Product Design Lessons: #1 – 3

In Silicon Valley, we are at the forefront of setting best practices for product design. In other words, we are operating at a level that has not been replicated in other parts of the world. From accelerating innovation to building product culture, we all embody the model that every product company should follow. That said, my hope is that these lessons can be shared to help more product companies in other parts of the world be more successful. With this, I would like to share 10 lessons that have helped to drive success during my career at Box.

#1: Pick The Right Problem To Solve.

This will sound counter-intuitive, but you should always try to tackle difficult problems. Ultimately, product design solutions for hard-to-solve issues are those that make a big impact. For example, if you pick a smaller-scale problem to solve, the solution you develop will largely go unnoticed. In other words, even if you do everything right, your solution won’t stand out unless you’re solving a real need. Plus, the best product minds are eager to take on big challenges – and you’ll build a stronger team in doing so.

#2: Think 10x.

Whenever you build something new, you should push to make the biggest impact possible. For example, building a product that is only 20 percent better than the competition will not move the needle. Instead, you should focus on making a product that is 10 times better than anything else available in your category. This will ensure that your product delivers true value for customers and stands out from the competition. If your current team can’t deliver a 10x solution, it’s best to collaborate with other partners to make it happen.

#3: Build Experiences That People Will Love.

We must put our users first with everything we build. Sometimes, there’s a tendency to focus too much on the buyer. However, products will never be successful if you can’t satisfy the end user. Great products create visceral reactions with users and a personal connection. For example, think about Apple’s ability to keep customers coming back for more. I know this is an overused example, but it truly highlights how people react to great product design. Ultimately, creating delight through great product experiences will create lifelong customers.

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About the speaker
Jeetu Patel SVP & GM, Security and Collaboration Division, Cisco Member

Jeetu Patel is Cisco’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Security and Collaboration. He leverages a diverse set of capabilities to lead the strategy and development for these businesses and also owns P&L responsibility for this multibillion-dollar portfolio. Jeetu combines a bold vision, steeped in product design and development expertise, operational rigor, and innate market understanding to create high-growth Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses. Prior to joining Cisco, Jeetu was the Chief Product Officer (CPO) and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Box, a role he pioneered. He also created the Box Platform business unit where he led product strategy, marketing, and developer relations – driving products from the incubation stage to mature offerings.

About the host
Boone Spooner

Boone Spooner is a customer obsessed Principal Product Manager at Caavo - a device designed to simplify and unify your home entertainment system. Previously he built products at TuneIn where millions of users listened to live music, sports and talk radio shows, podcasts and audiobooks. In another life he worked as a music producer and engineer in San Francisco where he managed the largest recording studio in San Francisco, before building and launching his own. There he worked with Apple, Google, and KFOG and musicians Steve Earle, Alanis Morissette, Death Angel, Third Eye Blind and many others.

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