A Practical Approach to Building Great Products & Teams

As a product leader, I find the things I think about most often fall under one of three categories: people, product, or process

by Chris Abad

VP, Product Desk.com




  1. Optimize for employee happiness first
  2. Team motivation is your biggest lever.
  3. We don’t need managers – we need coaches, mentors & leaders
  4. Let the “doers” decide
  5. Only work with the best.



  1. Have a clear vision.
  2. Good design is really important.
  3. Use data to make decisions when possible.
  4. Highly collaborative teams foster innovation.
  5. Be simple.



  1. Involve customers as early and as often as possible.
  2. Everything is an experiment.
  3. Focus on value delivered.
  4. Plan for failure.
  5. Process actually matters.
There are plenty of examples out there of companies who have been wildly successful following contradictory beliefs.What’s important for me is that I’m constantly introducing myself to new challenges, and both learning and improving at each step.

About Chris Abad

I’m a designer, developer, and serial Internet entrepreneur. Currently VP of Product at http://Desk.com . I’ve founded two startups in my career. The last company, iList Inc., was funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and a handful of other amazing entrepreneurs. iList was later acquired by News Corporation. I was head of product for Assistly, Inc., a customer support platform enabling companies to deliver awesomely responsive support to their customers. Outside the office, I enjoy beautiful design, photography, Hip-Hop music, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, motorcycles, and tattoos. chrisabad.com

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