Startup Product Values

Product Excellence By Design Manifesto

As a movement for product excellence, Startup Product Academy (SUPA) grows through recognition that product value creation exists across the entire product lifecycle, and product excellence is achieved through alignment with the following values:


People first includes consideration, respect, and dignity for

Customers, stake-holders, end-users


Every human who touches the product from inception to destruction including

  • all of the elements that contribute to the product manufacturing process and/or
  • the actions involved to move the product from idea to construction to consumption, then deconstruction , recycling and obsolescence

No human harmed at any point in the product lifecycle

No destruction of planet or limited resources that sustain human life

Recognition, respect for dignity, empathy and validation of all human contribution and touch points across the product lifespan.

For discussion:

Can any product be considered excellent based on this idealized definition?

Can we afford to continue making products with planned obsolescence?

Can any product be funded when people’s interests are placed above profits first?


Questioning the status quo and the unknown:

Starting with 

How to use technology to increase quality of life for all involved across all phases of the product development and usage from inception to destruction

Why are things done, made, built, promoted, manufactured, distributed, consumed and destroyed this way? 

What are the implications of these actions?

What are the factors that created this system and maintain the status quo?

How can this process, product, viewpoint be improved? 

How can they be transformed into net positive?


Discovering the market first.

Demonstrating that a problem is worth solving by identifying ecosystems, benefits, current issues not being addressed

Encouraging identification of solutions for problems that must be solved that may never have a market but are required to enhance the quality of life on the planet for all


Empowering people with access to knowledge, opportunities to transmit and gain mastery across boundaries, silos and systems to collaborate

Providing a foundation of knowledge via educational events that forward product leaders, makers, and business people to be accountable for the results of their product endeavors

Increasing exposure to thought leaders and ideas via digital events, summits, conferences, meetups, workshops, hands-on and immersive, experiential trainings on subject matter immediately implementable and executable

Opening doors, providing bridges, nurturing open, diverse, inclusive, transparent communities and making this information accessible across boundaries


Identifying appropriate process as opposed to forcing process on people and systems

Employing systems perspectives, approaches, and best practices

Recognizing that process (or lack thereof) is a symptom and expression of culture - not a band-aid or panacea

Functionality first: Form follows function

People first: successful process buy-in starts from human-centered design thinking approaches


Implementing tools with empathy for the people involved


Immediate experimentation for sustainable, long term results

Accountability for consequences throughout the product lifecycle


Cross functional, cross-discipline, and cross-team collaboration

Bias towards






Quantifiable results

And continuous learning organizations

Progress not perfection

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” Harriet Braiker, Psychologist and author

Successive Incremental Iterations

On-going experimentation

Continuous improvements

Data-driven decision making