The rock pebble and the sand


My notes on product development “Rock, Pebble, Sand” style

The rock, pebble and the sand

The simple premiss is that you fill up a jar, first the rocks, then the pebbles, then the sand.

  • The rocks, the big features, new products
  • The pebble, the feature, the design tweaks
  • The sand, the fixes, the adjustments, the minor tweaks

Defining your roadmap Rock, pebble, sand style

You need some rocks, but make sure you make room for pebbles and sand

  • The rocks you ship now and then, every quarter, or every year etc
  • The pebbles you ship monthly
  • The sand you deal with all the time, and ship everyday, every week at least

Unicorn Inc 1 year roadmap:

Most roadmaps just bundle everything in one, and it’s hard for the reader to differentiate and or understand impact or how challenging the implementation was / will be

Rocks 🗿(Quarterly)

  • Onboarding platform
  • Optimize speed of delivery 2x
  • Materialize v2 UI / UX design platform
  • Launch communication platform v2

Pebbles 💎(Monthly)

  • Add support for instagram integration
  • Build a way to sign up beta users
  • Add support for stripe payments
  • Add support for slack integration

Sand ⏳(Everyday I’m hustling)

  • Fix bug where user doesn’t see prefs panel when going from A to B
  • Fix Facebook integration issue from corp account
  • Caching issues see log
  • Document the new module
  • Make Automatic tests before all pub deployments
  • Refactor old module XYZ

Why is this important?

Because establishments have a tendency of only wanting rocks and pebbles, under emphasising the importance of the sand. After all Sand makes up 33% of the content in a optimally arranged jar. But shipping sand doesn’t look so good as shipping rocks or pebbles. But if you ignore the sand, soon enough you wont be able to add sand to the bottom or mid parts of the jar. As the pebbles will have clogged together and formed a seal. The only way to then get more sand in is to shake the jar. And that is expensive, the jar can crack, you sometimes have to take out everything and put it back in, which is time consuming. So the way to go about this is to add rocks, then pebbles, then sand. In equal amounts as time progress. Adding only rocks for as long as possible only creates a suboptimal product.