Against 'talkocracy'

    Research. Build. Test. Repeat.

    Not endless talking and pontification.

    Everywhere I look, I see the rise of talkocracy — others have called it the dictatorship of the articulate. Talkers standing in the way of builders; offering we ponder, analyze, investigate, research, dissect, agonize endlessly over plans before we lay a single brick.


    This endless pondering introduces years and years of unnecessary delays. But worse: it kills the will to build. There is nothing builders hate more than endless meetings with people who can’t even spell “CPU.”

    You know you’ve lost when they’ve internalized the conservative voices, which can now stop them without even having to try. It’s when your intern has a neat idea for something he could hack together in a few hours — but then thinks, what’s the point?

    Source: The Dictatorship of the Articulate | Florent Crivello

    Improv as a tool for building better products

    I’m a fan of metaphor and productive ambiguity, and so I like this improv approach to product development.

    Some improv scenes are initiated with a generic line and performers extract the game organically. e.g. "I can't believe it's midnight" is an intriguing start to a scene but there's no obvious game. In contrast, some improv scenes are initiated with strong game right away. e.g. initiating the scene with "No, you're an accountant, you can't just become a lion tamer". Both ways can lead to hilarious scenes.

    Likewise, some products are initiated with a rough idea. This is in the camp of Eric Reis' model, where you’re lean, get feedback, and iterate quickly. The idea is to treat the path to product market fit as a series of experiments with hypotheses. In contrast, there is Keith Rabois' model, where you have a strong vision from day 0 and not much changes from then. The idea is that you have a master plan from the start, and you get heads down on executing it. Check this post by Casey Winters comparing these models with far more nuance.

    Source: Your product is a joke | The Paperclip