The World’s Simplest Jenga Game

Anyone who’s ever worked with me knows I like visualizations, diagrams, metaphors, stories. Here’s a simple one that helps me as a product leader.

Imagine three blocks, stacked on top of each other, as in Jenga, the game where opponents stack blocks in a manner to keep them from falling.

This game of Jenga is dead simple. There are only three blocks. They represent:

  • Your customers
  • Your business
  • What you’re working on — essentially, your product priorities.

To win this world’s simplest game of Jenga, you need to keep these blocks stacked on top of each other so nothing falls. What your customers need, what produces value for your business, and what you’re working on at any moment should be in nice alignment. If any one of these things gets out of whack — like if you’re working on something that your business demands but that your customers don’t actually value — then the tower tumbles.

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