The Primacy of Shipping

Jason James
Jun 13, 2017 · 2 min read

To my fellow product designers, you will be judged by what you ship. Shipping is everything and the only thing.

Great designers tend to understand this and do whatever they can to ship more. This includes making themselves instrumental in high priority projects that solve critical business problems that have dedicated engineering and PM resources. But in addition to working on normal product roadmap projects, great designers find extremely scrappy ways to get work out the door. They might:

Also, great designers don’t stop with shipping. They ensure what they did moves the business forward. If the numbers don’t move in the right direction, then they iterate to find a better solution.

Less effective designers will:

Shipping your designs to production means:

“Production code is a surrogate for decision-making power…Production code is the source of truth. It is the real-time sum total of all the conversations, all the decisions, all the politics… it is everything. Whoever is pushing code to production is running the product, everyone else only has influence.”
– Rebecca Cox, former Director of Design at Quora

Effort doesn’t matter. How late you stay in the office doesn’t matter. Only results matter.

Thumbtack Design

Articles, stories, and tools from the Design, Writing, and Research teams at Thumbtack

Jason James

Written by

Head of Design at Thumbtack — responsible for Product Design, Product Writing, Experience Research, and Design Ops. Previously Earnest, Intercom, Kin, etc.

Thumbtack Design

Articles, stories, and tools from the Design, Writing, and Research teams at Thumbtack