We use a pattern called Now, Next, Thinking About to communicate our product strategy to our internal stakeholders. The gist is that it’s our way to communicate a “roadmap” that stays as close to the metal as possible and maximizes optionality. It contains three buckets with varying levels of commitment and accountability.

  1. Next — What we’re exploring in more detail because we might work on it next
  2. Thinking About — What we’re thinking about

The best part about this status reporting concept is that we can query it…

A recurring theme of Long Pressed is optionality. At interesting time scales we introduce patterns that help teams discover and make trade offs transparently. We strive to make bets on the right “whats” because of the right “whys” and are flexible on the “hows”. So, what do we do when we’re asked about the “whens”? Now, Next, Thinking About, is a pattern leaders can use to keep stakeholders appraised of what the team is working on right now, what the team might work on next, and what they think about the future, without sacrificing optionality.

Now, Next, Thinking About

It’s inevitable, at some point…

We recently elaborated on some of the challenges of Tribal Knowledge by the request of a reader. As a reminder, if you’re browsing Long Pressed and would like us to dig deeper on anything in particular, let us know by filling out this two question form, commenting on one of our posts, or reaching out on Twitter. Your requests help us prioritize!

Tribal Knowledge

Tribal Knowledge refers to a dependency on people for the dissemination of important information and the execution of critical processes. There are two “fears” related to Tribal Knowledge

Let’s talk about kitchens.

When is the kitchen a pattern, a context, or a form?

When we talk about kitchens in general, we’re talking about the pattern, kitchens.

When we talk about whether you need to build a kitchen due to the invariants of some larger pattern such as a home, or which smaller patterns within the kitchen you’ll need to implement such as the stove, we’re talking about the context, kitchens.

When we talk about the specific kitchen that you end up designing and building, we’re talking about the form. When you look at a specific kitchen, it is instantly recognizable as a kitchen because of its form.

When you…

Written communication should be top of mind for any modern business continuing to adapt to the challenges of remote work. Andy Matuschak said that there are ten designers working on refining existing patterns for every one designer working to discover new patterns. The ratio for refining to discovering new writing patterns is probably closer to 1000:1.

This week’s guest pattern, COMPOSE, was developed by Writing.coach founders Ellen Fishbein, Dr. William Jaworski, and Samuel Nightengale after more than 20,000 hours of collaboration with hundreds of writers. You can find COMPOSE in its original format here.

COMPOSE stands for:

C = Concept 🔥 Your subject…

We know that data isn’t a proxy for our users as individuals. That correlation does not imply causation. That designing a product for the average person is designing a product for nobody. So where do we start if we want to learn about people, the causes underlying their choices, and what we should build for them? We think the answer starts with this week’s pattern — Hunting For Jobs (To Be Done).

Making progress

The Jobs-to-be-Done framework, made famous by Clayton Christensen & Bob Moesta focuses deeply on understanding your customers’ struggle for progress and the causal mechanisms of their behaviors.


This week we’re happy to feature our first guest pattern on Long Pressed! Lukas Kawerau at Cortex Futura writes and teaches about Tools for Thought, a category of patterns that has wide reaching implications and is quickly gaining clout in one of our favorite niches — Product Development. Templating Time originally appeared on Context Futura as How to Context Switch Like a Pro.

Try as you might, you will never be able to avoid Context Switching altogether. …

Some self-reflection and a little reframe can go a long way.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

If you talk to a customer and they ask you for a new feature, or they tell you how they think something should work, how do you react? Is it any of these? 👇

  • Think “that’s my job not yours”
  • Commit to doing something “like that” in the future
  • Write it down, let them know you wrote it down, and move on
  • Try to change the subject
  • Commit to changing priority and doing that thing right now <- worst response

If so, and you can recognize that these reactions are…

Some people instinctively have a negative reaction to patterns which promote transparency. While transparency is indeed a mechanism to build trust, the patterns underlying transparency are not meant to be broken down once trust has been established. This is because those patterns are meant to be habit forming — they should be valued by the individual regardless of the aspect of transparency.

Imagine the sum of the world’s knowledge and insight as one big circle, the infinite space around it everything out there still left to discover. We grow up learning what we’re supposed to learn. Our knowledge starts at the center of that big circle and slowly expands outward. As we refine our interests and further our education, our little circle starts to grow a mountain of specialized knowledge. They say a graduate student’s mountain of knowledge will just touch the edge of that big circle, and doctorates are only awarded to those who break through that bigger circle and contribute…

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