Day 33: Isaac Souweine on Product Development

lean canvas

Isaac Souweine, head of Product Management at Frank & Oak, stopped by the FounderFuel offices to chat to the teams about Product Development for Early Stage Companies. 

We’ve written before about lean analytics. The lean startup movement revolves around the idea of a constant iteration cycle of building, measuring and learning. In other words, in building a startup, your job is to build a product, see how people respond to it, gain insight on those responses, then circle back to do it all over again. 

Isaac places importance on a piece of this process that he believes to be too often missing: promotion. You build, promote, measure and learn. And then repeat. If you build, they may not come. Unless you tell them about it. 

In terms of iteration, here are some conceptual ideas for how to go about it:
i. Know your metrics (computable, accessible, intuitive)
ii. Make it happen (“move fast because you have to”)
iii. Practise Upaya (be skillful – dont overbuild, dont underbuild, understand significance, trust your instinct)

The lean canvas (pictured above) is, in Isaac’s opinion, a helpful tool that can also act as a one page business plan. You’re meant to fill in the canvas with hypotheses. At the earlier stages, you should only be able to partially fill in the canvas. Your total focus should be on product, solution and channels.  

Isaac closes by further discussing the importance of high velocity. He believes that the best predictor of success of a startup is whether or not the people behind it are always doing something

Thanks to Isaac for stopping by! 

Emma Williams
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