Our product team was featured in Utah Valley BusinessQ magazine in 2016 with five things you didn't know about product design. Still very relevant today, here's an edited version of that story:
1. It’s about process, not perfection. We all like to see progress in what we do and you have to make the right calls on when to get something out the door. Whether it's small internal steps or launching with early adopters, put it out there quickly and then iterate just as quickly. Launching products, or even product versions, is critical to the success of a product team and the lack of execution can crush a team.
2. Know your market. Subject matter expertise has little to do with the product and more to do with the market. You would do well to spend your time developing your intelligence of the market, the user, the sales process, the strategy, the product “story,” etc.
3. You need to collaborate. You want to avoid groupthink but rely on experts and watching end users to determine if there are gaps in your understanding. The lone genius is a myth. Just like coffee shops in the 1800s, get outside of your own head and smash ideas together to find the right solutions.
4. Build things that matter. If you’re going to spend the massive amount of time and energy it takes to build something, focus on how you can maximize the benefit to your users and improve their lives. Seeing something launch is extremely rewarding. Watching it improve the lives of your end users is even more so.
5. Build rapport with engineering. The respect of engineers isn’t earned through learning how to code. It’s earned through helping them develop products people want to buy. Sometimes learning to program is the most valuable thing you can do to that end, but rarely. Engineers need your market expertise. I’ve never met an engineer who didn’t want to hear how the sales call went.
The MX product team in 2016, when the article was published. (See full article here, p. 44.)