Startups and The Art of Asking Questions

  1. Come up with a metric to optimize for
  2. Create a hypothesis about what product strategy will move the needle on that metric
  3. Devise a feature that implements that product strategy
  4. Ship that feature quickly — and with good instrumentation — to test whether that feature actually does move that metric.
  1. We want to optimize the metric “users who log in to our product”
  2. Our hypothesis is that making login easier will make significantly more users log in — move the needle on this metric
  3. The product strategy is to implement login by email, so that users don’t have to remember a password
  4. Our engineers will work closely with product managers to define what metrics we need to collect to track the success of this feature — perhaps the ratio of homepage visits to successful sign-ins, or something else. In addition, we will release this feature as an A/B test for 20% of users.
  1. People: Engineers, product managers, designers, analysts
  2. Process: The techniques the team uses to ship high quality software quickly, including techniques for greenlighting ideas, defining an MVP, doing technical due diligence, writing bug-free code, testing, and deployment
  3. Tools: Continuous integration systems, QA tools, A/B testing tools, clickstream generation libraries, analytics visualization tools

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Current: Hippo Insurance. Previous: Google Assistant, Trulia/Zillow, EA, startups. Engineering leadership and navigating ambiguity. Create, learn, repeat.

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Abhijeet Vijayakar

Abhijeet Vijayakar

Current: Hippo Insurance. Previous: Google Assistant, Trulia/Zillow, EA, startups. Engineering leadership and navigating ambiguity. Create, learn, repeat.

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