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Amplitude’s John Cutler On Why ‘Silly’ Questions Are The First Step To Making Better Products

Asking the right questions is more difficult than one thinks and equally important. Many a time, this can make or break a product. Therefore, it is essential to nurture an environment that allows productive questions, ensures better collaboration among teams and thus yields better results.

Inc42 and Amplitude’s recent masterclass titled Product Teams’ Guide To Asking Better Questions Together elaborated how to navigate this challenge. Hosted by John Cutler, head of product research and education at Amplitude, the masterclass covered many critical topics such as:

  • Why product teams need to learn from what they ship to make better products
  • The core of learning is the ability to ask high-quality questions
  • An open-ended question helps inspire more specific queries and vice versa
  • How the practice of asking better questions improves conversations, collaborations and outputs
  • Suitable approaches to eliciting impactful questions for better decisions on what to measure 

Why Focus On The Questions?

“Questions are a fundamental part of making a product, and it is tough to arrive at a jaw-dropping question at first,” said Cutler. 

Questions lead to research, discovery, experiment, design, measurement and  analysis. In many ways, the path to asking the right questions is a marathon and not a sprint. Quality questions often start with nonsensical ones that lead to slightly better ones as people begin to think. Then it leads to thinking up questions that make us go up a level.

According to Cutler, questions can be a catalyst for valuable divergence and convergence, or they can limit us. One must not be afraid to ask difficult/uncomfortable questions that may shake the foundations of one’s business, even questions like whom the company is serving and whether it is really helping them.