This week on Product Love, I sat down with Marton Gaspar, a product leadership consultant at Product Whisperer and a freelance Head of Product. We talked extensively about neurodiversity in product, and product discovery. There’s not enough awareness around the topic of neurodiversity in tech, and Marton is trying to change that with his Linkedin videos and articles. He points out that innovation comes from modern ideas, and those ideas come from diverse teams. He’s a huge advocate for building more inclusive teams. Marton talks about how neurodiverse individuals such as himself, have the tendency to think about complex problems differently, and they’re able to empathize from different angles.
It made me think about how we build modern-day products. Are we building inclusive products? Are our product teams equipped to do so? As product teams scale, and have to naturally build for larger audiences, all these questions need to be front and center.
We also talk a lot about product discovery. A good process is that it’s continuous and inclusive. Marton shares some great points here. One key thing is to never ask customers what they think, always ask customers what they actually do. Allow customers to reflect on their past experiences and tell you a story in which you can extract answers from. If you want to sharpen your product discovery skills, Marton advises not to use the discovery process as a way to confirm things you already know. Instead, opt for a more scientific mindset where you are continuously testing hypotheses.
Another topic we touched on was hiring and interviewing. How do you make sure the interview process is not aimed towards rejecting people, but rather, an opportunity to give people a chance to see what they can actually do? Marton shares that he hires people for attitude, rather than a stellar CV. He gravitates towards people who are humble, honest, and reflective. We dove into the topic of hiring for diversity
If you have a desire to build diverse product teams, you must start with attraction. A basic job spec that says “We value diversity” isn’t valid enough. Marton believes job specs need to have concrete steps that show their commitment in hiring for diversity. Every step of the interview process has to ensure inclusivity, where hiring managers can facilitate people with different needs.
Marton and I also talked a lot about building high performing product teams, and alignment. Check out the episode above to hear more!