In late 2016, I assumed responsibility for the product direction of Screendoor, which helps governments and nonprofits create online forms and review responses collaboratively. A few months later, I shipped a redesign of our marketing site that also served to dramatically sharpen our product focus. We removed half of our advertised verticals, discontinued our consulting services, and reshaped our government landing page to advertise the same job as our other collateral.
The redesign was spurred by my own analysis of the state of the business, the different types of customers we were trying to serve, and how we might best fulfill the vision established at the product’s inception. In a structured, tightly edited 3,800–word memo, I wrote up my thoughts on a new product strategy for Screendoor and disseminated it among the team.
After listening to each of my colleagues’ individual concerns, and addressing them in turn, I obtained organizational buy-in for the new strategy. In tandem with the redesign, we committed our quarterly team objective towards making this new direction sustainable.