SXSW Interactive 2015

Product Leads:Dictators, Democracy & the Good King


Who makes the final decision for product? Weak product leaders let consensus rule. There's a town in Chiapas, Mexico where no law can change without unanimous agreement -anthropologists study it because nothing ever changes. Like the Mahabarata and Plato point out, the best form of government during an intense growth period is under a Good King. This is the only way product can move fast. It requires you to make fast decisions, be inclusive on ideas and brainstorm, but be very decisive to deliver speed of change.

Hear from industry leaders Paul Berry, Hunter Walk, Justin Santamaria & Shiva Rajaraman on what this means for launching and growing a successful product, today.

Amazon pushes new code every 11 seconds. How often do you push live? The speed of change may matter more than anything else. People move from liking to loving products not just because of how the product is right now but because of a because of the belief in where the product is going.

Related Media

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. As a company grows in size, how do you keep the product growth nimble and fast--aka scale as the company scales?
  2. How do you know you’re at the right “speed of change?”
  3. How do you incorporate opinions/brainstorms from your team while still keeping a laser focus on your product vision?
  4. Hunter: What’s the biggest lesson learned growing YouTube over the critical time period of 2007-2011, in which a 40x growth in traffic was experienced?
  5. How do you know the difference between good feedback that should affect change, and feedback that might set you off course from your product vision?


  • Paul Berry, CEO, RebelMouse
  • Hunter Walk, Founder, Home Brew
  • Shiva Rajaraman, Director of Product , YouTube
  • Justin Santamaria, Product Lead, Guest Experience & Platform Group, AirBnb


Stephanie Bagley, Director of Brand Strategy & Business Development, RebelMouse

Meta Information:

  • Tags: leadership, growth
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

Add Comments

comments powered by Disqus

SXSW reserves the right to restrict access to or availability of comments related to PanelPicker proposals that it considers objectionable.