One of the most important aspects of product design and management is prioritization. There are only so many resources at a company's disposal at any given time that product efforts must be prioritized vigilantly lest a team end up spending considerable time producing sub-optimal or worse, misguided, work. This is especially true at a startup where resources are extremely constrained and product efforts can either suffer or benefit greatly from acute path dependency.

I've found that the simplest yet most effective tool to prioritize product developments is kanban, or at least my interpretation of it. A well-organized kanban board can…

People tend to use the word "design" very loosely when talking about product, but it's actually quite important to distinguish between the types of design (and their respective designers) when seeking to understand what someone means by the term in any given context, as well as how they apply to the overall product development process.

I tend to divide design into three main types: product, interface, and visual.

Product Design

The goal of product design is to generate and prioritize functionality that could potentially deliver value to users in correspondence with the product's stated purpose, or to modify that stated purpose when…

Over the past year, and mostly as a result of my Plancast post-mortem, I've spoken with dozens of entrepreneurs who are working on events-related internet products.

I had a call with another such entrepreneur recently who has actually built and released a considerably robust offering, at least from a feature standpoint. The service makes it possible to interact with event data in myriad ways, from personal sharing of plans among close friends to impersonal broadcasting of events to a wide audience. It consists of not only a website but a mobile client and calendar client synchronization to boot.

The problem…

Startups often get so consumed by their day-to-day challenges that they do a poor job actually projecting their longer-term success or lack thereof. As a result, many toil without knowing whether they're truly living up to the expectations they've set for themselves or not.

Even though there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding early-stage companies, they'd do well to build working projection models that give them a sense of whether they're on a road to success or growing too slowly per business metrics that matter to them most.

All startup stakeholders (founders, employees, investors, etc) ultimately gauge their long-term success…

Mark Hendrickson

Product @ Blockstack

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