I am reading Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making Book by Tony Fadell -

I wanted to call out Tony’s description on how to make a big change:

A company that’s likely to make a substantial change in the status quo has the following characteristics:

  1. It’s creating a product or service that’s wholly new or combines existing technology in a novel way that the competition can’t make or even understand.

  2. This product solves a problem—a real pain point-that a lot of customers experience daily. There should be an existing large market.

  3. The novel technology can deliver on the company vision-not just within the product but also the infrastructure, platforms, and systems that support it.

4. Leadership is not dogmatic about what the solution looks like and is willing to adapt to their customers’ needs.

  1. It’s thinking about a problem or a customer need in a way you’ve never heard before, but which makes perfect sense once you hear it.

I especially like the fourth point about not being dogmatic. This point is crucial because it emphasizes the importance of being humble and adaptable in the face of real-world feedback. As the Mike Tyson famously once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” In my team I like to say: “Everyone has a Growth plan until they run their first live experiment.”

It’s easy to fall in love with our own product vision and believe that we know exactly what our users need. However, the reality is that our assumptions are often wrong or incomplete. Only by putting our products in front of real users and gathering feedback can we truly understand what works and what doesn’t.

Be humble. This doesn’t mean abandoning our vision altogether, but rather being open to tweaking and refining it based on real-world insights. The most successful products are those that strike a balance between a strong vision and a willingness to iterate based on user feedback. This requires a leadership team that is confident enough to set a direction, but humble enough to admit when they need to course-correct (and knowing when to do so quickly!)