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Beware!

3 dangerous product animals and how to handle them

You don't want your carefully laid product plans getting trampled by a passing HiPPO. Discover how to tame these beasts—and turn yourself into a powerful (and adorable) PANDA along the way.

Hero image for LP 3 Dangerous product animals. Hippo

Beware!

3 dangerous product animals and how to handle them

You don't want your carefully laid product plans getting trampled by a passing HiPPO. Discover how to tame these beasts—and turn yourself into a powerful (and adorable) PANDA along the way.

HiPPO: Highest Paid Person’s Opinion

🔥 Risk rating: 8

🏡 Habitat: C-suite, executive level, executive lounges at airports.

🦛 Key info: HiPPOs carry a lot of weight (ahem) due to their seniority. It can be tempting to take their word as fact. But do they know the product and its users like you do?

🥰 Recommended action: Bring the voice of the customer into your decision making—and leave opinions out. Even the stubbornest of HiPPOs can be tranquilized by a few shots of real user insights.

ZEBRA: Zero Evidence But Really Arrogant

🔥 Risk rating: 5

🏡 Habitat: Basically any meeting or feedback session.

🦓 Key info: ZEBRAs don’t worry about pesky things like evidence and data. They’re all about assumptions—and we all know what people say about those. Be extra wary of the dreaded HiPPO-ZEBRA hybrid.

🥰 Recommended action: Watch live playbacks of users interacting with your product. If your ZEBRA has a point, you’ll see it soon enough—and if they don't, you can prove that too.

WOLF: Working On Latest Fire

🔥 Risk rating: 6

🏡 Habitat: Neither here nor there.

🐺 Key info: WOLFs are dangerously distracted. They hop from one idea to the next, thriving on the thrill of fighting fires. But staying busy isn’t the same as making meaningful progress.

🥰 Recommended action: Use Heatmaps to identify critical issues—like broken buttons or ineffective content—so you can focus your WOLF on the things that really matter.

Become a PANDA: Prioritize Awesomely and Need Data Always

Hotjar brings real user behavior and analytics together to give you the full picture of your product. No more opinions or guesswork—just data-informed decisions.

It only takes a few minutes to get set up. And it’s free forever.