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Brainstorming

More Insights on Building Your Product

How to design, test, launch, and refine an incredible product experience.


Product is a clinical term for a passionate endeavor. As Steve Jobs, the “product guy” par excellence, put it: “Every good product I’ve ever seen is because a group of people cared deeply about making something wonderful that they and their friends wanted. They wanted to use it themselves.”

Captured in that statement are the twin ideals that guide all great product development: an unstoppable enthusiasm for bringing something great into the world and a relentless focus on usability. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to develop a laserlike focus on making one thing great. To dedicate yourself to relentless iteration and prototyping, so that you can fail fast and learn fast. To privilege your user above all and create an experience that’s simple, effortless, and delightful.

Now, a few of our best 99U articles about honing your product:

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh: The Magic Is in the Process 
How do you get from “what if?” to “eureka”? Sugru creator Jane ni Dhulchaointigh describes her six-year journey from design student to inventor.

On Prototyping: The Simplest Solution Never Comes First 
Serious people don’t do napkin drawings. The designers of Herman Miller’s new Setu chair, Studio 7.5, on rigorous prototyping and long lunches.

Google X’s Sebastian Thrun on How To Invent Amazing Products 
Google X mastermind and ALVA Award-winner Sebastian Thrun shares insights on how to build groundbreaking products that will change the world. 

99U Podcast: Gabe Weinberg on Getting Traction
You started a business but the customers aren’t coming. What do you do? Apply the “bull’s-eye” framework.

7 Tips for Rapid Iteration: The Quirky Approach
Rapid iteration is the fastest route to the right solution. Quirky founder Ben Kaufman shares the secrets of making ideas happen on the double-quick.

How Elon Musk Thinks: The First Principles Method
We normally think by analogy — by comparing experiences and ideas to what we already know— but Musk says there’s a better way to innovate.

Garrett Camp: Building Products People Actually Want to Use
The founder of StumbleUpon, Uber, and Expa on the importance of balancing creativity and rationality when building successful companies.

How to Apply Lateral Thinking to Your Creative Work
“Lateral thinking is concerned not with playing with the existing pieces but with seeking to change those very pieces.” 

Krista Donaldson: Designing Products That Change the World 
Alva Award-winner Krista Donaldson, CEO of D-REV, and her team design products that change the world — cheaply. How? By leveraging partners, listening to users, and tons of grit.

Robert Brunner: What All Great Design Companies Know
The former director of industrial design at Apple shares what separates the great design-focused companies from the rest of the pack.

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Learn more about building expertise in our new 99U book:
Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact

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