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Product Principles
and Tenets
1
Kyle Evans
2
Let’s get cookin’
Boards
3
What are our current
principles?
What has been
unclear?
What have been the
tensions?
What have been the
failings?
What are
Principles?
4
And why do we care?
5
Foundational Values
Fundamental Truths
Codes of Conduct
Principles are:
6
But also…
The scales we use to weigh a
decision one way or the other.
7
…to scale the ✨magic✨ of
OpenSpace.
8
Create a shared framework
for decision making…
Vision + Strategy + Principles
9
Many decisions to get
from strategy and
vision to execution Vision
Strategy
Execution
Principles live here!
Summit Mt. Everest
10
Vision: Reach the summit
Strategy: Northeast ridge route
Principles:
● Sherpa’s word is final
● 100% or nothing
11
Team-level
Overarching value
Broadly applicable
Principle
Product/feature-level
Specific value
More narrowly focused
Tenet
VS
Examples
12
Slack Principles
● Don’t make me think
● Be a great host
● Prototype the path
● Don’t reinvent the wheel
● Make bigger, bolder bets
Examples
13
Box Tenets
● Protect customer data
● Make content infinitely better
● Be insanely simple
● Build horizontal software for the masses
(rather than specialized software)
● Focus on network effects (rather than
enterprise instances
● Think 10X (rather than quick iterations
● Partner deeply
Examples
14
Pay.com Principles
● We are not a bank
● Sense of security and privacy is key
● Merchants are the gateway to customers, so
our products must “wow” the merchant
Activity
15
What are our tensions?
Decision Points + Tensions
16
1. What’s a time/decision
point when a principle
would have been useful?
2. What are the tensions you’ve
experienced (maybe from step 1)
while creating new things?
(e.g. “when trying to figure
out how users should put
in their schedule”)
(Put on separate post its)
(write 8 mins, present 10 mins, group)
Mobile Web
Continuums (ctd)
17
Pick a side
Activity
18
What should our principles be?
Write y(our) principles
19
1. What (rough)
principles have
helped you make
decisions so far? (at
this job or not)
2. What are new
principles that pick a
side on the tensions
from before?
(e.g. “Simplicity over
control”)
(e.g. “mobile-first”)
(write 8 mins, present 10 mins, group)
3. What principles are we
missing that that don’t
address a tension?
(e.g. “Always show it to a
customer before shipping”)
Vote
20
Almost done.
Next steps
21
Wordsmithing and implementation.

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Product Principles and Tenets.pdf