process // May 30, 2024

Great Products Are Born Out Of Thinking

Learning to take the time to let ideas marinate and expose their best form before jumping to implementation.

Great Products Are Born Out Of Thinking

On the surface, the title of this post may sound stupid.

Of course you have to think about what you're going to build, but that's not quite what I'm getting at. When I say "thinking," what I really mean is slow thinking.

If you've ever worked on a product—your own or as part of a team—you've likely been subject to an unspoken desire for speed. "Move fast and break things" is the mantra that unfortunately took root as money poured into startups over the last 15 years.

That weird, unspoken urge to get something out the door, with the "something" being analogous to anything. The problem with that line of thinking is that, more often than not, the anything is...shit.

I'm a big believer in iteration, but there's something to be said about always defaulting to junk first and then, if you're lucky, later discovering something resembling value and quality. If you've followed my work over the last 10 years or so, you've undoubtedly heard me parrot the line "make haste slowly."

I got that from the Baltasar Gracián book "The Art of Worldy Wisdom:"

“Be diligent and intelligent. Diligence is quick to carry out what intelligence has lingered over. A lofty motto: make haste slowly.”

I feel incredibly fortunate to have stumbled upon that idea early in my work. It so perfectly encapsulates what I'm saying here. Don't just rush for the sake of moving fast. Instead, let ideas form slowly and then, once you've got something that "makes sense," move fast to implement them.

This, I think, is the difference between a killer feature, and ultimately, a killer product. The team building it—either a team of one or many—make it a priority to mull over the details of how something will look and feel from the consumers point of view and only once they've worked out the details: they execute.

I don't doubt the merits of moving fast and breaking things (there's plenty of proof of "ask for forgiveness, not permission" working wonders), but given the option, I'll always choose to take the slow then fast route over the reckless then do your best to clean up route.

Speaking personally, it's allowed me to make things that just work, indefinitely, and save a tremendous amount of time having to go back and clean up messes later.

Your mileage may vary.

Written By
Ryan Glover

Ryan Glover

CEO/CTO @ CheatCode