Kenneth Larsen

April 16, 2021

😱 Consider Your Inspiration

When I was hiring engineers for my fictional mansplaining-in-audio-only-service, Suphouse, I ran into a few issues. First, I was asked why we picked React as our frontend tool. Well, because Facebook created it and they have a lot of success with it. Then I was asked why design sprints are so essential to us. Well, Google has pioneered design sprints, and they are really innovative. Then I was asked why Jeff Bezos’ letter to the shareholder was hanging on the wall. Well, it’s super inspiring, to be honest.

We pick inspiration from big companies that are doing well because if we do the same as those who are successful, we will achieve the same success, right? 

The inspiration you use has side effects you might not have considered. When you say you build products with Facebook’s tooling, you also say that you’re building with the tools of a company that turns a blind eye to the misuse of their platform. 

When you say you do design sprints like Google, you put your values next to a company that fires people who speak up about the lack of diversity. 

When you say that Jeff Bezos is a great entrepreneur, you also say that it is great to have your employees pee in bottles at work because they cannot go to the bathroom.

If you want to build great things with great people, you need to reconsider your inspiration sources. It sets the tone and values of your company.

These were my product notes from week 15. See you next week!