#MyFavoriteProduct June 30: Buffer’s Suprasanna Mishra on the Product “Things”


Suprasanna Mishra is a product manager at Buffer, a tool that helps small businesses, agenciessuper and publishers get their voice heard on social media. Before, he was the cofounder of a company called Capstory where he dove into and found and a love for all things startup and product! He’s currently working remotely from Columbus, Ohio.  Give him a shout on Twitter at @suprasannam.

Suprasanna, what is your favorite product and what problem does it solve?

It’s hard to pick one overall favorite so I’ll give you one that is a recent favorite of mine.  I really have been enjoying using Things to manage everything I’m up to. For me, it solves the problem of being able to only focus on one thing at a time but needing to remember a dozen things a day.

What delights you about Things? What does it do well?

There are so many parts of products that need to function for it to be awesome – aesthetics, reliability, ease of use, functionality… the list goes on. Things does all these really well but the one that stands out to me are the aesthetics and ease of use.

This is a product that their customers need all day, everyday so it’s important to consider that X factor of making the user feel good using it. As rational as I try to be, it’s undeniable that – other things being pretty close to equal – I’d prefer to use the thing that makes me feel good using it.things

I’ll send you over a video.  Just look how calming and smooth simple actions are. When competing against literally hundreds of other to-do apps that all have very similar functionality, differentiating based on design is both smart and effective.

Product Managers love feedback. What feedback would you give to the product team for Things?

The default for any product is more. Any product being used out there is constantly getting feedback, new feature ideas, etc. and even more so for one in a competitive B2C market like to-do apps. So it’s actually pretty amazing how much Things has been able to resist adding in features that they could easily justify as useful but would undoubtedly take away from the intuitiveness they have today. So with all that said, rather than any feature, the biggest piece missing is more guidance around how others have successfully set up projects and labels within Things – sort of an answer to the question: “How have others like me found success getting the most out of this product?”

As a product person, what elements of Things have you brought into the products you manage?

There comes a point when building any project where everything works. It’s functionally there and you can complete all of the actions a user would want to through the product or feature. Products like Things serve as a reminder and as inspiration to me to remember that this is only about 50% of the ‘done’ mark, not 95%.

At Buffer, we build a product that slots in somewhere during a busy day for a social media manager or business owner – having it be purely functional (but not a delight to use, difficult to figure out or unhelpful when you’re stuck) would not feel good enough to us or our customers. That courage to rely on both data and feelings to decide when something feels done is a tough balance to strike but I think our designers do it really well and, from what I can tell, so does the team at Things.

Thanks for having me on here, was fun to reflect on a product like this!

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