Working Backwards

, Nov 2, 2006

Werner Vogels describes the process used at Amazon.com to introduce new products.

The product definition process works backwards in the following way: we start by writing the documents we’ll need at launch (the press release and the faq) and then work towards documents that are closer to the implementation.

This seems like an amazingly simple and cool idea to me.

On November 2, 2006 7:03 PM, Anonymous Coward said:

Of course, it would be even more interesting if Amazon actually did things that way…

On November 2, 2006 9:59 PM, David said:

It’s interesting, and certainly better than ‘the 1000 Commandments Specification’, bit isn’t it a little Big Upfront Spec?

Where’s the agile/iteration love in all this?

On November 3, 2006 9:32 AM, Stefan Tilkov said:

Interesting comment, AC; I often feel that some of Werner’s descriptions are a little too great to be true. Given that you’re anonymous and he isn’t, though, his credibility ranks quite a bit higher …

On November 3, 2006 9:34 AM, Stefan Tilkov said:

David: I don’t think it’s like a big upfront spec at all — a press release will just capture what’s most important to your potential users in a page or two. Whether they do it or not, I believe it’s a good idea to get your intentions communicated clearly …