About Product Blocks

Product Blocks is a blog on the building blocks for successful tech product companies. Learn best practices on product, design, engineering, and leadership used by the best companies.

About Product Blocks
Photo by Yulia Matvienko / Unsplash

👋 Hey! My name is Piotr, and welcome to my newsletter on building blocks for successful tech product companies. Subscribe to get free step-by-step guides on best practices used by the best companies every second week!

Remember the days when you were a child and you were building things with plastic blocks?

You used different blocks with different shapes and colors to make various creations like buildings, vehicles, and animals. The same set of plastic blocks let you build different things. The only thing that was stopping you was your imagination.

Building things with plastic blocks is not far from building teams and companies. Think of the ways of working of each team and company as a set of plastic blocks. Each plastic block represents a specific technique, framework, and principles used.

There is a big difference in how best and rest work. While each company is different, the building blocks used by the best product companies (think Apple, Google, Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, and many more) are shockingly similar. This is where I write about the blocks they use - their techniques, practices, frameworks, principles, and views. No fancy talk, just step-by-step instructions on how to apply those yourself.

My name is Piotr Kacała, I'm a CTO, a product coach, and a product leader. I spent over 20 years building products and teams.

Product Blocks is a newsletter on building blocks for creating great products and successful tech companies step-by-step.

I created it to help companies build better products and happier, more effective teams. We deserve a world with happier customers and employees.

Blocks Catalog

A great way to explore all best practices used by the best product companies is to explore the Blocks Catalog.

Blocks catalog helps you see the big picture and find the best practices you need first.

Who should read this?

The audience includes current and aspiring:

  • Founders, CEOs
  • Management & leadership members, especially:
    • CPO (VP of Product / Head of Product)
    • and CTO (VP of Technology, Head of Technology)
  • Engineering Managers, Group Product Managers
  • Individual contributors (Product Managers, Engineers, Product Designers)
  • Forward-thinking people who care about their team and company
  • People who want to leave the world better than they found it.

Most of the advice will be helpful to companies of all sizes.


I post practical guides for product, design, and engineering people every two weeks.

Example subjects and guides include:

  • 🎯 leadership and ☀️ culture
    • company mission workshop recipe and examples
    • company values deck template
    • vision workshop recipe and examples
    • strategy workshop recipe and examples
    • north star metrics
    • company KPI trees
    • effective OKR setup and examples
  • 🥡 product management and 🎨 product design
    • outcome-oriented roadmap templates
    • product prioritization techniques
    • PRD templates
  • ⚙️ engineering
    • product goals in product (engineering) teams
    • technical radar in your company
    • tech debt handling strategy
    • aligning tech teams by using RFC and ADRs
    • a road to continuous delivery
  • 👥 people, management, and 🕸 organizational design
    • splitting teams strategies
    • KPIs for product and engineering
    • hiring and onboarding employees' checklists
    • measuring team health & performance
    • roles and team skill matrix (product teams, leadership)
    • organization structure recommendations
    • product trio (Product Manager, Product Designer, Tech Lead) setup
    • guilds and matrix structure

... and many more!

What you'll build

Posts here will help you build a successful organization that is:

  • Delivering consistent customer value
  • Innovative
  • Mission-driven
  • Focused
  • Attracting talent
  • Self-organizing

Newsletter format—practical, no fluff

The format of each post aims to:

  • keep the theory to a minimum but provide some reference materials,
  • focus on content that is actionable with dedicated ⚡ SSH (Super Specific How) sections,
  • be meaningful enough to make real change,
  • be easy to follow.

Example post

I'll use GERM Ranking as an example of the post you'll get every two weeks.

You'll find:

  1. Theory about what is GERM ranking and why your teams need them to make good decisions
  2. ⚡ Super Specific How (SSH)
    • 7-step recipe for a workshop to rank your company pillars
    • A companion tool for workshops in Coda (image above).
    • Good looking slide deck to present the results of the workshops to your company:
  1. Recommended next paths
  2. Books and articles for exploration and inspiration

⚡️ Super specific how (SSH)

Here is your todo list for today:

  1. Start today. I mean it. Block a slot in your calendar to start planning.
  2. Subscribe to learn the building blocks of successful product companies and get instructions on how to apply them:

If you want to learn more about newsletter content, click here.

3. Check all 70+ best practices used by the best companies:

4. Read some brilliant people who write on the subject of empowered teams:

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