Product Work Is Hard Because It Necessitates Change

Change is difficult for people. Solving product problems requires change. The default behavior is resistance to change. This is what makes working on products so difficult, even more for mature products. Successful product work not only requires finding the right problem and implementing the right solution, but also pushing against status quo preserving behavior from within your organization and users.


Curtis Yarvin wrote in a blog post announcing his departure from Urbit, that building a product is like an annealing process. It starts as gas (an idea, amorphous and unconstrained) and ends in metal (a product in the hands of users). In the process, it can cool too fast causing structural weakness requiring heat to temper it (iteration and refinement).

People prefer to keep things the same due to loss aversion and take actions to inhibit or minimize change. This can be seen in work environments where there is stark resistance to a change in the product (product work is hard because it necessitates change), processes, or organization.

In Hollywood set design, you need to optimize in a way that optimizes for the most impact on screen–money spent off screen is effectively useless to the end result, the film.