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A Summary of

How Dropbox Sources, Scales and Ships Its Best Product Ideas

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First Round Review
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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.
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