My name is Dan Schmidt. I’m the CEO and Cofounder of Double-Loop, a platform for results-driven product development. Also, I draw mazes.

I’ve selected a few articles below to give you an easy way to dive-in. Alternatively, here’s my latest writing. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Connect with me on Twitter, Medium, or LinkedIn. If you think I can help with your project, get in touch.



The Double-Loop Project

These articles express the vision behind Double-Loop, my attempt to transform how people build stuff.

How Adults Build Products. Applying the cognitive development of children to product management.

A Vision for Learning at Scale. How large companies can turn their size from a disadvantage to an advantage in their ability to innovate.

The Significance of Meta-Work Tools. A new breed of tools is relieving the tension between speed and thoughtfulness.

Minimum Viable Control: A Framework for Product Leadership.  How to stay in the flow with your product management team without micro-managing.

The Post-Launch Gap in Product Tools. In the planning tools we use, work disappears as soon as it’s “done.” This has negative consequences.

With Strategy, the Medium is the Message. The tools we use to build products shape how we think.

The Threat of Hylomorphic Design Thinking. Innovators must learn to anticipate how their materials and creations design us.


screen-shot-2019-06-14-at-2.14.44-pmThe Mazestructure Project

My first guest post on Ribbonfarm explores how the experience of navigating a maze mirrors the creative process. Examples include mazes based on the product management triangle and Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press.

The essay introduces my new Maze Structure booklet, a series of mazes exploring problem-solving techniques.



Forecasting, Hedgehogs & Foxes Series

The Fox-Hedgehog Collaboration Loop. A model for how the fox and hedgehog cognitive styles can be intertwined in the creative process.

The Superforecasting Playbook for Product Development. A system for optimizing prediction accuracy in product thinking.


Product Tension Series

ProductDrivenThese posts wrestle with a tension at the heart of product development between “changing the world” and adapting to the world as it is.

1. The Fundamental Tension in Product

2. A Visual Framework for Product Vision 

3. The State of Your Company (Slideshow Template)

4. The Risk of a Scientific Creative Process

5. Lean & Fat Product Thinking

6. When the Tension Snaps in Silicon Valley


Product Triangle Series

The product triangle model distills the diverse range of product management activities through a visual framework.

1. The Product Management Triangle (also available in Japanese and Russian)

2. A Map of White Space for Product Managers

3. A Visual Vocabulary for Product Building

4. A System for Designing Startup Teams

5. A Map of Ways to Fuck Up a Product

6. The Startup Triangle


How others have applied the product triangle

Daniel Demetri: 3 Types of Product Management: Which One is Right For Your Company?

Péter Fenyó Fenyvesi: The Circle of Product Management


My writing with traction elsewhere

The Pros and Cons of Product Management [published on Forbes]

What Should A Startup Product Manager Focus On In The First 30, 60, And 90 Days? [Forbes]

A Map of Whitespace for Product Managers [Medium, referenced by Marty Cagan]

What does a great product manager at a tech startup do day-to-day? [Quora]

How do I become an effective product manager? [Quora]

The Product Management Triangle (A Graphical Model) [Quora]

What’s a product manager’s responsibility? [Quora]

What is product management? [Quora]

A Visual Vocabulary for Product Building [Quora]

What is the future of product management? [Quora]

Why has product management become such a popular role? [Quora]

How can product managers add value at an early stage company? [Quora]