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Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Becoming evidence-guided | Itamar Gilad (Gmail, YouTube, Microsoft)
Becoming evidence-guided | Itamar Gilad (Gmail, YouTube, Microsoft)

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Itamar Gilad is a product coach, author, and speaker with over two decades of experience in senior product roles at Google, Microsoft, and various startups. He is also the author of Evidence-Guided: Creating High-Impact Products in the Face of Uncertainty and publishes a popular product management newsletter. In today’s episode, we discuss:

• What it means to be “evidence-guided”

• How to think about your KPIs as metric trees

• How to prioritize ideas using the “confidence meter”

• The GIST model for roadmapping

• Common mistakes with ICE

• Advice for using evidence to challenge gut-driven founders

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/becoming-evidence-guided-itamar-gilad-gmail-youtube-microsoft/#transcript

Where to find Itamar Gilad:

• Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/ItamarGilad

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/itamargilad/

• Website: https://itamargilad.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Itamar’s background

(04:35) How his time working on Gmail shaped his philosophy of “opinion-based” development

(08:35) Lessons from developing Gmail’s tabbed inbox 

(13:40) A brief overview of Itamar’s book, Evidence-Guided

(14:30) Balancing founder creativity with an evidence-based approach

(17:32) Advice on how to push back against founders

(19:36) Signs you aren’t as evidence-guided as you may think

(21:13) Itamar’s GIST model for becoming more evidence-guided

(23:51) How to set overarching goals using his “value exchange loop”

(28:45) North star metrics vs. KPIs

(33:47) Using “ICE” to assess the value of ideas

(37:39) Itamar’s confidence meter

(44:28) Speed of delivery vs. speed of discovery

(46:14) How to apply Itamar’s frameworks based on company type and stage

(49:09) First steps in becoming more evidence-guided

(50:21) Next steps in testing

(55:41) The task layer in the GIST framework

(1:02:54) Thoughts on roadmapping

(1:04:56) How OKRs fit into the whole picture

(1:07:11) Lightning round


• Itamar’s presentation slides: https://itamargilad.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Podcast-Slides.pdf

• What differentiates the highest-performing product teams | John Cutler (Amplitude, The Beautiful Mess): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/what-differentiates-the-highest-performing-product-teams-john-cutler-amplitude-the-beautiful-mess/

Evidence-Guided: Creating High-Impact Products in the Face of Uncertainty: https://itamargilad.com/book-evidence-guided/

• The co-founders of Google in Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/profile/larry-page-and-sergey-brin

• Kanban: https://www.atlassian.com/agile/kanban

• Jira: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira

• The ultimate guide to OKRs | Christina Wodtke (Stanford): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-okrs-christina-wodtke-stanford/

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• The ultimate guide to A/B testing | Ronny Kohavi (Airbnb, Microsoft, Amazon): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-ab-testing-ronny-kohavi-airbnb-microsoft-amazon/

• ICE framework: https://growthmethod.com/ice-framework/

• Sean Ellis on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanellis/

• RICE scoring model: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/rice-scoring-model/

• Idea Prioritization with ICE and the Confidence Meter: https://itamargilad.com/the-tool-that-will-help-you-choose-better-product-ideas/

• Assumptions Mapping: https://designsprintkit.withgoogle.com/methodology/phase2-define/assumptions-mapping

• What is Dog Fooding, Fish Fooding a Product?: https://matt-rickard.com/fishfooding-dogfooding-product

• SVPG books: https://www.svpg.com/books/

The Lean series: https://theleanstartup.com/the-lean-series

• Dreaming Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/c/DreamingSpanish

• ElevenLabs: https://elevenlabs.io/

• Lennybot: https://www.lennybot.com/

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

Lenny's Newsletter

Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.