Google Hangout with Des Traynor: Recap and Highlights

“Nothing scales like technical debt”

Last Thursday we had the pleasure of Des Traynor’s (Founder of Intercom and Product Strategy Genius) company for nearly an hour on a Google Hangout discussing his talk, ‘Product Strategy is about saying No’.

Mark fielded questions to Des on a wide array of issues, whilst our audience also contributed questions using #BoS2015 on Twitter. The talk was informative and provided some deep insight from an expert in the field of product strategy. Des raised some great points which would have no doubt resonated with those attempting to create products and struggle with the day to day battle of keeping products pure and effective. We know that the audience appreciated being able to ask their questions to Des directly gaining deep and thought provoking answers from a well respected industry leader.

For those who missed this fantastic, free opportunity, BoS regular and all round good guy Alan Gleeson provided a high level summary of some of the many key points of the hangout, seen below:

“1/ NB of Modular design architecture: [Here Des talks about the building approach to technology should be taken in a modular fashion, meaning that when something breaks, or the time comes to decommission a feature, then the whole system does not have to built from the ground up]

2/ Re Feature Relevance / UX: NB of Ensuring features are related to the context i.e. only showing the user features relevant to the task in hand.

3/ Re Killing Features: Stop showing to new cohort, communicate with conviction (i.e. do not leave the door open for a discussion re the feature) and decide ‘end of life’ period e.g. 90 days.

4/ Re Feature Development: “The less we do the better we do it”. Intercom core idea so simple and strong it does not need lots of whistles and bells. Need to focus on doing the core feature really well.

5/ Re Deciding New Feature requests: Assess various inputs including customer requests, and features that may increase adoption / drive enhanced revenue, as well as their future vision vis a vis communications. Analyze metrics re areas where improvements will gave the greatest impact

6/ Re Mobile: Not much money in B2B mobile apps as a standalone but vital as a companion to a desktop / web app.

7/ Re Managing Time: Des made some very interesting points re the fact that managing / monitoring time is an area no one is really delivering a good solution for it at the moment.”

If you missed the chance to chat with Des live, you can still watch the talk below to listen to other people’s questions and his answers. However, if you would like the chance to get involved in a live experience with another leading practitioner and speaker , mark 3 pm GMT on 22nd January  in your calendars… our next hangout will be with Steve Johnson of Under 10 Consulting.

Steve generated some controversy with his talk at BoS US last year: ‘Have we leaned too far?‘ Like Des, he’s wary of how MVPs get applied in real life and we’ll be talking about what is working with the lean approach and what isn’t. We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions – if you can’t join us on the day do please send us your questions using the hashtag #BoS15

 

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