Product Love Podcast: Radhika Dutt, Author of Radical Product Thinking

Published Oct 7, 2021

This week on Product Love, I had the honor of sitting down with Radhika Dutt, again. If you missed our first episode together, I’d suggest adding this episode and her article to your weekend to-do list — we dove into the intricacies of ethical product management.

On this episode, we talked about radical product thinking. In the last decade or so, Lean Startup became popular because software companies want to build faster. They wanted to build faster, iterate faster, and ship faster. Radhika likens this desire to have a fast car. To get to your destination, it’s helpful to have a fast car, but it’s not the only thing that can help.

Getting to your destination (or goal) also requires navigation. In product, this is probably when we start to ask customers what they want in a product. But that’s not quite enough either, customers merely only have an idea of what they want — they can’t help you set your destination.

These methodologies made Radhika ask, “How can I take this vision-driven approach? How can I set the destination and navigate to it better?”

But why now, right? Radhika has two reasons. First, it’s because our traditional methodologies have limited us. They’re optimized enough to see how far we can go with a fast car, but tech startups still fail year after year. So it’s time to do something else.

The second reason is that the rate we’re building products is changing the world and affecting people. Radhika believes that startups need to have a clear vision for the change that they want to bring about, not just figure out what works in the market. The products we create have unintended consequences on society, so it’s time to step back and reflect on our old product management processes.

Want to know more about this new radical product thinking, and dive into the ethics of product management? Check out her book, and listen to this episode below.