CEO | Founder swap-studio

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.


Featured by Harper’s Bazaar as one of the top 10 women to watch in tech in the Netherlands, Nilofer believes in building the best today to solve the problems of tomorrow. She founded swap-studio after experiencing the potential of the clean-tech industry as the Chief Operating Officer for e-mobility startup, Chargetrip. Prior to this, she completed the Cambridge Rising Women Leaders Program and worked in various roles from product management to consulting, entrepreneurship and academics in both the Netherlands and Australia. A great believer in design thinking and devops, she empowers teams to solve hard problems while remaining accountable to each other and to the planet. Nilofer holds a Doctorate in Geomatic Engineering from the University of Melbourne.