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  • Writer's pictureYu Chen

Three things I believe to be true..

About building teams, products, and impact

I was recently asked to present our product roadmap at a team kick-off event. Instead of rattling off a list of features that we were planning to build, I pivoted the session towards a vision and goal-setting discussion on how we're going to do it. (After all, the team will have ample time to figure out the what and the when later). I guided that discussion by first talking through some of my principles for building great teams, sustainable products, and making impact.

1) Good ideas can come from anywhere

A high performing team draws from its members' strengths, and creates a culture and process that lets those strengths bubble to the top. From my experience, ideas can spring from many sources. They're rooted in deep understanding of user needs, cultivated during group brainstorms, and sometimes sparked by epiphanies. Those ideas are then honed, tested, and validated before they grow truly successful.

2) Focus on the user, and the rest will follow

Whenever a revolutionary technology or market segment emerges, a gold-rush of start-ups and investors tries to reap its benefits. How do products differentiate itself and then keep its lead in this environment? They do so through a combination of great timing and stellar execution.

When building products, it's easy to get pulled in 20 different directions. Sometimes conflicting priorities feel almost debilitating. So - I always stress to my team to never lose sight of who our users are and what will make their lives easier or better.

3) The days are long, but the decades are short

I constantly remind myself of this amazing quote by Sam Altman. It's a memorable, succinct way to summarize many prioritization frameworks. On top of that - it helps me step back from the day-to-day, forget the rat race for a brief moment, and think about what really matters.

What kind of impact do you want to make on the world? Large problems take a long time and much concerted effort to solve, so it's worth constantly checking that you're still moving in the right direction.

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