I've worked in product for around eight years, across a range of different sectors and company sizes/scales. As a product consultant, I've defined MVPs and product positioning new product offerings and pivots of existing products, across fintech, identity and media. Working in-house, I've managed significant parts of household name B2C products with millions of MAU, and niche B2B products with thousands of customers. I've worked or consulted for Skyscanner, Barclays, 11:FS, Experian, the Associated Press and Tesco – as well as smaller companies like Small Improvements and Silicon Milkroundabout.
What unites all of these roles for me has been a fascination with complex, ambiguous problem domains, and a common approach to understanding and solving user problems. I believe the best products are based on the kind of deep and nuanced understanding of users that comes only from combining quantitative and qualitative insight. I think they're delivered in tight, iterative cycles of hypothesising, building the least possible, and learning from what you build. At the same time, I think you need to take the occasional bold leap if you're going to deliver the greatest possible impact.
From my experience, the magic ingredients for high performing product teams are alignment with business strategy and product vision; autonomy within a clearly defined domain; and accountability for customer/business outcomes and impacts on other teams. I believe the best products emerge from highly collaborative cross-functional teams where everyone has a stake in what is being built and a clear understanding of why, rather than just concerning themselves with how to deliver it. Nailing the processes and communication practices that help organisations succeed is an art more than a science, and one that will probably fascinate me til my grave.