Saturday, March 10, 2012

Product Management: Hacker's Way

"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
- Henry Ford

I want to share a video that I discovered through Facebook Interest.  This was a talk by Andrew 'Boz' Bosworth, Director of Engineering at Facebook, at fMC 2012.  He started out his career at Microsoft but after a year got recruited by Facebook.  During the talk, he shared how Facebook built the culture of continuous innovation through fostering hacker's way.

He gave 5 points about creating innovative product development culture.

1. Question Everything. Always.

Boz shared his experience of getting bumped off from news feed project.  When he saw what got put together after 6 months by new team members, he realized that what was limiting his imagination was his own experience and expertise.  What you know can limit your range of ideas.  Always question everything.

2. Hack - Way of thinking outside the box

Hacking is solving a problem by building things.  After question the assumption and get to a point where you come up with the answer "I don't know", start building a solution to solve the problem.  Test your solution by constructing one.

3. Ship it, measure it, change it

Arguing which solution is better among the team members is a waste of time.  It is always better to ship something, measure the impact, and fix the problem.  Shoot, aim and adjust.

4. Don't poison the well

When new employees join the company, don't teach them how you've been doing things.  Harness their creativity by allowing them to question the way things have been done.  Create the culture of hacker.

5. Standardize disruption

Allow the team to work on new things that they know little about.  Give people a problem that they have not been working on.  When people get comfortable with what they are doing, they are no longer growing which means they are not questioning things and innovating.  Institutionalize the process of disruption.

Here's the talk that Boz gave.  Watch it from 4:00 to 15:00 mins to get his points.

Watch live streaming video from fbmarketingtalks at

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