Finding order in the chaos of product development

Sigurd Seteklev
November 18, 2020

The best and worst part of product development is the mess. By the mess, we mean the process of people of different backgrounds and roles coming together, collaborating across a multitude of tools, and based on ambiguous information producing a single coherent product that makes their customers' lives easier.

Chaotic systems can create beautiful patterns.

Our tools keep getting better and more collaborative. Github is fantastic for discussing code changes. Figma is an excellent way for the designer to collaborate closely with the rest of the team. Slack makes ad-hoc discussions easier. Notion and Google docs allow us to collaboratively document and collect information. And there is a multitude of tools to help us manage tasks and visualize roadmaps.

Even though we have all these tools, we observed that a core part of the toolset was missing. We ended up wasting a lot of time on processes to mitigate communication and collaboration challenges. Even if we have frequent status meetings, are copy-pasting between tools, or in some other way stitching together the missing parts, team members are still in jeopardy of missing out on important information and updates. The results are that they spend time working on the wrong thing and complaining about their favorite tool to hate.

To us, product management is the process of building the right thing, and building the thing right. And while every other product management tool is either a complex task management tool or a tool to support the team's product manager role, we believe it should instead be the primary collaboration tool.

We're building that product management tool. And to do that we have identified what we believe are three major components:

  • It has to connect people. It has to keep track of our plans, process, and what we're working on, but it also has to be where we have our one-pagers, where we discuss and document what we are going to build. These discussions shouldn't happen in a generic chat or documentation tool.
  • It has to connect and augment the tools we use every day to do our job. Our vision is that Kitemaker will be the tool to tell you what is happening that is relevant for you. That means the comments that are deep into a design file or a document. Or that discussion you missed on Slack. Or that one crucial point that someone made, but you don't remember in which tool. Or when that design file you are implementing is changed.
  • It has to be a simple to use tool that is making every user better. That is why we made Kitemaker with a focus on speed, simplicity, and efficiency. People building products should be able to use great tools themselves. Tools that are efficient and not slowing you down.

Kitemaker is just getting started, but we're on a journey to make product development easier and more efficient for everyone. Our vision is a world where we can build products better, resulting in better products for all users.

If these are things that resonates with you, feel free to ping us, or try out Kitemaker.