An Intuition for Product Delight: Megan Quinn of Spark Capital

Published Mar 19, 2018

Product managers have intuition about what makes great products. Sure, there’s data. Hopefully, there are KPIs. But sometimes, a product team will overlook testing and data in favor of their opinions about what can be truly delightful for users. That was true for Megan Quinn when she was the director of products at Square, the payment giant. She says that the guiding question for her product team was: “how [do we] turn this thing that we all do multiple times a day, which is pay for something — and we don’t think about it at best, and at worst it’s a total hassle — into something that people actually find pleasurable?”

At Square, Megan’s team’s intuition was that they should keep the “pay with your finger” feature – that now ubiquitous experience we recognize from signing tablets when we pay for coffee. It wasn’t necessarily the most efficient solution, but when finger signatures took off as a social media phenomena (with signature doodles becoming a form of art), it was clear they were on to something.

Megan Quinn is now a general partner at Spark Capital, focusing on growth investments. Megan joined ProductCraft for a (very early morning) coffee chat last month, where she talked to Laura Baverman about who product should report to:

“I believe strongly that the head of product should report into the CEO, I also believe strongly that the head of engineering should report into the CEO […] There’s a real reason why I like both reporting into the CEO and that’s because so much of the conversation at the executive level around building is around resource allocation, and if you don’t have those two inputs going directly into the CEO I don’t think that you get a balanced view of resource allocation and not because people are ill intentioned or anything, but you actually want to have a tension between these functions.”

Watch the rest of the interview to learn more about Megan’s time at Google (working on another product many of us use every day: Google Maps), her advice for product managers, and what trends in tech she’s excited about.