16 / Developing Organizational Agility


Imagine a world in which we drop the labels that segregate us as Lean. As Agile. As Waterfall. As Design Thinkers. Instead, imagine a world where we build the kinds of organizations and cultures that encourage and reward learning and customer centricity, that incentivize teams to deeply understand their customers, and that ensure that we’re always delivering value on their behalf. Let that sink in.

In this episode, hosts Sean and Joe chat with Jeff Gothelf – author, coach, consultant, and a featured keynote speaker at ITX’s 2nd annual ITXUX2019: Beyond the Pixels design conference. The world Jeff hopes for may not be the one he predicts will come to pass. But it is a world that allows us to freely pick and choose the components and methodologies that work best within our respective organization.

Read our blog post.

Recommended Resources

Josh Ellman, Mind the Product.

Barry O’Reilly, Unlearn.

Sense & Respond Press, Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden, and Vicky Olsen, series editors.

About Jeff

Jeff Gothelf helps organizations build better products and executives build the cultures that build better products. He is the co-author of the award-winning book, Lean UX, and the Harvard Business Review Press book, Sense & Respond. Starting off as a software designer, Jeff now works as a coach, consultant, and keynote speaker helping companies bridge the gaps between business agility, digital transformation, product management and human-centered design.
Most recently, Jeff co-founded Sense & Respond Press, a publishing house for practical business books for busy executives.

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15 / Test Assumptions to Achieve Product-Market Fit


Software product development is hard enough. It’s harder still when our investment of resources is based on a set of untested assumptions. The probability that we perfectly address each of the hundreds or thousands (millions?) of assumptions, hypotheses, and decisions is super low. Once we get comfortable with the idea that many of our assumptions are wrong, we can embrace the uncertainty and engage the anxiety that comes from it.

In this episode, Sean and Joe chat with Dan Olsen, Silicon Valley-based consultant, author, speaker, and proponent of the Lean Startup approach to software product development. Dan reminds us that the surest way to eliminate anxiety is to confront its causes. Articulate your hypotheses and test them. Whatever the outcome, the evidence you gather from user testing will boost your confidence as your anxiety fades.

Recommended Resources

Whether through his consulting work, speaking engagements, or monthly Lean UX Meetup, Dan enjoys building communities of learners. He recommends checking out the following thought leaders and their work:

Make Time, by Jake Knapp.

UX for Lean Startups, by Laura Klein.

Interviewing Users, by Steve Portigal.

About Dan

Dan Olsen is an entrepreneur, consultant, author, speaker, and expert in product management and Lean Startup. At Olsen Solutions, he works with CEOs and product leaders to help them build great products and strong product teams, often as interim VP of Product.

Dan has worked with a range of businesses, from small, early-stage startups to large public companies, on a wide variety of web and mobile products. His clients include Facebook, Box, MicrosoftYouSendIt (now HighTail), Epocrates, Medallia, XING, Financial Engines, and One Medical Group.

Prior to consulting, Dan worked at Intuit, where he led the Quicken product team to record sales and profit. Dan began his career designing nuclear-powered submarines in the United States Navy. 

Dan earned a BS in electrical engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from Stanford University. He also earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Virginia Tech, where he studied the Lean manufacturing principles that inspired Lean Startup. 

Dan wrote the bestseller The Lean Product Playbook. He lives in Silicon Valley, where he hosts the monthly Lean Product & Lean UX Meetup. Dan enjoys sharing ideas and comparing notes with as many people as he can.  


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14 / Taking Design Beyond Today’s Conventions


The common understanding is that to be successful in today’s digital environment designers need to solve problems while building products that people want and need to use. While that may be the core of it, it’s only the core. There’s so much more to it these days. When we talk about interaction design, designing software products, and today’s rapidly emerging next-gen experiences, designers now need to think about what it means to learn, to adapt, and to change.

In this episode, Sean and Joe chat with Tim Wood. Tim wears a couple hats these days, one as Professor of Industrial Design and Interactive Design at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the other as Design and User Experience Innovation Lead at Corning Inc. Playing in both sandboxes gives Tim the opportunity to engage in the private sector while peering beyond the horizon through the lens of higher education.

Read our blog post.

Recommended Resources

About Face, by Alan Cooper. Tim’s review: “If you’re a designer or a design student, it’s a really powerful book and gets into all the details and ways to address interaction design.”

About Tim

Tim Wood is the Design and User Experience Innovation Lead at Corning Incorporated. With a focus on R&D, he’s developing new tools and technologies within the scientific informatics space for Corning’s research scientists. Tim is also a tenure track professor within Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Design. During the school year, he’s a full-time professor where he works with graduate students and upperclassmen to integrate strong interaction design skills into their practice.

Tim is a 20+ year veteran of the software development, consumer electronics, and professional services industries. An internationally recognized thought leader, speaker, and author on the topics of design and user experience, Tim has built a proven track record as a hands-on solutions-driven designer.


Nir Eyal

13 / Product Design Driving Positive Behaviors


Product people possess the creative and ethical wherewithal to persuade users to behave in ways that materially improve their lives – using our powers for good. The secret is to understand that, if we want to connect our product’s use to a repetitive consumer habit, we must identify the internal trigger that drives consumer behavior. Understanding this crucial piece can explain how software products become so habit forming.

In this episode, Sean and Joe chat with Nir Eyal, keynote speaker at ITX’s Product Momentum: Beyond the Features product conference (June 19-21), whose work on Behavioral Design has brought him and us to the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. The goal of his work is to help product people design the products and services that consumers want to use and that drive positive, habit-forming behaviors. Nir combines a gift for observation with an uncanny awareness to convert life experiences into problem statements that ultimately lead to research, learning, and discovery.

Read our blog post.

Recommended Resources

Nir ranks and shares his top articles, and he’s an easy listen on his NirandFar podcast.

Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover.

Be among the first to read Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

Join us on June 21 to hear Nir speak at the Product Momentum: Beyond the Features product conference, in Rochester, NY.

About Nir

Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. The MIT Technology Review dubbed Nir, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.”

Nir founded two tech companies since 2003 and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. He is the author of the best-selling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

In addition to blogging at, Nir’s writing has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies. Some of his past investments include Eventbrite (NYSE:EB), (acquired by LinkedIn), Worklife (acquired by Cisco), Product Hunt, Marco Polo, Presence Learning, 7 Cups, Pana, Kahoot!, Byte Foods, and

Nir attended The Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.

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Mike Belsito

12 / Treating Your Product Community Like a Product


When you’re building software products, do you think only about adding features? Or do you think in terms of hiring your software products to solve a problem you have? Context is critical. Consider new products – and their features – in the same way you would new employees. What problems am I hiring them to solve? What will be my return on investment?

In this episode, Sean and Joe chat with Mike Belsito, a startup product and business developer with a rich background in creating big, important things out of nothing. Mike co-founded Product Collective, now a 20,000-member community of like-minded product people. He conceived the idea to help folks like himself navigate this untamed wilderness called product management. Out of Product Collective Mike spawned INDUSTRY – in just its fifth year it’s already one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world.

Read our blog post.

Recommended Resources

Give Mike a listen on his Rocketship podcast.

Learn more about INDUSTRY: the Product Conference. 

It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Jobs-to-be-Done The Handbook, by Chris Spiek & Bob Moesta

About Mike

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the co-founder of Product Collective, which organizes INDUSTRY, one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world. For his leadership at Product Collective, Mike was named one of the Top 40 influencers in the field of Product Management.

Mike also serves as a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University in the department of Design and Innovation, and he is co-host of one of the top startup podcasts online, Rocketship.FM.

Prior to Product Collective, Mike spent 12 years in startup companies as an early employee, co-founder, and executive. Mike’s businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the The New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere. Mike is also the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us, one of the top startup books on Amazon.

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11 / Validating Products Through Design Sprints


The design sprint process introduces experimentation and the scientific method to the world of digital product development. Like experimentation, the process is not about success or failure. It’s really about validation, getting quickly to the point of success or failure with considerably less investment of time, resources, and money.

In this episode, hosts Sean and Joe catch up with Jonathan Courtney, co-founder and CEO of AJ&Smart, a 21-person product studio in Berlin, Germany. A product designer by training and trade, Jonathan commands attention not only because AJ&Smart has facilitated more than 200 design sprints since 2016 – and he about 100 – but because of the engaging, humorous, and impassioned way he talks about using the design sprint process to help companies that struggle with defining their product goals.

Read our blog post

Recommended Resources

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies, by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh. 

About Jonathan

Jonathan Courtney is a Product Designer who helps some of the biggest companies in the world bring new products to the market, faster. He’s also the founder and CEO of AJ&Smart, an award-winning product design studio based in Berlin, Germany.

Catch Jonathan on The Product Breakfast Club, a podcast by Jake Knapp and Jonathan Courtney.

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10 / Evolution of the Product Manager Role


The product manager role has been around for decades, but its contributions have been generally overlooked and misunderstood.  No longer is that the case, according to the 2019 State of Product Leadership report, prepared by Pendo + Product Collective.

In this episode, hosts Sean and Joe speak with Pendo chief marketing officer Jake Sorofman about the recent reports and the continuing evolution of the product manager role. “It’s a role on the rise,” Jake says, “but also one in a state of transition. It’s only in the last 10 years that product management has really come into focus as a very strategic part of the business.”

Read our blog post

About Jake

Jake Sorofman is CMO of Pendo, a Raleigh, NC SaaS company that provides insights, guidance, and communication for digital product teams. Before Pendo, Jake was VP and chief of research at Gartner, Inc., where he focused on CMO topics and marketing trends. Prior to that, he spent 16 years in marketing leadership roles with venture-backed software companies.

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09 / Finding the Right Metrics


How do we know our work is working? How do product designers know their work product is solving the problem it was intended to solve? That’s the kind of question that keeps us up at night.

“It’s an insidious question,” says Kate Rutter, designer, tech junkie, artist, and Principal at Intelleto. In this episode, hosts Sean and Joe chat with Kate about Metrics, but not just any metrics and not just those that only measure performance. Kate says the true power comes from our alignment around metrics as a very tangible element that people can get behind. “It gets really exciting when you…start to see metrics as human behaviors with your products stated in numerical terms.”

Read our blog post

About Kate

Kate is an entrepreneur+designer and Principal at Intelleto, where she creates visual explanations that make complex ideas simple, memorable and shareable. Kate pioneered the UX learning track at Tradecraft, co-founded, and was Senior Practitioner at UX consultancy Adaptive Path. She co-hosts the NSFW podcast What Is Wrong With UX with Laura Klein, tweets at @katerutter and blogs at

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08 / Planning & Prioritizing Product Roadmaps


Have you ever wondered what exactly it takes to create great software products? Those who spend even a little time in this space learn quickly that there is no wizard behind the curtain.

In this episode, hosts Sean and Joe speak with Rohini Pandhi, currently on the product team at Square, about her experiences developing and implementing a product roadmap – the path that connects a customer’s problems with a solution that drives their business forward. It’s not magic, Rohini says. There is no special sauce or magic potion. It’s a combination of talented, creative, hard-working people grinding through priorities, making sure they never lose sight of the customers’ destination along the journey.

Read our blog post

About Rohini

Rohini Pandhi is currently on the product team at Square. She has experiences building new products for startups, developing existing product lines for growth stage companies, and creating new innovation strategies for larger corporations. In her free time, Rohini also advises, invests, and advocates for tech startups, especially those with underrepresented entrepreneurs through a nonprofit she co-founded called Transparent Collective.

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