Building Brex 3.0, March 2024

I wouldn’t want to work in an environment like this because even though delivery is a fun part of building product, I find that for most PMs it’s so much more fulfilling (and you usually get better results!) when they are part of strategy and discovery as well. That said, I’m now long enough into this product journey to recognize that as long as you have a team of people who love execution and are excellent at it, this is a completely valid way to build a company:

We changed this model with Brex 3.0. We killed our planning process, and now have One Roadmap for the entire company. I [Brex CEO] am the ultimate editor of everything that ships. We release 4 times a year, and each release has no more than 3 big themes. This forces me to choose what truly matters, allowing us to make a large, company-affecting investment in the few things that are step-function changes to the customer experience, and drop everything else.

Basecamp works in a similar way, and it works for them. I do appreciate that both companies are honest about how they work, so PMs know what they’re in for and what’s expected of them. The frustration only sets in if PMs think they have some autonomy over their work, and then slowly find out about the “shadow roadmap” they weren’t aware of. Just bring it all into the light, I say.