Shape Up Forum

Demand thinking

I was recently inspired by rewatching the videos on the Demand Thinking YT channel.

My understanding is that Shape Up is mostly about execution post identifying the demand (I know there is a chapter about starting from scratch that Ryan added).

Is there a place I can go to view / read how to determine demand? I believe Competing against luck is a book you recommend that I have. I haven’t finished reading but have made plenty of notes on the way through. Just trying to connect that with the Shape Up process to get some practical exercises to go through, much like the ones in SU, if they are in fact different or in addition.

I have been introducing Shape Up principles and practices to teams and more are asking me about how to determine they are working on the right problem to start with (I know demand and problem are actually different things! :slightly_smiling_face:).

Wanted to be able to point them to something as I don’t believe that was something Ryan aimed to include in Shape Up (but I could be wrong about that!)

You’re right that this isn’t really covered in Shape Up - beyond recommending Competing Against Luck - as it wasn’t the topic of the book.

CAL is a great primer to introduce yourself to Jobs To Be Done as a method for identifying demand. You could also look online for JTBD interviews done by Bob Moesta, as he’s fantastic at those. In fact, he and Ryan just did one on youtube this week and also filmed the analysis of the interview - - also if you can afford it, I can recommend attending one of Bob’s virtual classes he’s been doing lately.

Other ways to help identify demand is ask better questions when getting customer feedback. This is not just Product, but sales, support, and customer success can help with this. For example, when a customer says asks for a new feature, instead of asking why they want it, ask them to tell you a story about a time when they needed something like that, the outcome they were wanting from using it and what they had to do instead.

These sort of things help you understand the qualitative details of the demand. Once you know that, you may need to look at more quantitative data from your product to determine the value of doing something on the supply side for that deman. I.e. how big or important is that demand?

Hope that helps :slight_smile:


I was looking at your post and I remembered a previous post by @rjs where he explained more about the ‘strategy’ side of work, I’m pasting his reply and a link to the original post below:

Hope that helps!