In late 2016, I assumed responsibility for the product direction of Screendoor, a shared inbox for form submissions marketed to nonprofits and government agencies. A few months later, I redesigned our marketing site with dramatically more focused product messaging. We removed half of our advertised verticals, discontinued our consulting services, and reshaped our government landing page to advertise the same job-to-be-done as our other collateral.

Prior to the redesign, I argued for this new messaging 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. It included my 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.

After listening to each of my colleagues’ concerns and addressing them in turn, I obtained organizational buy-in for this new strategy. In tandem with the redesign, we committed our quarterly team objective to making this new direction sustainable.

2017 Screendoor.com homepage

Company-wide 'On Product' memo

2017 Screendoor for Government homepage

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Every once in a while, I'll write to you with something I've been thinking about, alongside some cultural recommendations.