This week on Product Love, I sat down with Cyprian Vero, the Chief Product Officer of Lobster Ink. Lobster Ink is a behavior-based system of training that enhances the frontline performance of leading organizations. On this week’s episode, we dove into embracing constraints as product people.

In business, we sequence constraints all of the time. If it’s not of lack of resources, then it’s lack of funding, or it’s the market drying out. While constraints can be debilitating to any team, Cyprian suggests that we should look at constraints as ways to accelerate innovation instead. Companies have this natural tendency to just go up 20% more each year, like increase sales or shorten time. But what happens if you ask companies how more impactful they can be instead? What if they targeted getting an additional million dollars from the same customer, without spending any additional marketing dollars on acquiring new customers?

Your team might flinch at the question, and even flee into a victim mindset where they fret over having to work more. They might even go into this mindset of neutralizing.

Cyprian uses the example of COVID-19. If your market is affected, a neutralizing mindset means finding a new market. However, embracing constraint, he says, is embracing the market. He suggests asking, What do they need from us? How can we benefit from this? If they can’t afford it, what if we make our product free? As a leader, it’s important to help your team rethink the process. Cyprian even says using “What if questions” could be a tool that unlocks a lot of opportunities.

This episode is incredible for product leaders who want to accelerate innovation. Check it out below to hear more about innovation, and his experience being a three-time founder.

About the Author

Eric Boduch is the chief evangelist for Pendo. Previously, he served as the CEO of Brainstorm SMS Technologies LLC (dba SMaSh, Inc.) and was the co-founder and CEO of several other companies. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science from The School of Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is a graduate of its Executive Management Program.