Radical Product Thinking with Radhika Dutt

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In this wide ranging conversation, we host Radhika Dutt, who is the author of the upcoming book Radical Product Thinking: The New Mindset for Innovating Smarter.

We speak about what is Radical Product thinking and why this is not just about products but a way of life and an approach to thinking.

She also shares the story of Lijjat Pappad and a few other case studies that explain her thinking, with respect to Radical Product Thinking.

She also shares the importance of being vision led in building a product and the challenges that one ends up facing when we are not led by a vision but constantly course correct based on the market realities.

She also talks about the importance of optimising for global maxima vs optimising for the local maxima.

Here is a quote from the book that I really liked, that sums up this approach.

Radical Product Thinking (RPT) means finding the global maximum by thinking about the change you want to see in the world. Your product then is an improvable system to bring about that change

– Radical Product Thinking by Radhika Dutt

Seven diseases:

1. Hero Syndrome strikes when we focus on external recognition instead of creating the change that inspires us. 

2. Strategic Swelling means building a wide range of capabilities but lacking the focus to develop any individual capability to a breakthrough level. 

3. Obsessive Sales Disorder means borrowing against the long-term vision to close short-term deals. 

4. Hypermetricemia is focusing excessively on measurable outcomes to determine success, irrespective of whether those are the right things to measure. 

5. Locked-In Syndrome means overly committing to a specific technology or approach because it has been successful in the past. She shares the example of Boeing 737 and how they got stuck in this disease and the disastrous impact it had on Boeing and for its customers.

6. Pivotitis means changing direction whenever things get tough and leads to exhausted, confused, and demoralized teams. 

7. Narcissus Complex means focusing on your own goals and needs to such an extent that you lose focus on the change you’re trying to bring about. 

She also shares her thinking about why she calls this leadership book as a leadership book.

Radical thinking methodology:

1. Think of your product as your mechanism for creating change. 

2. Envision the change you want to bring to the world before engineering your product 

3. Create change by connecting your vision to your day-today activities 

She also shares her thoughts about digital pollution and why it is important that each and every one of us who builds products need to think about them in this frame to ensure that we leave the world better than how we find it

Hope you like the conversation. You can watch us having the conversation here as well.

About Radhika Dutt

She is an entrepreneur and product leader who has participated in four acquisitions, two of which were companies that she founded. She advises organizations from high-tech startups to government agencies on building radical products that create a fundamental change.

She is currently Advisor on Product Thinking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s financial regulator and central bank. She serves on the board of the independent publisher, Berrett Koehler, and the Association of Product Professionals. She also teaches entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern’s D’Amore McKim School of Business.

Dutt co-founded Radical Product Thinking as a movement of leaders creating vision-driven change and is a frequent speaker at business events and conferences around the world.

You can follow her on her blog and learn more about Radical Product Thinking at https://www.radicalproduct.com.

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