Food For Thought #41: The Kodak Moment, Radical Agility, Is SAFe Evil?, Free UX Guide

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of May 15th, 2016 covers the Kodak moment, failing to innovate and its tragic consequences, how great teams build great products, why empathy is essential for product success, how to employ JTBD in the right manner, and encourages to download a free UX research methodology guide.

We also explore how to get the right candidates for user tests, whether scaling agile with SAFe is an evil thing, that radical transparency is key to agile success, what agile KPIs need to be tracked, and what communication skills make you a good leader.

Last, but least, we learn about 12 innovation imperatives, why blockchain unbundles trust, and that less probably is not always more.

Essential Reads

Brian Solis: 12 Innovation Imperatives

Brian on how to breathe life into a company’s culture to compete for the future, and how to avoid the Kodak moment and have innovation strangled by a culture of mediocrity.

William Mougayar (via Andreessen Horowitz): Banking on the Blockchain

William, author of the “Business Blockchain, ”on the emerging peer-to-peer economy, unbundling trust, in this podcast on the bitcoin blockchain.

Derek Thompson (via The Atlantic): More Is More: Why the Paradox of Choice Might Be a Myth

Derek on why the wide spread assumption, that overwhelming people with options — whether in TVs or delicious jams — can make them less likely to make a decision, may actually be wrong.

Product, Lean & the Kodak Moment

Melissa Perri: Avoiding Innovation: Lessons from Kodak

Melissa with the insider story on the Kodak moment: How Kodak failed to innovate despite being presented with all the options and having every technology available to become a digital photography disruptor.

Marty Cagan: Marty Cagan – Great Product Team, Successful Product

Marty of Silicon Valley Product Group at Craft Conference 2016 on what it takes to create great product teams and consequently great products in

Maurice Roach (via Zühlke): Empathise with your users or you won’t solve their problems

Maurice sketches best practices of user experience design in the enterprise and why empathy with your customers should be at the heart of it.

Des Traynor and Bob Moesta (via Intercom): Podcast: Bob Moesta on Jobs-to-be-Done

Des interviews Bob Moesta, one of the principal architects of the Jobs-to-be-Done framework for innovation, providing seven takeaways, how JTBD can spur your innovation potential.

Evangelos Simoudis (via Andreessen Horowitz): On Corporate Venturing & Setting Up ‘Innovation Outposts’ in the Valley

Evangelos of Synapse Partners on how large companies – using the case of IBM and Watson/ AI —can and should use Silicon Valley (and other innovation clusters) to utilize startup-driven innovation, and to keep up with and address disruption in their industries.

(via User Testing Blog): Free eBook: The UX Research Methodology Guidebook provides a free ebook for anyone who’s ready to get started testing, but would like a little guidance on how to approach a study, when to run it, and how to interpret the results.

From the Blog: Lean User Tests – How to Find the Right Candidates

This part of the Lean User Tests series focuses on acquiring the right candidates for the interviews, answering questions like:

  • How many applicants are required to fill an interview slot?
  • How to reach out to prospective candidates among your user base?
  • How to set up the application form?
Avoid the Kodak moment with user tests: How to Find the Right Candidates – Lean User Testing by Age of Product


Agile & Scrum

Henrik Kniberg (via Scrum Expert): Is Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) evil?

Henrik of Crisp, Spotify and Lego in a video based on his experience of doing the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) at Lego with about 15-20 teams for 9 months and counting.

Max Schultze (via Zalando Technology): How Radical Agility Helped us Stay on Track

Max on Zalando’s Radical Agility methodology, which governed by a set of simple, clear principles to guide the decisions that teams need to make, from an engineer’s point of view.

Umer Mansoor: Lessons for Software Teams: Minimum Viable Product

Umer on transferring the Lean Startup concept of the “minimum viable product” to software engineering, and thus how to align product design with development.

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré (via Notion): Why Every Team Needs Quantitative Goals

Nikki argues that success metrics — or: key performance indicators (KPIs) — are required for engineering, product management, customer service, and marketing.

Khalid Halim (via First Round Capital): The Science of Speaking is the Art of Being Heard

Khalid, cofounder of, on communication as a leadership skill in general, and on how it is influenced by the central component of a human’s operating system — the reptilian brain — in particular.

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