Rapid Experimentation

America Has Spoken. Who’s listening?

The Power of Empathy (video link)

Post-election, some of us are grieving, and fall somewhere in this spectrum:
denial > anger > bargaining > depression > acceptance

I think election night was proof that the Coasts, and a few other states are out of touch with the needs and concerns of majority of the nation.

Though the outcome sent shock waves through the U.S. an the rest of the world, if we can lay our own biases aside and lean in with what empathy we can muster, I think we will find that some Trump voters weren’t voting to undo progress. I do think voters were determined to send a clear message, using the best vehicle they had, to say “while aspirational goals are well and good, it’s time to put me first.”

I am what you might consider a “gritty optimist,” and, I do think there is an opportunity here to have a new dialogue rise from the ashes. We have the technology to support new conversations and collaboration, starting first where values align, then moving to the more contentious issues.

Many would say that our parties are not effectively reflecting the priorities of the citizenry. I would encourage Republicans and Democrats to go on a listening tour. Be curious — why did democrats vote for Trump? What were they voting for/against? Before taking action, learn what your constituent’s priorities are.

As a nation, we need to find a middle way. Perhaps this is that opportunity. Let’s have empathy for each other and lean into the other side. Identify the pains and fears that were not addressed and experiment our way forward. Perhaps we can find a way to have this outcome join rather than divide us.

America is great. Let’s use our ingenuity to disrupt ourselves and seize this opportunity to fix what’s broken.

Figuring Out vs Finding Out

The path to customer delight is emergent.

When I work with Product Managers, I find that much time is spent figuring out what people want. We forget that Google AdWords, A/B testing and other methods make it much easier to launch and learn than to build out products or features that may or may not be important to customers. If your goal is to determine whether something is important to customers, define your success criteria, present the feature, and see if customers sign up. If you are comparing approaches, run parallel tests with a control group. Whatever the result, you’ll learn much faster using experimentation.

Two books worth checking out:
The Lean Start-up” by Eric Ries and “Little Bets” by Peter Sims