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The Product is the Byproduct

Zach Holman
October 12, 2012

The Product is the Byproduct

People in perpetuate this idea that if you're smart enough, have an amazing vision, and keep pushing at it, then you'll end up with a great product. Take a look at startup success stories, though: a ton of them succeeded in *spite* of their original vision. A great product is closer to an accident. It's the byproduct of the environment you build at your company. This environment may actually be harder to build than the product itself, but you'll be left with a better everything by the end of it.

Zach Holman

October 12, 2012
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  1. BYPRODUCT
    THE PRODUCT
    is the

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  2. YOU CAN CREATE
    A GREAT PRODUCT

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  3. BUT IT’S BETTER
    TO GROW ONE

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  4. YO STOP
    TALKING LIKE A
    PRETENTIOUS
    STEVE JOBS
    YO STOP
    TALKING LIKE A
    PRETENTIOUS
    STEVE JOBS

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  5. HERE’S WHAT I MEAN

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  6. WORRY MORE ABOUT
    BUILDING THE DAMN THING
    WORRY LESS
    ABOUT THE DAMN THING

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  7. YOUR PRODUCT SHOULD BE
    A BYPRODUCT

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  8. YOUR PRODUCT SHOULD BE
    A BYPRODUCT
    OF THE
    PEOPLE
    PROCESS &
    TECHNOLOGY
    OF YOUR COMPANY

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  9. FOSTER A GOOD ENVIRONMENT,
    BE MORE LIKELY TO CREATE A
    GOOD PRODUCT

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  10. GITHUB, INC.
    HOW WE WORK · HOW OPEN SOURCE WORKS

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  11. “PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT”
    EVERY CHUMP SAYS

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  12. SO I BETTER, TOO

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  13. PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT

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  14. BUILD YOUR TEAM

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  15. Kyle Neath
    @kneath
    There are thousands of developers who
    are extremely smart and talented.
    All of whom I would never, ever hire here.

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  16. HIRE THOSE BOTHERED BY SUCK

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  17. YOU WANT FIXERS

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  18. Any time you interview a potential hire,
    you need to ask yourself not only if they’re
    talented or collaborative but also if they’re
    capable of literally running this company,
    because they will be.

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  19. HIRE BROAD PEOPLE

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  20. HIRE DIVERSE PEOPLE

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  21. [...] concluded that the groups
    exposed to minority views were
    more creative than the more
    homogeneous, majority groups.

    Managing Cultural Diversity:
    Implications for Organizational Competitiveness
    Cox and Blake, 1991

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  22. The overall median proportion of
    female executives in successful
    companies is 7.1%, compared to
    3.1% at unsuccessful companies.

    Women at the Wheel:
    Do Female Executives Drive Start-Up Success?
    VentureSource, 2012

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  23. THIS IMPACTS YOUR BOTTOM LINE

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  24. FRIENDLY TO EVERYONE
    BUILD A COMPANY

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  25. Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job
    Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality
    Gaucher, Friesen, and Kay, 2011
    increases in masculine wording were
    sufficient to decrease women’s job appeal
    ratings and their anticipated belongingness
    in specific occupations.

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  26. “BADASS”
    “KILLER”
    “ROCKSTAR”
    “DOMINANT”

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  27. “HAPPINESS”
    “HONEST”
    “TOGETHER”
    “FLEXIBLE”

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  28. IT WORKS FOR MEN, TOO
    PROTIP™

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  29. CONSIDER YOUR APPROACH
    TL;DR

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  30. I HATE BROGRAMMERS
    ALSO

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  31. I JUST
    CRUSHED An
    18 HOUR CODE
    MARATHON
    I JUST
    CRUSHED An
    18 HOUR CODE
    MARATHON

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  32. GOOD CULTURE ATTRACTS
    GOOD PEOPLE

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  33. PEOPLE HAVE
    AND STUFF
    KIDS

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  34. BE FAMILY-FRIENDLY

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  35. FLEXIBLE
    HOURS
    LOCATION WORKLOAD

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  36. 66%
    REMOTE
    HOURS
    LOCATION WORKLOAD

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  37. ANY
    HOURS
    LOCATION WORKLOAD

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  38. SANE
    HOURS
    LOCATION WORKLOAD

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  39. YOU LIMIT YOURSELF WITH
    GEOGRAPHY · SET WORK HOURS · WORKLOADS

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  40. OS X
    on intel

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  41. a self-demoted engineer wanted
    his son Max to be able to live closer
    to Max's grandparents


    qr.ae/8VQDU

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  42. APPLE WAS FLEXIBLE

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  43. MARKETING IS NOT A BAD WORD

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  44. WE HATE THE DISINGENUOUS

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  45. distributed
    social CAT
    NETWORK
    distributed
    social CAT
    NETWORK

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  46. DO YOU EVEN
    HAVE A CAT?

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  47. DON’T WE WANT
    TO CENTRALIZE
    CATS?

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  48. WOULD YOU
    EVEN USE THIS
    YOURSELF?

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  49. BLOG SMALL IMPROVEMENTS

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  50. LEVERAGE REGULAR PRESS

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  51. JAN 9, 2007 KEYNOTE
    FIRST TV AD
    FEB 26
    JUNE 3 TV ADS
    JUNE 6 TV AD
    JUNE 11 WWDC: IPHONE SDK
    JUNE 18 IMPROVED BATTERY ANNOUNCED
    JUNE 18 GLASS SCREEN ANNOUNCED
    JUNE 20 YOUTUBE APP ANNOUNCED
    JUNE 21 TV AD
    JUNE 22 GUIDED TOUR
    JUNE 26 PRESS REVIEWS PUBLISHED
    JUNE 26 AT&T PLANS ANNOUNCED
    JUNE 29 LAUNCH

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  52. PEOPLE ON THE
    ARE DICKS
    INTERNET

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  53. HOW MUCH
    SHOULD YOU CARE?

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  54. ZERO
    BUT THAT’S HARD :(

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  55. CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?

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  56. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO FEEDBACK?

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  57. FANS
    T H R E E G R O U P S
    SKEPTICS HATERS

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  58. FANS
    T H R E E G R O U P S
    SKEPTICS HATERS
    PERCENTAGES ARE RELATIVE

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  59. FANS
    T H R E E G R O U P S
    SKEPTICS HATERS
    PERCENTAGES ARE RELATIVE

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  60. FANS
    T H R E E G R O U P S
    S
    K
    E
    P
    T
    I
    C
    S
    H
    A
    T
    E
    R
    S
    PERCENTAGES ARE RELATIVE

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  61. HATERS
    T H R E E G R O U P S
    PERCENTAGES ARE RELATIVE

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  62. FANS SKEPTICS HATERS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    USERS

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  63. FANS SKEPTICS HATERS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    COULD BE USERS

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  64. FANS SKEPTICS HATERS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    NOT USERS

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  65. FANS SKEPTICS HATERS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    YES MAYBE MAYBE

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  66. CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    SKEPTICS

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  67. I’LL USE IT IF
    YOU ADD
    CATS
    I’LL USE IT IF
    YOU ADD
    CATS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    SKEPTICS

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  68. I’LL USE IT IF
    YOU ADD
    CATS AND AJAX
    I’LL USE IT IF
    YOU ADD
    CATS AND AJAX
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    SKEPTICS

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  69. SKEPTICS
    I’LL USE IT IF
    YOU ADD
    CATS AND AJAX
    OVER WEBSOCKETS
    I’LL USE IT IF
    YOU ADD
    CATS AND AJAX
    OVER WEBSOCKETS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?

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  70. SKEPTICS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    BE WARY OF “IF”

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  71. FANS CLUELESS HATERS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    YES MAYBE MAYBE

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  72. HATERS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    ASSHOLES
    MAY COME
    AROUND
    WHEN YOU
    SUCCEED
    UNREACHABLE

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  73. HATERS
    CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    ASSHOLES
    MAY COME
    AROUND
    WHEN YOU
    SUCCEED
    UNREACHABLE

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  74. CARE THEORY
    SHOULD-I- ?
    NOT ALL FEEDBACK IS EQUAL

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  75. (try) NOT TO WORRY ABOUT REACTION

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  76. was ever
    NOT SHIPPED
    NOTHING GREAT

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  77. BUILDING PRODUCT IS HARD

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  78. BUILD IT INDIRECTLY,
    THROUGH YOUR ENVIRONMENT

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  79. PEOPLE, CULTURE, BUILDING
    DESIRE, MANAGING REACTION

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  80. @HOLMAN
    ZACHHOLMAN.COM/TALKS

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