Who are we building for anyway?

Chelsea Troy has brilliant advice for product development teams. Serving folks at the margins tends to produce something that’s better for everybody — and it can lead to breakthroughs.

In fact, most of the things you love about your smartphone started as accessibility features.

Her thinking starts with the observation that the web (and much of the software used to build and access it) was created by folks who were geographically marginalized.

These were almost always college-educated white dudes. They were typically playing around, building toys. And they were also well outside of typical software engineering centers. And by bringing this geographic disadvantage to the fore, they managed to make stuff quite useful to all of us not geographically near the best bookstores, the post office, the places to be seen.

Rich product vision comes from the edges of a problem space.

If it’s vision you want, ask “Who is left out of current solutions and why?”

Advocate for them.

— Chelsea Troy, The Oxymoron of “Data-Driven Innovation”


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