People before product
Growth is the lifeblood of most organisations. Grow or die. Exponential growth is the stuff of dreams. And nightmares. Startups need it. Investors demand it. Tech employees must worship at the altar of it. But what is it that we are all so desperate to grow? Reach? Leads? App downloads? Memberships? Monthly active users? Subscriptions? Recurring subscriptions? Dollar, dollar bills?
Most growth focuses on product traction. Trying desperately to convert that hockey stick curve you promised senior management into reality. But can you really do that alone? Perhaps you can, but then you are a lone penguin without a waddle. And I don’t believe you anyway.
So you need people (or penguins, whatever floats your growth). Good people. And what do good people need? You guessed it — growth. Personal and professional growth. If you don’t give them that, they will starve — feel unrecognised, often disgruntled, and won’t perform at their best. Or simply leave and find another waddle. Consequently, your product growth will stagnate or die.
So join me as I discuss five steps to creating an Agile organisation that focuses product growth on people first.
Eduardo da Silva is an independent consultant in sociotechnical systems evolution, architecture, and leadership. He also is a Team Topologies Valued Practitioner (TTVP). His work focuses on helping tech-enabled organizations find strategies, structures, and operating models to achieve and scale a sustainable fast flow of change. He takes a sociotechnical systems’ framing, considering org/people, technical, product (customer and environment), and business perspectives. He regularly speaks at events and writes about these topics at esilva.net
Since 2005 he has been an academic researcher, entrepreneur (founder of a startup), software engineer/architect, and consultant in multiple companies (from startups to scale-ups). From 2017 to 2022, he was a principal tech lead and sociotechnical architect for the largest online retailer in The Netherlands and Belgium (bol.com). He worked on various technical and organizational challenges to scale this 150+ team product-led organization.
Eduardo has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Twente, Netherlands. He is originally from Portugal but now lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands.