Some time ago, I articulated what I had distilled about my role as an executive leader. It was a list of things that seemed to be the common denominators among leadership.

I think they hold true, but with more experience, I would say that the bulk of the job, at almost every turn, is considering, deciding on, and communicating trade offs.


The vision informs the architecture. The vision and the architecture inform the team topology.

Marty Cagan, Empowered workshop

It’s amazing what comes out of the woodwork when you start isolating a problem and investing in solving it. As our Product Org scales at Swiftly, I’ve felt the organic need to more concretely firm up our teams – in both composition and goals. Working with my co-conspirator, our Head of Engineering, we drew natural lines among teams, our product vision, and our architecture. We referenced domains-based ownership, Conway’s law, and a litany of team and product focused articles and books. We drew on our unique experiences to understand the trade-offs at every turn. And no matter what way we cut it, it was evident that we had to tackle team topology, architecture, and product vision simultaneously to get it right.

My pal and Product leader extraordinaire, Kelton Lynn, and I were talking about shaping an org structure and architecture that best supports the customer vision. He nonchalantly threw out the term “orgitecture,” which was simply perfect. (It’s also strangely trademarked by a digital marketing company.)


teams are more than the sum of their parts. when “team” is the primitive, over “product manager + product designer + engineers,” these groups of people can do extraordinary things for customers and the business.


I think the real imposter syndrome epidemic is that confidence tends to be unevenly felt by those in majority groups.

Jim Shedlick, Engineering Leader

product discovery

Listening is a prerequisite. Hearing is the skill.

Lots of people can sit on a customer call, and they can listen to what people share. But a skilled productician will hear what isn’t being said, what assumptions are being made, what the root problem is, what the current paradigm might not support.