Ryan, This is a thoughtful post. I'd like to explore a perspective with you.
Fundamentally, strategies are choices. Your first 2 examples about doubling and tripling seem more like goals. The last 4 do look like strategies as they are indicating how to win and where to play aspects, breaking down the higher level goal.
For example, Triple website traffic could become "invest in increasing website traffic" . And the respective measure would show the current in triplicate. It feels like splitting hairs but a lot of strategy statements looking like goals and vision that confuse the audience.
I was interviewing a fellow researcher, and he said something very memorable about his philosophy.
‘Actually, I don’t care about the finding so much; I just care that there is a finding.’
Long after the interview, the conversation stayed with me. I was thinking about how I would sum up mine.
To give you some background, I am a customer researcher and product strategist. I also build research programs to inculcate a culture of customer empathy.
Here’s my ethos that has evolved over the 5 years. I used to be keen about the method(s), tools and domain expertise. I realize…
I was inspired to gather my point of view here for the following reasons:
Empathy — Don’t just walk a mile; be their lawyer
I am a design researcher and strategist. I practice customer-first mentality as a religion. Influencing clients who do not value customer research is an every- project battle.
“We know what our customers want; We want to delight them by building it not just spend time on talking to them”.
I was astonished. Not because I was hearing this for the first time. But because the earnestness in the eyes of the entrepreneur was real. It was not the typical hubris or ignorance I am used to.
Something was different about…
This question can be seductive or sobering! It entirely depends on how fast you fall in love with solutions instead of problems.
This question is a lot of work. Don’t even try to answer before you ask more questions!
When it was my turn, it was clear that I needed to understand more before trying to come up with clever answers. Also, I believe in the value of abstractions, frameworks and models that can be reused across problems.
Hard questions and difficult conversations helped me to separate the known-knowns and known-unknowns. Of course, I pray for the third kind, unknown-unknowns.
7 Friends in 10 days (Facebook)
User needs to follow 30 people (Twitter)
User needs to send 2000 messages (Slack)
Sounds Familiar? These assertions are called the ‘magic numbers’ in the product world. They are so seductive that my clients want me to unearth these metrics for their products.
The first thing that came to my mind was ‘post-hoc fallacy’, captured memorably in this funny scene from West Wing.
Enjoyed the video? Welcome back.
In my head, this chase for the numbers felt too simplistic. I was thinking, ‘Why won’t 6 friends in 8 days cut it? …
A question that good designers never fail to ask. In the past few months, I have been trying to answer this in a more meaningful and actionable way.
Well, there are the obvious few: strive to be a ‘T’ shaped expert, a generous coach, a passionate learner and so forth. Somehow, it did not seem enough. I agonized.
What is the one lesson that I bring to work every day?
What can I share about my screw-ups that could save them future face-offs?
Is there an innate strength that they can leverage to be more successful?
Well, one precious nugget…