The Art of Product

Episode Archive

Episode Archive

220 episodes of The Art of Product since the first episode, which aired on June 1st, 2017.

  • 28: Quarterly Goals, and Why They're Better Than Annual Goals

    December 28th, 2017  |  1 hr 9 mins

    Ben is having a successful push for the new cohort of The 30-Day Code Quality Challenge. He is also looking to improve future iterations of the challenge and is preparing to move to a new home outside of Boston.
    Ben and Derrick discuss their quarterly personal goals on this episode and the philosophy behind goal setting: developing habits versus achieving specific results.

  • 27: 30 Day Code Quality Challenge, and Elm Development

    December 14th, 2017  |  51 mins 15 secs

    Ben is entering the last week of The 30-Day Code Quality Challenge. He has enjoyed getting the challenges out each day and seeing participants engage with the content. In the future he is deciding whether to personalize the programming languages or to remain language agnostic. Drip is working on their visual email builder with the help of their new Elm developer. The team has just completed several product structure tests using a prototype, which was a greatly helpful experience to the developers.

  • 26: Optimizing Team Structures

    December 7th, 2017  |  48 mins 22 secs

    Drip successfully sailed through Black Friday and Cyber Monday unscathed with no queue backups or problems. Derrick has been thinking about shifting the Drip team structures after Black Friday weekend and is considering adopting more efficient workflows and processes. Ben and Derrick discuss different team structures, including those at Basecamp and Spotify. They also talk about team size, communication overhead, and growing revenue versus growing team size in business.

  • 25: Chaos, and Growing an Engineering Team

    November 30th, 2017  |  1 hr 42 secs

    Ben introduces The 30-Day Code Quality Challenge and updates us on the progress of his first cohort. He has been receiving positive feedback and participants are engaging with the exercises and community forums. Derrick has hired an Elm engineer at Drip and they discuss the adoption of the Elm programming language in the industry. He also shares the hiring and pairing interview process of the candidate.

  • 24: Tailwind CSS with Adam Wathan

    November 17th, 2017  |  48 mins 15 secs

    Ben and Derrick are joined by guest Adam Wathan, an esteemed software developer, writer, speaker and entrepreneur from Ontario, Canada. He is the creator of Tailwind CSS, author of Refactoring to Collections and host of the Full Stack Radio podcast. Listen in as he shares how he built his own products over time and became an independent entrepreneur, and talks about his new project Tailwind CSS.

  • 23: Refactoring Rails Launch Breakdown

    November 9th, 2017  |  25 mins 33 secs

    Ben keeps us posted on the Refactoring Rails course launch progress and shares his continuing sales metrics and marketing strategies. He is considering experimenting with free samples, bundling and cross-promoting going forward. For his next project, Ben is creating a new course called The 30-Day Code Quality Challenge, which goes live on November 13, 2017

  • 22: Finishing the Year Strong

    November 2nd, 2017  |  26 mins 46 secs

    Ben’s course sales are still going strong, and he shares his updated sales metrics and the purchasing trends of his customers. He also spoke on the Ruby on Rails podcast recently to discuss the course and his experience making it.
    Derrick and the Drip team are preparing for Black Friday. They built models to predict peak hours and optimize their servers. As a result they had a super successful test send at over 4,000 emails per second, putting them in a great position leading up to the big day.

  • 21: Launching Refactoring Rails

    October 26th, 2017  |  35 mins 40 secs

    Ben has officially launched his course Refactoring Rails. He is pleased with his choice of back-end tools including Gumroad for fulfillment. Ben shares his course launch metrics including email success rate, sales numbers and revenue. Derrick announces Drip’s new project teased last episode: a visual email editor. Due to Drip’s widening customer base, there is an increased demand for visual and polished marketing emails.

  • 20: The Ups and Downs of Working From the Road

    October 19th, 2017  |  24 mins 26 secs

    Ben is set to launch his course and is using the looming deadline as an efficiency booster. He recently spoke at Rocky Mountain Ruby, and spent time prepping the talk with a friend at a beach house but unfortunately lost his data due to a hardware malfunction. The talk was still a great success, but a very stressful experience. is now live after a long process, and the Drip team is thrilled. Derrick has also found an opportunity to use Elm at Drip, and is looking forward to implementing it in a new project he can’t yet discuss.

  • 19: Gourmet Ruby with Avdi Grimm

    October 12th, 2017  |  30 mins 58 secs

    This week Ben Orenstein is interviewing guest Avdi Grimm, Founder of RubyTapas, which is a subscription service that provides screencasts of “gourmet” ruby programming. Avdi discusses the topic of his talk at Southeast Ruby in Nashville, which was the value of avoiding code and strategies to bypass the need to write unnecessary coding. Join us as he shares his advice on optimizing workflows and his experiences building RubyTapas.

  • 18: Preparing for Black Friday

    September 28th, 2017  |  27 mins 13 secs

    Ben has finalized the logo for his Refactoring Rails course and is currently getting the intro/outro animations and the sales site designed. He also finished the notes for all the videos and was very pleased with the final edit quality. At Drip, Derrick is deep in the backend scaling challenges with a lot of attention towards Black Friday for their ecommerce customers. They are looking to historical data in order to anticipate peak volumes and simulate high loads.

  • 17: Launch Planning and Speaking at Conferences

    September 21st, 2017  |  32 mins 33 secs

    Ben is coming back from a restorative vacation in Martha’s Vineyard and loves the vibe there. In Refactoring Rails news, Ben is committing to a launch date of October 16th. He is also scheduled to speak at three different conferences before the launch, and is looking forward to the challenge. Derrick attended ElixirConf in Seattle and now feels more confident to use the language in Drip in the future. He’s feeling the pain of running a large Ruby application and is looking for a higher power language.

  • 16: Going Viral and Customer Driven Products

    September 7th, 2017  |  44 mins 37 secs

    Ben and Derrick are back from vacation this week are feeling refreshed. Ben tweeted something that went viral and has dealt with some people’s misinterpretation and bias. He is working on hiring a designer for some of the course finishing touches and is honing in on the premium tier offerings. Drip has been onboarding a new developer onto the core-product team and Derrick discusses his interview and hiring process. He also shares how Drip is doing as a customer-driven product team.

  • 15: Lessons in Scaling SaaS

    August 31st, 2017  |  6 mins 51 secs

    This week Ben is on vacation and Derrick is here to share some fresh knowledge behind the scenes at Drip. They’re experimenting at Drip with how to scale the system to handle more customers and what changes are needed to make the architecture support all their customers and future large customers in the sales pipeline. Derrick goes over his team’s recent brainstorming session and plans to repeat the exercise for more subsystems at Drip.

  • 14: The Power of Simplicity

    August 24th, 2017  |  42 mins 5 secs

    This week Ben has been managing his projects and to-do list with OmniFocus, which helps as his business and stress level continue to increase. He has outlined and will be recording his last video about form objects and is glad to be approaching the finish line on the course. Derrick has been in the trenches working on scaling Drip this week by strategizing on architecture with the backend team. They have onboarded one of their biggest customers and are working with them to segment and filter subscribers to be more efficient.

  • 13: Crossing the Chasm

    August 17th, 2017  |  32 mins 35 secs

    This past week Ben has hit a mental slump in the final phase of his course. However, he is moving through it and will be recording another video today towards the new final goal of 8 total course videos. Derrick brings up a recent Giant Robots podcast episode with Seth Godin, which talks about the dips experienced in business, “crossing the chasm” by moving from innovators into the mass market, and the personal transparency of the host Chad Pytel.