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As product leaders, we must stay aware of what's new and what's coming. Our strategies are built on assumptions about what's possible in machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, NFTs, augmented reality, and the metaverse. Technical innovation is accelerating, and it's happening against a backdrop of global scale shifts brought on by the pandemic, climate change, challenges to human rights, and fractures in a world peace we had come to rely on. In addition to all of this, product leadership is rapidly evolving. Instead of setting direction in advance, as in waterfall and certain flavors of quarterly planning, we've shifted to continuous discovery — learning on the fly with the same agility we expect in software development. Teresa Torres, in Introduction to Modern Product Discovery, points out that the goal of product discovery is not to deliver fast, it's to learn fast. Starting with the customer and working backwards, we ask "can customers use this," "do customers want this," "are we solving a problem customers care about," and "are we driving to a business outcome." And we don't just answer these questions once, we set up a team and mechanisms to ensure a cadence of fast and continuous learning. But continuous discovery is only one side of the coin. To ensure your team can benefit from what you are learning, you have to pay attention not just to the what and why, but also to the how. The reason for this is that there are a complex set of pros and cons to technical choices. Even deep infrastructure choices have a direct and immediate impact on customer experience. Too many teams, even young born-in-the-cloud startups, have built up such a burden of unwanted product features, outdated systems, and bespoke software systems that they have no time left to innovate. And if they manage to find the time or resources, the systems themselves are fragile and difficult to change. As a product leader who wants your company to succeed, you not only can't ignore this, you have to drive progress in the opposite direction. Step one is to know it, step two is to lead the charge to change it. There are three major aspects of driving to increased agility and performance: 1. Refactor relentlessly 2. Prefer re-use 3. Know your tool set Counseling for Power Couples: Product managers and engineering leaders in fast-growing organizations

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