Stripe runs on written long-form documents in a way that I haven’t seen before. So that means somebody can go deep, like all the way down, and then distill it back out to everybody else. So you don’t have to do all of that work yourself. It does require a lot of reading for sure, but the benefit is great clarity of thought on complex topics.
Engineers, partnerships, PMs, everybody is producing documents. That’s part of how Stripe has always worked, from a perspective of trying to get to the right answer and make sure the best ideas come through, not just the loudest voices.
Talk to customers
We expect every product manager to be actively talking with customers and really spending a lot of time understanding customers. But it’s not just a product management thing. Engineers are expected to be talking with customers as well.
Create a rough solution to a concrete user problem
At Stripe, we talk about product “shaping,” which is a term I hadn’t encountered before. Shaping is the process of creating a rough solution to a concrete user problem — it fills the space between the broad strategy and the detailed product specification, or the PRD. This process frontloads a lot of the critical thinking about what you’re planning to build and why. Still, you haven’t necessarily fleshed out the requirements in a way where someone could go and implement them yet.