For better and for worse, ego follows us all into our work lives. But leaders must pay special attention to what role ego plays in building a product. Sometimes, ego can be the charisma an early-stage founder needs to get attention for what they’re creating. Other times, ego is a roadblock that can lead to ignoring critical perspectives from users and the product team. Using Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase as a case study, today’s show explores what role ego plays in product, when to use it to your advantage, and when to empower others to take charge.
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Ego can help people believe in your product, but it can’t guide everything. Strive to create a “cabinet of rivals” to balance your product perspective. How you position your product should be true AND feel true.
Things To Listen For:
[1:00] A new room for Erica’s new role: “product therapist”
[4:00] Our icebreaker: what company would you buy if you had the money?
[10:00] Twitter’s new features and overall progress in the digital product space
[14:00] Ego can have an outsized influence in spaces that are driven by people, including social networks like Twitter
[16:00] “You can’t scale human behavior the way that you scale battery factories” - and social platforms scale “the best and the worst” of humanity
[20:00] How to think about ego in your own product career
[23:30] Strive to have a “cabinet of rivals” to keep your ego in check
[24:00] You need ego in the early stage to rally people around your product vision
[25:30] You need a little bit of ego to sell a new or unusual idea—because if you don’t believe in it, no one else will
[26:00] How to think about ego when creating your positioning statement
[28:00] Positioning statements about your product can be like “Tinker Bell”
[29:30] Don’t be a dictator; trust your product team to create to the vision