S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
I recently invited a bunch of people to participate in a brain-storming session for one of our new products. To make the session productive, I started off by listing a few guiding principles because I strongly believe that having the right principles identified will then help people make the right decisions and trade-offs as we build products or more generically embark on something. After the session, I thought the principles I listed for that team were generic enough that it can apply to a lot of different situations. The principles I listed were:
Scenarios – Whatever work you do, do it as perfectly as you can. If you are building a product pick a few key scenarios that you are going to enable and really do a great job of supporting end-to-end scenarios. If I get a choice between picking a few scenarios and hitting a home-run on those versus doing a lot of scenarios that are half-complete, I know that I would take the 1st option any day.
Assets – This may sound obvious, but all too often we fail to really know our strengths and weaknesses. Leveraging your strengths (assets) and mitigating your weaknesses is the best thing you can do for yourself and for anything that you do.
Impression – Usually, you get one chance to make a 1st good impression. This could be in delivering v1 of a product or anything else for that matter that you do in your life. Be thoughtful about that and do your very best to make as a good of a 1st impression as you can.
I think these principles are applicable in a variety of different situations. As always, let me know what you think.