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From [[WindyCityRails 2012]]

Presenter: [[Ryan Singer]]


It takes more than talent to make a great product. You also have to focus on the right things, in the right order, with the right people at hand. Ryan will explain key points for successfully developing product so you can make the most progress on your big idea. The talk will cover common pitfalls, techniques for seeing the bigger picture, and advice on how to bring the different roles together.


.@rjs' message seems to be partially distillable down to focus on delivering minimum viable features, one at a time, that add business value

— Evan Light (@elight) September 6, 2012

Memorable Quotes

"Scratch the ground in a bunch of places and you get nowhere. Focus in one place, and you make a hole."


From @benjaminoakes:

  • Hard to talk about product development; not tangible
  • Not satisfying until you can go into the app as a user and experience it
  • How do we bring developers, designers, and product together and always have them be awesome?
    • "Not ready to ship yet..."
  • Needs to be fun
  • Lots of roles (design, dev, marketing, etc)... almost like an org chart
    • None exist in a vacuum
    • Have to break out into indiv. pieces, but still have the same co-dependence
  • How do you take on changes to something you already have?
  • When does the feature stop?
  • Firewheel: Diamond Way Buddhism event app
    • Allows embedding on other sites
    • People didn't like posting events...
    • But now it's something they do.
    • 1 hr a week
    • No admin! Has to do User.create(...), but it's pretty meaningless user-value-wise
    • How do you decide what to do, if you only have an hour?

What to do:

  • Break into pieces
  • Determine their value
  • Bring the roles together...


  • Here, designer design these screens. Programmer, implement those designs.
  • "Scratch the ground in a bunch of places and you get nowhere. Focus in one place, and you make a hole."

What to do:

  • Instead, focus on one thing.
  • Maybe don't split out by role...
  • ...split it out by what value you're providing
  • + discipline
  • They use Basecamp todos...

Project management isn't about Agile or Gantt charts, it's about working together to make your process works better

1 designer, 1 or 2 developers

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