My name is Dan Schmidt. I’m the CEO and Co-founder of DoubleLoop, 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 DoubleLoop series
Since my focus right now is building DoubleLoop, my recent writing is DoubleLoop-related research. The primary theme is metrics-driven product development (which is mind-blowingly hard).
Why business intelligence falls flat. We take the format of metrics dashboards for granted. Product builders need a new medium.
OKRs ≠ Strategy. With a persistent model of your strategy, the OKR process is radically more effective.
Metrics-driven product development is hard. Most product teams struggle to effectively use metrics. But there’s a shared pattern to how the great companies use metrics to ship products.
Balancing short-term and long-term product bets. I interviewed Dan Rubinstein to understand the key principles of how Google practiced product analytics in 2005.
Let’s change changelogs. Changelogs are a medium with the potential to transform how we all work.
How do you separate the signal from the noise of product changes? We’re seeking design partners to evolve a key area of the DoubleLoop system.
For My Life’s Work, I’m Going Expedition-Style. Looking for heuristics for when to use lean and fat thinking in building a company? Mountaineering strategy has a surprising amount to teach us.
The DoubleLoop Project
These articles express the vision behind DoubleLoop, my attempt to transform how people build stuff.
Why You Need a Source-of-Truth for Product Iterations. Accountants have ledgers. Scientists record their experiments. Marketers have CRMs. Engineers have code version history. Product builders, however, lack a source-of-truth for their previous work. This is a fundamental gap that holds back the craft.
Product Iteration Critiques. For product managers to help each other improve, the secret is to critique each other’s iterations, not products.
A Toolchain for Connecting Vision with Reality. To innovate at scale, your company must reconcile its vision with the work that’s actually happening.
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.
The Mazestructure Project & Other digressions
Mazes as Mirrors of Creation. My first guest post on Ribbonfarm explores how the experience of navigating a maze mirrors the creative process. The essay introduces my Maze Structure booklet, a series of mazes exploring problem-solving techniques.
Stoned Strategy. While this blog focuses on product development, my latest contribution to Ribbonfarm explores my personal experience with cannabis and creativity.
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
These 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 (also available in Japanese)
4. A System for Designing Startup Teams
5. A Map of Ways to Fuck Up a Product