4 product principles for fast-growing startups

Product principles can help product teams make better decisions

Product principles can help us focus on what matters most

Operating in fast-growing startups/scale-ups can be extra chaotic and difficult due to the pace of growth, the desire to break new ground fast, and all of the ambiguity that comes with that.

1 — Start with the why

Don’t jump to solutions.

Don’t jump to solutions
  1. Map and prioritise their pain points. Highlight the opportunities then to resolve their pain points. User journey mapping is a highly versatile technique that your team can use in problem discovery and definition. It can also serve as a useful visual tool to communicate your customers’ context and to highlight the various points of opportunity: where your team might be able to act to resolve customer pain.
  2. Rate the opportunities you have based on available information, data from experiments and pre-agreed, objective criteria — This will help you to think critically about the avenues of action you have available. Broadly, ensure you weigh up opportunities based on the value you could create for users and the business, vs. the effort and complexity involved in proving and delivering it in your product. There are many prioritisation frameworks out there that you can adapt e.g. RICE model.

2 — Think Everest, build Basecamp

Start small.

3 —Have a learning mindset

Take risks and learn, from everything and everyone.


4 —Be inclusive

Empower others.

Practice ‘plussing’ for pushing ideas further

There are often a lot of fires fighting for our attention. It can be difficult to choose which to put out. Disagreements are likely to occur about the product roadmap and decisions we make. Nurturing an “us vs them” mentality between teams won’t help, and instead, they may foster tensions and toxicity.

Product Manager in London. ex-Deputyapp. ex-Strategy Consultant at Nous Group. Founder of Impetus. More here: linkedin.com/in/ayessudhakar/