There’s More To Product Design Than Just Data

When it comes to product design, using data is pretty much a given at this point. We all know that it’s important and that it’s essential to our jobs. However, product people have become fixated on making it the only thing that matters when it comes to qualifications. For example, think about the number of product manager job descriptions that say “must be a data-driven person.”

Ultimately, anyone can look at numbers and make a decision with some simple analysis. We need to look past data to find product thinkers and people who bring a strategic edge. In other words, there needs to be an advancement in the art of product design that goes beyond crunching numbers.

To expand on advancing the art form, we live in a very noisy world when it comes to the number of apps that are vying for our attention. Furthermore, these apps are weaponized to force you to engage. For example, the addition of push notifications and viral loops are all designed to shift behavior in order to grab your attention. As a result, this fight to get people’s attention has added more distractions to our daily lives.

Likewise, the rise of the “lean startup” is contributing to this trend – primarily because they only focus on data.

While operating with a data-first approach can have some advantages, you end up creating blind spots in the process and lose sight of what’s most important to your customers. Conversely, traditional startups like Amazon and eBay built their success purely on strategic vigor. Back when they first started, data-driven agility didn’t even exist yet.

Since I’ve joined Floodgate, we look to invest in “prime movers” who combine the benefits of data-driven agility with the old-school principles of strategic rigor.


Click here for Part 2

Click here for Part 3
About the Video:
Speaker: Ryan Walsh