Frank Chen

Frank Chen

premortems expose product killing gotchas

The prompt is "imagine if the product completely flopped." What could have caused this failure?

It is ok to be negative here, because the goal is psychological safety and having a shared vocabulary.

Shreyas's shared vocabulary:

  1. Identify "tigers" - a threat that would kill the product.
  2. Identify "paper tigers" - a seeming threat that could kill the product, but you, as PM, are not worried about.
  3. Identify "elephants" - what is the bigassfucking elephant in the room that no one wants to address? Let's all say it out loud.

Include people from every function in a product's launch.

After a period of time where individuals have brought their ideas and shared them, we all pick tigers , paper tigers, and elephants from someone else's list.

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