“Hi, I'm Megan Murphy, the VP of Product at Hotjar, where I lead our data, design, and product management teams. I must say, it's kind of meta for me to lead a product team that makes a product so that product teams can make better product experiences. But this really helps us stay close to the ground and relate to our customers.
But today I'm not here to talk to you about Hotjar's product or what we make. I'm here to talk about how we make it. This is the first in a series of videos that we're calling Building in Public.
We're really hoping that with this series we can start some conversations, contribute to the product community, and learn from you as well. So, let's talk about product principles and why we need them.
Presumably, you have company core values. You might have seniority criteria to evaluate performance, and you might have a whole bunch of other things that your company uses to guide decisions. But what about the product itself? That's where product principles come in.
They're a set of guardrails that help drive consistency, alignment, and focus in the thousands of tiny decisions within your product teams every single day. Product teams need a way to make decisions without someone in the room constantly saying yes or no because:
- That's not very empowering and nobody wants to work like that.
- In the words of Frances Frei from Harvard Business School: "The key is not to get people to thrive in the presence of a leader. It's in the absence of a leader."
And product principles are a way to do exactly that.