What is Product Discovery?

It was great talking to Jim Morris, a discovery coach in the SF/Bay area. We chat strategies and tools for product discovery.

Our Conversation

  1. How did you get involved in technology? What was the earliest project you worked on? [1:26]

  2. Have you seen projects you've worked on mature into products? [2:50]

  3. How do you discover what is going to do well in the market? What are your go-to techniques? [4:43]

  4. How long does it take you to get that first user feedback? [7:50]

  5. Do you ever get pushback? [10:08]

  6. Agile development isn't necessarily about coming up with the most valuable product ideas. Would you agree? [13:40]

  7. Engineering in the agile world is still underrated [15:00]

  8. Agile context- If I have a backlog of features that I want to build, how would I go about doing that? [17:05]

  9. Do you find you need a cross-sectional team that has the skills for discovery? Or is one engineer enough? [20:03]

  10. Does the team run on Sprints? [20:50]

  11. Product development is expensive [24:15]

  12. Is the discovery team always 4-6 weeks ahead of the delivery team? [26:26]

  13. Do you find that product discovery is more useful for UI-centric applications? [27:46]

  14. I've found that business users often don't want to be involved/give feedback until you've finished the product. Do you ever get that response? [31:03]

  15. Discovery coaching as an emerging profession [33:58]

  16. How are discovery coaches received by engineers? [33:46]

  17. Do you find that there are certain environments where discovery is more difficult? [41:20]

  18. What tools do you use? Are there tools that are built for this type of discovery? [43:17]

  19. How long does it take to develop the skill-set necessary to be a "discovery developer"? [45:19]

  20. What books would you recommend to those interested in getting into discovery coaching? [47:28]

  21. How useful do you find user personas to be? [49:35]

  22. Marty Cagan emphasizes the need for developers to fall in love with the problem, not the solution. What are your thoughts on this? [52:35]

  23. How do you create a culture of "missionaries, not mercenaries"? Would you agree that product discovery helps to engender a missionary mindset? [56:30]

Links from the Episode