Overheard in Product: Unpopular Opinions, Design-Led, Crisp Language, Buying Software, and Marketer Types


We’re back with part 10 of Overheard in Product—a series where we round up all of the tantalizing conversations from product folks that you may have missed on the web last week.

This week, we talk about a bunch of unpopular opinions in tech, whether or not your company is actually design-led, the benefits of crisp language, the new way of buying software, and the 3 types of marketers.

Let’s get to it.

Tech mix

Front-end developer Amaechi Amarachi tweeted a gold mine on Saturday.

A tweet from @amycruz that says, "unpopular opinion: tech edition".

People went wild with their own unpopular opinions. Folks got into the problems tech interviews, the need for junior engineers, the correlation between bugs and humility, and so much more.

Food for thought: What’s something you fully believe in that most folks would disagree with?

Design-led is a business fed

Eli Montgomery, Head of Product and Design at Quorso, gave some clarification to the term “design-led”.

A tweet from @intentionaut that says, "being design-led only matters if customers are driving the design. otherwise it's just a reaffirmation of internal power structures."

Food for thought: What should “design-led without customers driving” be called instead?

Don't mince your words

Ha Phan, Senior Product Manager for Search at Pluralsight, touted the importance of language in systems thinking.

A tweet from @hpdailyrant that says, "Things I practice regularly: 1. crisp language to shape strategy and vision, the ability to articulate mission and docus that is tied directly to the capabilities and bets. 2. envision diverging hyperboles in behavior, value, and scale

Food for thought: What language can you sharpen for your team to have them better understand your mission and focus?

Easy to come buy

Peter Caputa IV, CEO at Databox, drew a line in the sand about the old and new ways of buying software.

A tweet from @pc4media that says, "old way of buying software: read about the software, create list of features needed, let sales qualify you, do demo, twist their arm so they give you a trail. New: just start using the product. Ask fro help if you get stuck. Based on your usage/profile, receive recommendations."

Sounds like Peter is talking about becoming product-led—both with freemium/free-trial pricing and personalized experiences.

Food for thought: Are you selling the way folks are buying? What’s blocking you?

Bonus: The 3 marketeers

David Fallarme, Hubspot’s Head of Marketing for SEA and India, posted a great thread about the 3 types of marketers.

A tweet from @davelocity that says, "1. There are 3 kinds of marketers: artists, soldiers, and gamblers."

The first type—artists—care most about connecting with people and need creative freedom. Soldiers—the second type—care about breaking through obstacles to get results and need structure and rules. The final type—gamblers—are heavy into resource allocation and need resources and freedom to fail.

I’d go so far to say that product folks can fall into these same 3 categories. And if that’s the case, which one are you?  

Margaret Kelsey leads Brand and Content at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

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