Every Critical Metric Needs a Counter Metric

Giff Constable management, metrics

The other day I tweeted, “Every critical metric at a company needs a counter-metric to prevent the wrong kind of optimization.” It got a reaction and I thought to expand on the topic. Have you seen any of these examples of metrics + reward systems gone awry? The marketing and demandgen teams are tasked with bringing on leads, so they …

“I Have No Idea What Product Is Working On”

Giff Constable product management

“I have no idea what the product team is working on!” Have you ever heard that? I did, on a recurring basis, when running product and engineering at the fintech company Axial. But hold your horses! I did lots of externalization! I was writing a bi-weekly (and sometimes weekly) internal blog post where I updated everyone on metrics, work-in-progress, and …

Seinfeld, Business Models, and Culture Shifts

Giff Constable business models, management

I recently watched an old video on the making of the hit TV show Seinfeld. What struck me is how both the creators, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, and the network executives seemed to be amazed that it ever got on the air. Network executives kept on telling them what to change and do, and the two creators kept on …

Interviews versus Experiments

Giff Constable lean

How do you choose when to do an experiment versus an interview? I received a really interesting question last week at the Lean Startup Conference. At the event, I ran two workshops—one on customer discovery (the topic of Talking to Humans) and one on experiments (the topic of Testing with Humans). The asker was trying to understand a shopper’s experience …

12 Tips for Running Effective Experiments

Giff Constable lean

This post originally appeared on Medium but I am now posting more regularly here. Before you rally a team, spend money, and move heaven and earth to bring a new product or new company into being, wouldn’t you want to de-risk your vision, timing and execution? Wouldn’t you want to make more informed decisions? There are two great places to start: …

Product-Market Fit is an Illusion

Giff Constable lean, startups

Lately, I’ve found myself questioning the concept of product-market fit. Not long after Marc Andreessen coined the term, entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs) starting asking themselves, “do I have it yet?” and often rushing to answer “yes,” with all sorts of bad consequences. I did a tweetstorm/post about the mistakes that come with getting it wrong, but the topic is still bouncing …

Answering the product-market fit question wrong

Giff Constable lean

For a decade now, entrepreneurs have been asking themselves “do I have product/market fit?” They usually answer it wrong. Product-market fit does *not* merely mean growth. Growth can be forced for a time (even years) with clever hacks and heavy spend, but the piper comes calling with churn rates. It’s easy to *want* to believe that one has pm-fit, but …

Product Q&A: Additional questions

Giff Constable product management, startups

First Round Capital has a wonderful online network, basically a white-labelled quora, for people at their portfolio companies. I answer questions now and then. Here are some of the Q’s I have answered over the last year or two: What are best practices for including and leveraging the design team in your product development process? I boil it down to …

Product Q&A: Creating an inclusive culture for a remote team

Giff Constable product management

First Round Capital has a wonderful online network, basically a white-labelled quora, for people at their portfolio companies. While I was with their portfolio company Axial, I answered a number of questions. I’m sharing some of the Q’s I have answered over the last year or two: How does your company create an inclusive culture for those that work remote? …

Product Q&A: That first VP of Product hire

Giff Constable product management

First Round Capital has a wonderful online network, basically a white-labelled quora, for people at their portfolio companies. While I was with their portfolio company Axial, I answered a number of questions. I’m sharing some of the Q’s I have answered over the last year or two: What do you look for in your first VP of Product or Head …