Upon Axiomatic Thinking

As we walked in semi lit lanes of our tree covered area in this winter evening, the pleasure of clients turning friends started peeling layers upon layers.

The man is at the starting point of many bayesian forked forest of his entrepreneurial journey and pondering on some deep questions. The choices he makes will be a revelation of his character under formation, but which will leave closed the alternate paths not taken. He needs a friend to navigate.

Men who have travelled ahead, each offer him their preferences. Those in turn revealing their character.

But my advice is:

You must at any points carry your own certain Axiomatic Truths to navigate these decision trees. These may be few. But often having just one , renders rest of the carefully arranged thinking superfluous . A decision is often derived from the axiom you hold dear.

I offered him three of mine:

  1. A successful product is a densely packed bundle of logical value proposition for a user. Mixing value propositions of other stake holders may kill it.
  2. Any product must aim for monopolisation of its ecosystem by relentless market fit feedback to product development roadmap
  3. The capital that comes with no terms and no horizon surrenders it’s entire optionality to the product, leading to best environment for axiom 1 being fulfilled in a startups life. So that capital is good for product

Source: www.medium.com

A product design challenge

A founder wants to build a group booking platform for dinning crowd. It will remove offline haggling to pre-structured discounts based on size of the group. The platform must know when the group booking done through the platform is consummated. The platform wants to capture relevant upside, in case group goes larger or consumes more than originally booked. The platform wants to form a float by collecting EMD for the intended spend as % of spend, upfront while booking. Eventual strategy of the platform is to build mechanisms to generate positive network externality. The platform also wants to ensure the user experience of choosing a venue & menu , while being online and non-app based , must reflect group dynamics the way this activity currently happens offline between friends.

As a product designer please frame the following:

Product purpose:


  • Describe the pain
  • Frame how it is solved currently

Solution: frame proposed solution here

  • Describe how it solves the pain
  • Describe how exactly it connects the various personas
  • provide 2–3 use cases to support your case

Why now:

  • Describe historical evolution of the category
  • If your solution has never been created before, what recent change makes it possible now

Estimate Market Size: If possible estimate TAM (top down), SAM (Bottom up), SOM and give rational how.

Identify Competition:

  • List competitors and their competitive advantages
  • Identify what competitive advantage will you build to carve a place for this product

Frame personas and form market segments:

  • List all personas you see in the product and describe them
  • Identify the market segment closes to the personas and fix those personas as first round of customers

Design product by outlining key user journeys:

  • Describe the topology of the product you’ll create
  • Describe large broad values you’ll deliver and break them into feature sets
  • Describe non-negotiable user journeys and the experience
  • Relate and bundle the features as rollout strategy
  • Break into development version given 3–6–9 month time frame for development, deployment , going live

Source: www.medium.com

The Zen of Productivity Product

Currently orgs use tools of the past. Business cycles have compressed, time windows to success have shortened. More has to be done with less in lesser time. Cognitive burden has increased. But orgs continue to use tools of the past, creating outward spiraling cognitive load. This causes friction & an org layer dedicated to friction removal.

Ideal is minimum viable org to meet the biz goal, and no more.

For this we see an org as org dynamics layer & underlying work layer. Org can be minimized by simplification of org dynamics to minimize cognitive load. The underlying work layer, specific to each industries & built on wisdom of last generation of technology, needs design thinking applied for simplification & minimization.

Org = Planning + Execution + Underlying Work Process + Actions

Planning = Direction+Judgements+Decisions+Tasks + Classification +Timeline +Accountability+Measurability+Visibility+Bottlenecks

Execution = Communication +Action+Escalations +Decisions

UWP = Input Trigger+Value Adding Actions

Actions = Defined flow of steps + Tackling unknown + Skill Development +Feedback To Process Definition.

UI Pattern To Relate To Human Actions

A human interacts with UI based on intuition & experience. Earlier enterprise applications created ‘work flow’ which a human was expected to follow through forms and controls.

We intend to transform the experience from forms to UI elements that related to user more intuitively. e.g. A simple checklist is intuitively understood as creation of work, its priority, its due date, creator as work giver and responder as doer of work, tick as sign of delivery, measure of finishing, visibility etc.

An untick by another user can be construed as supervisor’s disapproval of work done. A ticking cycle indicates how many iterations. The time between ticks indicates pace, clustering of ticks indicates using product as compliance rather than collaboration tool. Several behavioural patterns are hidden in micro data related with simple UI elements which can be used to identify & eliminate frictional behaviour. Ultimately topography of a product educates & aligns the user to the product’s intention.

What can be inferred by implication, should not be asked.

Session 3 — Bundle Ideas

Several ideas emerge from the discussion.

  1. Work flow systems that link work but ignore human behaviour vs flow of work, human centered process where platform senses the meaning through measurement.
  2. Build in 10% cost 60% value, rather than 100% cost & 100% value
  3. Organisational layer resides on underlying work processes, organizational dynamics is a protocol layer to be abstracted into the product.
  4. The topography of the product should align the behaviour of the user to the objective by intrinsic motives rather than enforce rules.
  5. Synchronised flow of work reduces cognitive overload
  6. Hygiene processes can be abstracted into automation with a lot of effectiveness.

About Prodio

Above excerpt is from session 3-Bundle Ideas & session 4- create framework of Prodio’s product design sessions. These immersive sessions aim to explore several layers of problem to arrive at a path to minimum viable product.