Product vs. 100 duck-sized horses

One of my favorite questions in online AMAs is: Would you rather fight one duck the size of a horse, or a hundred horses the size of a duck? As cursory as the question may be, I also ask it in my job interviews – as a follow-up question. What kind of answer do I expect? 100 horse-sized ducks, of course. Why?

Iteration, iteration, iteration

It’s better to face smaller challenges than one big one. If you really haven’t read my previous blog posts, I’m already explaining the advantages of this approach. You have more flexibility. Here, the problems are also repeatable, and as a result, we can approach subsequent clashes smarter, and it’s all because of the:

Learning and drawing conclusions

There is nothing wrong with being wrong. The problem begins when mistakes are repeated. Therefore, it is essential to learn lessons and Action Points for the future. In order not to make the same mistakes again. If the source of the mistake is external – as in the case of those proverbial ducks – then we simply approach each battle wiser.


How long will it take you to fill an Olympic-sized pool with a garden hose at constant pressure? If you think about the challenge as a whole right away it’s hard to say. Here, thanks to iteration, we are able to determine this accurately. The Olympic pool has X liters of water. A garden hose will expel 10 liters of water in Y seconds. The rest is math

Of course, it’s not effort that we are able to mathematically break down. But sometimes we just need to use our imagination. Sometimes we must try something to build an idea of the resources it will consume. There is nothing wrong with that – quite the opposite. Build a hypothesis and validate it but keep metrics in mind.


They are advisable in product development. But it’s important to approach experiments in a structured way. Define appropriate Succes metrics, timeframes, etc., and don’t be afraid to say „I was wrong.” If , on top of that, you prioritize your experiments and make sure they don’t distort each other’s metrics – you have a ready-made approach to Idea Backlog validation.


Break problems down into smaller ones until you can quantify and prioritize them. Draw conclusions and build experiments and in this way you will be able to defeat any stakeholder, I mean duck 🙂