System — Here’s How

Throughout his career, Rajaram has noticed how a lot of forward-thinking companies still gravitate to consensus as the way to make decisions. It turns out that for important, difficult choices, that approach is often ineffective and impractical. At First Round’s last CEO Summit, Rajaram shared a framework that he uses at Square and Caviar to make the most difficult decisions, all while assigning ownership, being inclusive and coordinating execution among all stakeholders.

Bret Taylor (via First Round Capital): Take on Your Competition with These Lessons from Google Maps

With rare exception, the better mousetrap doesn't win simply because it is better.

Mike Hearn (via Medium): The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment

From the start, I’ve always said the same thing: Bitcoin is an experiment and like all experiments, it can fail. But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly. The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards.

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