Dropbox's head of product engineering, Tido Carriero, shares tips to build a hybrid product development process and the actions young companies can take to navigate it well.
Aim for a hybrid approach to product development
- When you're early-stage, begin with bottom-up development.
- Shift to a top-down approach when projects are step-changes.
- Drive toward a hybrid development approach as soon as possible.
Embrace dualities to keep your balance
- Use a combination of lightweight and heavyweight product reviews.
- Categorize each potential product as either a seed or sapling. Doing so will help you allocate funds, time and expertise towards these products more effectively.
- Set up a board of directors to oversee project groups. Consistent oversight from a consistent set of leaders at the company is really useful in scaling up projects.
Constantly hack your hack week
- Commit to a full hack week every year.
- Experiment with themes for hack weeks.
- Think Olympics, not summer camp.
- Hack to the future.
Every idea is an investment
- Idea. Hypothesis. Prototype. Product.
- Make it very clear which metrics and results you plan to see at each stage of an idea's growth.
- Set expectations so it's clear to everyone which 'investments' receive 'funding' and why.