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Diligence on the Roadmap: Lessons from Intercom’s Cofounder

I watched one of Intercom’s cofounders, Des Traynor, give a talk “Lessons Learned In Growing A Product”. It was instantly one of my favorite talks giving a bit of conceptual, visionary/ motivational, and technical.

One of the tenets that really resonated with me was “be insanely diligent about roadmap”. He talks about how most new features are flops, and shares good practices in diligence. Here are some of the key points:
  • Understand the relationship between how often people use a feature to how many people use the feature. He illustrates a chart with “frequency of use” on the y-axis and the “number of users” on the x-axis. The features with high frequency and many people using them represented the core features
  • When improving features, consider improvements (“change”) in quality, importance, satisfaction, and frequency
  • To motivate more use, consider creating: habits, triggers, rewards, defaults, context, and, generally, more uses
  • When launching a product: “exit by feature set or by a deadline, but above all, exit”. The point here is you can go on and on trying to develop a product, but launching enables testing and market traction
There are a ton more golden nuggets in Des’ talk to which I’ll likely spread out over the next couple blog posts. (Yes, I enjoyed it that much.) I highly encourage everyone watch it, even if you don’t know much about startups or technology.

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