Will Wu: Top Five Product Lessons from Creating Snapchat "Discover" and "Chat" | E1111

Will Wu: Top Five Product Lessons from Creating Snapchat "Discover" and "Chat" | E1111

Product Design

  • Simplicity is paramount in product design, especially for novel and innovative products.
  • Feature creep can be prevented by carefully considering the level of abstraction with features and designing the interface to be approachable for a lay person while still having depth for a power user.
  • Rapid prototyping is a critical tool for accelerating the path towards putting out a product that the team is proud of.
  • Product reviews should be conducted in a relaxed and safe environment, with a small group of people (around five) who come from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Setting an agenda for product reviews can be important, but too much structure can stifle creativity.
  • Bringing chaos and inspiring creativity can be achieved by bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and by encouraging a relaxed and open environment where wacky ideas are welcomed.
  • Traveling and observing the target customer in their environment provides valuable insights and inspiration for generating innovative ideas.

Product Management

  • Balancing revenue generation and innovation requires separate teams dedicated to each goal. This prevents conflicts of interest and allows for effective collaboration and communication between teams.
  • A positive product culture emphasizes growth-mindedness, humility, empathy, and listening. Egocentric individuals can hinder team dynamics and stifle creativity.
  • Hiring the right product people is crucial. Look for individuals with a track record of designing or building successful products that align with the company's vision.
  • Assess candidates' long-term career ambitions to ensure alignment with the company's goals and values.
  • Passion for the craft and a desire to make a positive impact drive product people beyond traditional work hours.
  • The pandemic has shifted priorities, with individuals valuing work-life balance and flexibility more than ever before.
  • The speaker expresses concerns about the trendiness of product management as a discipline and the allure of high salaries, emphasizing the importance of genuine passion for product development.
  • The speaker does not personally use case studies in the interview process, considering them artificial and forced. They prefer to assess candidates based on their past work and concepts they've created, gaining insights into their thought process and passion for product development.
  • The speaker's biggest hiring mistakes include over-investing in people and giving them too much room to fail due to a tendency to see the best in everyone. They acknowledge the need to read team signs earlier to identify culture misfits or those solely motivated by money.
  • The speaker believes that being in product management solely for the money is problematic, as the most impactful and innovative products come from a deep passion for creating something meaningful. However, they acknowledge that highly skilled individuals who are passionate about their work can still be valuable assets.
  • The speaker emphasizes the value of bringing in individuals with diverse perspectives, particularly from fields like gaming, to foster innovative thinking and leverage unique expertise in product development.

AI in Product Design

  • The speaker discusses the impact of AI on product design and creation, highlighting the emergence of AI tools that assist product designers and provide user feedback. They stress the importance of understanding AI capabilities and limitations to stay relevant in product design.
  • The speaker disagrees with the notion that UI will become irrelevant due to AI advancements, arguing that various human-computer interaction paradigms will coexist. They use the example of the command line interface and graphical user interface still being relevant despite the introduction of multi-touch user interfaces.
  • The speaker acknowledges the hype surrounding generative AI and believes it is warranted, but cautions against investing in every generative AI-based company. They emphasize the need for entrepreneurs to have a clear understanding of the problem they are solving and how their product will provide a unique value proposition.
  • The speaker believes the hype around generative AI is warranted due to its ability to democratize access to intelligence and its potential to reason across multiple domains.

Dating Apps

  • The speaker finds it beautiful that successful matches on dating apps can lead to users finding long-term relationships and leaving the platform, but acknowledges the challenge of continuously attracting new users.
  • The speaker views dating apps as competing for users' time and attention, similar to other mobile apps, games, and social media platforms.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of listening to users, but notes that exceptions may arise when user requests conflict with core product values.

Work Setup

  • The speaker's work-from-home setup includes an Apple Pro Display XDR, an Insta360 Link webcam, a custom keyboard, and a Logitech MX Master 3 mouse.

Advice for Product Leaders

  • The speaker believes the biggest mistake founders make when hiring product teams is not getting rid of poor culture fits fast enough.
  • The speaker advises product leaders starting a new role to get reps in building products, embrace imposter syndrome as a sign of growth, and seek opportunities to learn from others.

Personal Interests

  • The speaker is passionate about watches, viewing them as a blend of art, science, and technology, and appreciates their ability to symbolize and commemorate milestones in life.
  • The speaker is impressed by Tinder's

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