Kenneth Larsen

April 9, 2021

Technical Risks and Product Risks

When building my fictional video streaming service Nutfix, I ran into some issues with the engineering department. The product department wants to introduce a new type of movie where the user's interactions determine what happens next. The engineering department thinks this is almost impossible to do in reasonable time due to technical risks.

Product could not understand this. How could a purely technical issue limit what features we could do? Wasn't there a quick and dirty solution?

And that is how Nutfix spent one year developing one feature.


Risk is a thing you'll need to constantly consider when you develop products. There's this idea of having two silos of risks:

1. Where technical risks lives and is only relevant for the technical stack.
2. Where risks in the product live that directly affects the user.

The thing that does not work with this setup is that if you have technical risks that are not connected to your product, you're doing something wrong. By giving it the name technical risk, you automatically create silos for product and tech.

Product risk is the same concept but within the area where features, bugs and other things are also developed and prioritised. This is where it belongs as the technical limitations or legacy code directly affects the product and the users.

There are no technical risks, only product risks.

These were my product notes from week 14. See you next week!