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Make Product Decisions Without Doubt - My Lessons from Twitter and Slack

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First Round Review
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Tactics to make decisions without doubt from Slack's Director of Core Product Paul Rosania.

Twitter: from chronological to ranked timeline

  • Lot of concern from users and doubt about the transition
  • Invited the ‘firing squad’ employees to a meeting to express concerns
  • Quantified how many people felt strongly opposed and invited them for in-person discussion

Hypothesis tree

  • Supported hypothesis of a ranked timeline
  • Separates logical concerns from change aversion and other fears
  • Can help focus the debate
  • Can help dissect doubts
  • Can be used to iterate and tweak existing products
  • Helps break down beliefs and test theses

Slack: do not disturb

  • Many doubts over the nuances of turning DND on for all users by default
  • Used the company's mission and built that into the product
  • Step back and ask: what do I believe in the world and does this decision push us in that direction?

Twitter’s while you were away and Slack's threads

  • Instead of changing everything, change in a way that fits into your existing product
  • Made less dissent and gave users ‘round-trip’ tickets
  • Make it easy for customers to nag you if they don’t like something

No room for doubt: key takeaways

  • Get debates off email and into human contact to solicit feedback
  • Quantify colleagues who carve out time to dissent
  • Get constructive feedback with a hypothesis tree
  • Ask yourself: what do I believe about the world and does it push us in that direction?
  • Make customer dissent low-lift and allow users to circle back to familiar ground
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