Design thinking for PMs and entrepreneurs

Ameet Ranadive
Jun 9, 2017 · 10 min read
  1. Bridge the Gulfs of Execution and Evaluation
  2. Solve the right problem

1. Follow the principles of human-centered design (HCD)

The worst thing for a PM and engineering team is to spend months designing and building a new product, only to hear the sound of crickets after the product launch. The product may have been built on good intentions, but it sorely missed the mark in terms of usability and value. As a result, few customers adopt the product. And those who do adopt the product quickly abandon it because they are frustrated with the complexity and poor usability.

2. Bridge the Gulfs of Execution and Evaluation

When anyone uses a new product, they face two gulfs:

  • Gulf of Evaluation: figuring out what happened
  • Plan (the action)
  • Specify (an action sequence)
  • Perform (the action sequence)
  • Perceive (the state of the world)
  • Interpret (the perception)
  • Compare (the outcome with the goal)
  • Plan: What are the alternative action sequences?
  • Sequence: What action can I do now?
  • Perform: How do I do it?
  • Perceive: What happened?
  • Interpret: What does it mean?
  • Compare: Is this okay? Have I accomplished my goal?

3. Solve the right problem

When product teams discover a problem — perhaps reported by a customer or a sales rep, or by observing a new problem that a competitor is trying to solve — many times they plunge ahead and start solving the problem immediately. While this may lead to an incremental improvement on an existing problem, this approach may “miss the forest for the trees” and is unlikely to result in a radical innovation. Before quickly starting work on the solution to a discovered problem, first make sure that you’re solving the right problem.


  1. Bridge the Gulfs of Execution and Evaluation
  2. Solve the right problem

PM Insights

A collection of posts that contain lessons learned from my time as a product manager.

Ameet Ranadive

Written by

Entrepreneur. Product management @ Instagram.

PM Insights

A collection of posts that contain lessons learned from my time as a product manager.