I Don't Know (and that's OK)

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Keynote address for Product Development Insights conference - NYC 10/1/2010.

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I Don't Know (and that's OK)

  1. 1. I Don’t Know (And That’s OK.) Cindy Alvarez The Experience is the Product - http://www.cindyalvarez.com Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  2. 2. I’m here today to promote ignorance. Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  3. 3. Product Development Maturity Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  4. 4. Product Development Effectiveness Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  5. 5. How does “knowing” kill great product development? Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  6. 6. Knowing is static but the world changes Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  7. 7. Knowing is apples but the situation may be oranges Crowdsourced localization of KISSinsights - 100+ questions in 14 languages Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  8. 8. You know but you don’t know enough ONLINE BILL PAY average bills paid/ month average $/payment most likely to pay these types of bills log in X times/month pay X bills per session Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  9. 9. You know but you don’t know enough BEFORE: ONLINE BILL AFTER: put incoming bills in PAY cross it off the the bill pile calendar average bills paid/ circle due dates on month check if I can pay more calendar towards my credit average $/payment card bill set up reminders on my cell phone most likely to pay transfer extra into these types of bills savings pen and paper calculations log in X times/month check when payday is pay X bills per session Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  10. 10. Knowing makes you lazy and you’ll forget to provide data “Users need this... The market demands this... Trust me and just build it.” Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  11. 11. which breeds HiPPOs. “As the CEO, I just know this’ll work...” Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  12. 12. If you were right, you denied your team the opportunity to learn and feel awesome Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  13. 13. And if you were wrong, you lose credibility “This is all your fault! We built exactly what you asked for.” Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  14. 14. For great product development to thrive, Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  15. 15. Foster a culture of not knowing but learning Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  16. 16. “WAIT! What do you mean, you don’t know?!” Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  17. 17. (This approach isn’t easy on enterprise customers, CEOs, or project managers.) Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  18. 18. “I don’t know, but -- • here’s how we’re going to find out..” • my hypothesis is...” • here’s what I do know...” Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  19. 19. More rigor + More work + More uncertainty = Better odds* * come on, you know there are no guarantees in product development! Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  20. 20. OK, so how do we foster a culture of not knowing but learning? Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  21. 21. Start with ground rules: Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  22. 22. It’s always OK to ask “what is the goal of doing this?” Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  23. 23. All brains are good brains. Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  24. 24. Limit “heads down” time. Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  25. 25. “Ugly data” trumps no data. Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  26. 26. Develop your own learning funnel: Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  27. 27. interviews A/B testing competitive research surveys user testing best practices bug reports market research analytics summarize (most companies skip this --> fail) “what’s important” Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  28. 28. Teach your team to fish: Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  29. 29. Don’t expect people to “just know” how to contribute How can we ask the customer? How can we ask the data? How can we compare ourselves to alternatives? How can we try “doing the opposite thing?” How can we gain a new perspective? Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  30. 30. Show off: Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  31. 31. We learned ____________, so we didn’t build _____________, which saved us ________! We learned ____________, so we quickly did _____________, which earned us ________! Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  32. 32. Oh, and -- don’t try to do this all at once: Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  33. 33. idea this was great idea this sucked idea this needs work idea this was great (It won’t be this neat, but you get the idea.) Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez
  34. 34. Go out there and “I don’t know” your way to your next great product! Copyright 2010 Cindy Alvarez

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