Breaking down the multiple variables required to develop successful products

This interview with Ryan Hoover from Product Hunt on how to develop products people love is really interesting. For example, here he makes a really good point about the importance of systems thinking in product management:

Most products can be broken down into a math equation, where multiple variables need to be true for it to work. Many newer product managers don’t break this equation down as much as they should. Then, they don’t test some of their hypotheses soon enough. If you have x, y, and z, and you’ve figured out the x and the y but you failed to resolve z, then it won’t work.

Sometimes people focus on the easier things. They resolve two hypotheses that are easier to figure out, and then defer the last one. A lot of people don’t think about user acquisition. They think, “We’re going to build an awesome product, we’ll get press, and we’ll launch it on Product Hunt and that’s it.” They should probably reverse it — think about distribution and marketing first, and then figure out how to build that into the product itself.

I also love their approach to experimentation, which can basically be summed up as “do it as cheaply as humanly possible.” Great interview.