Joe Leech

S1 E11 Instagram: Culture, process & unshipping with Tin Kadoic

This time I’m joined by Tin Kadoic from Instagram. Tin leads the design management team for Reels at Instagram and was previously at Airbnb.
We talk culture, unshipping and of course making better decisions.



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Show notes

Transcript

Joe Leech: [00:00:00] Hi, tin. Good to see you.

[00:00:01] How are you? My friend? 

[00:00:03] Tin Kadoic: [00:00:03] I’m doing great, Joe. How are you? 

[00:00:06] Joe Leech: [00:00:06] Good. Thank you. Good to have you here. So tell, tell the listeners, tell us  tell them a little bit about you. What was your history, wherever you, wherever you come from and where are you now? 

[00:00:14] Tin Kadoic: [00:00:15] It’s a super long story, but I’ll make it short. I’m I’m Croatian.

[00:00:19] I’ve been in the design field for around 20 years. At this point I started sort of like in high school or the having clients in the web space and  Yeah. I went from sort of being a freelancer to starting my own agency in Croatia  teaching at university and then moving to the States. And so there’s a couple of chapters in my life and career.

[00:00:44] And currently I’m living in San Francisco. 

[00:00:48] Joe Leech: [00:00:48] Wonderful. And talk, talk us through your career then. So who have you worked for? Who are you working for now? Where’s your, where’s your career taken you? 

[00:00:58] Tin Kadoic: [00:00:58] Yeah.  So I [00:01:00] think when I moved to New York, I was basically heading design and creative at a product agency.

[00:01:07] So digital product agency, we were really embedded with our clients. We were in the sort of agency that would come in. Create a PDF and then bounce. We were with our clients for years and years, sort of like helping them through multiple iterations of the arc, embedding with our teams.  What was interesting with.

[00:01:27] That’s set up is half of the clients were sort of New York startups that really are we’re going from zero to one that needed either their first product, like digital product, whatever it was, or maybe they had a web variant and maybe they needed a mobile counterpart.  So I think that was so. Fun sort of working with the New York startup scene  meeting a lot of interesting people  and just helping companies figure out what their first  product [00:02:00] was.

[00:02:00] Joe Leech: [00:02:00] Oh, interesting. Interesting. And then from New York, you moved to the West coast. What was that? What spurred that move on. 

[00:02:07] Tin Kadoic: [00:02:07] I moved to the West coast.  I think, you know, a couple years at the agency, I was, I think what I was very interested in is figuring out what the life is like on the  in-house side of the world.

[00:02:21] And  It was funny. I was commuting to San Francisco for a couple of months from New York, like every Monday, flying in, like going back on Thursdays Fridays. So that was my commute for a couple of months. And I was  working with a consultancy called S by partners on this very like interesting account that needed sort of a product focused creative director.

[00:02:43] Very much. NDA and hard to talk about, but it was a  extremely interesting project for  Apple  who was the client there. And then as I was commuting, as I was spending more time in San Francisco and on the West coast  What happened is just like you meet people, you [00:03:00] have coffee with people, you have lunch.

[00:03:01] I’m on my way back to the airport. I would just like  meet up with acquaintances or friends and, and  really there was a  an immediate connection, I would say that happens with Airbnb. And  in  August of 2017, I started working at. It’d AirBNB as a design lead and  kind of my chapter as someone who works in house  started then  I was on the host side of the, of the company for the first year, obviously the it’s like a two-sided marketplace Airbnb.

[00:03:33] But you’re working for a passionate community of a couple of million hosts  globally around the world with most hosts being, being outside of the state. So very  national community of, of people  And then from Airbnb, how long were you AB before then? That was a couple of years. Was it two years?

[00:03:51] That was a couple of years, almost two years.  And last, last summer, basically moving to Instagram and [00:04:00] supporting the reels and camera  pillar and supporting the reels design team. And I’ve been there for almost, you know  nine or 10 months at this 

[00:04:10] Joe Leech: [00:04:10] point.  And so tell me, tell me, tell us about your role at Instagram, then what’s your sort of, what do you do Instagram?

[00:04:17] Tin Kadoic: [00:04:17] Yeah.  So I support the Reels design team. I’m basically a product design manager that    really buys to support the lead and manage a team of designers.  What is very interesting with the reels and camera team is that we obviously have product designers and content designers and researchers, but do we have a quite sizable air design team?

[00:04:42] This is something that is sort of unique to this role.  So when you’re working with short form, video and camera    the AR  team plays a big role here. And  this was a team that was quite small  a year or so ago, as you can imagine, it was, you know, a team of less [00:05:00] than 10 with  two designers on it.

[00:05:03] That is growing exponentially over the last year.    I currently support six designers on my team directly, and then our team was sort of 15 product designers. And what new cross? The air design team. 

[00:05:16] Joe Leech: [00:05:16] Wow. Fantastic. What’s a typical day for you at Instagram?

[00:05:19]Tin Kadoic: [00:05:19]  I think the goal for ICS. So individual contributors is to have as much focused time as possible so that they can actually like work on their craft and work on their design projects. And for managers it’s really.  Creating the supporting structures. So my days very often are in meetings, in conversations and a lot of one-on-one conversations, but also like group  group conversation.

[00:05:46] You know, we start, our Mondays was.      Design up, stand up for the entire team.  There’s a bunch of alignment meetings on a Monday where the cross-functional sort of like pillar and team leads get together [00:06:00] and, and  really talk about the top priorities and the progress  from the last week and kind of the focus area on the current week.

[00:06:06] There’s this, you know, the traditional sort of design team forums that are  the most important ones for me, obviously the crit  the ritual that we do by weekly.  And then a lot of like one-on-ones with like all my designers  with all my peers on a product and engineering and research and data science primarily, but there are other functions here as well.

[00:06:29] And, you know, my will  mostly is around architecting the team. So making sure we have the right people working on the right things, developing the individuals. So making sure they’re growing in their careers and sort of like moving  closer to their goals. And then there’s a lot of alignment and unblocking and like providing clarity on like what we should be doing next.

[00:06:53] What’s really cool with Instagram in general is that there’s a high level of [00:07:00] empowerment for our ICS. So there’s a little bit of, as a product designers have a high  level of agency. They own their work. They, they own the final decisions. They always get to present their work in  any type of workshop or review with leadership with Instagram CEO  with the VP of design.

[00:07:21] And then where we, as sort of like the layer of, of  management come in is really helping them do their best work.  Unblocking them when needed    coaching them or mentoring, or like practicing or white boarding with them. It’s, it’s really different. Sort of my role is different with all of my relationships, with my direct reports.

[00:07:40] It’s trying to figure out what they need most. And I think like that’s  how my. Typical day changes.  But I think like the goal of sort of like supporting them as is always the same and sort of like stable. 

[00:07:55] Joe Leech: [00:07:55] I love that. I love that idea that you talk about managing people to do their best work. [00:08:00] So that management isn’t, I guess, telling them what to do.

[00:08:03] It’s helping them develop and be the best that they can be unblocking, anything that’s getting in their way, giving them the confidence to do great work so that because know Instagram you’re hiring the best designers in the world. You want them to be able to design. Top speed in the best way that they possibly can.

[00:08:19] And so your job as a manager is to make sure that things are unblocked and to get them clarity on what they’re doing. I love that way of as managing it sort of feels really natural and  fantastic. I love that. Great. Okay. So you talked a bit about the day-to-day there. So part of what we talk about in this podcast is making decisions around the product and the product design and how that pot is made.

[00:08:40] Can you think about a recent product? Design or product decision that was made at Instagram. And kind of tell us a little bit about that.

[00:08:52] Tin Kadoic: [00:08:52] Yeah. I think this is, this is a really interesting  way of thinking about your day to day and kind of like the role that [00:09:00] you have in the team and the company  decisions are made daily, obviously  decisions vary from  What the team is going to look like. So like, what is the makeup of the team  where the biggest opportunities are for designers in terms of the initiatives they own and the projects they’re on  what will get prioritized on the roadmap is sort of like a big area of decision-making.

[00:09:24] And then there’s a lot around kind of like learning from experiments, learning from data. And when you have  inconclusive data, when you’re really not sure what the data is telling you then, like, how do you make a decision about like, how to proceed and how to like, increase that  level of understanding and like what to do with that product or feature going forward?

[00:09:44] When, when, when I tried to like sink about kind of decisions that I’m making, I tried to balance out, you know, Qual Quan and intuition as, as part of that mix.  Sometimes you don’t have data in terms of kind [00:10:00] of like a quantitative data. Maybe you’re basing it all on research and a little bit of intuition.

[00:10:05] Sometimes you have a lot of data, but it’s really hard to sort of like draw conclusions from it.  I guess, do you want to hear about like examples? So let me, let me think about, yeah, let me think 

[00:10:16] Joe Leech: [00:10:16] about that. Yeah. Yeah, we do. I mean, people do really want to listen to examples if you’ve got anything in particular, because it’s lovely to hear how it’s working there of the way that you talked about that idea of balancing qual, quant and intuition and that kind of the prioritizing the roadmap.

[00:10:29] But yeah, if you can think about an example, that would be fantastic. 

[00:10:33] Tin Kadoic: [00:10:33] Yeah.  One example from last week was  one of the three teams that I support was.    Bringing their proposal for Q2 projects. So we’re already like mid April, but like, we’re thinking about what to prioritize for the next three months.

[00:10:49] This is a theme that is focused around the theme of community  and there within wheels, still a small team that is growing and. [00:11:00] Which means they don’t have a ton of engineers to support all the projects that the product and design team was to work on. And when we were reviewing that roadmap  one of the, one of the things that I saw was    One of the projects or investment areas that  I think are key for that theme and reels as a product was basically below the line.

[00:11:23] Meaning like there was some resourcing for Q2 or we just didn’t have enough people to work on that. So then we had a really candid conversation around is everything that’s above the line, really the top priority. And what can we actually do to include this specific project, which is around sort of like commenting and replying and, and  what are all the new ways that  you buy to reply to a video that you see?

[00:11:48] And I think like once sort of there is. Interest in any of the leads into a product, then the conversation becomes, do we all agree [00:12:00] that this is the priority? And if so, how do we ensure that we    that we push it above the line and then working with my engineering manager to figure out if there’s some  magic staffing things that we can do and sort of like temporarily borrow things or convert people from one team to another  was the conversation that we had at that point.

[00:12:20] Okay. But I think for me really, like one of the main decision points is like, what is going to be on the roadmap? Like, what are those things that we were prioritizing? And also, what are the things that we’re not prioritizing intentionally because they have processes is not strong enough or we don’t have enough conviction as a team.

[00:12:37] Joe Leech: [00:12:37] Okay. And that’s really interesting the way you talked about that, then it kind of this idea of above and below the line, depending on the resources, you’ve got to deliver that as well. It’s quite a nice way of saying. Well, we can, you know, if it’s below the line, we haven’t got enough resources to deliver.

[00:12:50] It’s engineering heavy. We are short on engineers. It’s quite straightforward to us. That way of saying yes or no, or near, nor out isn’t it. I’d love to know. You talked a bit about prioritizing [00:13:00] now. What, how do you prioritize, what sort of do you have a method? Do you have, what’s the, what? The kind of inputs to, to lead or to, to drive a prioritization exercise?

[00:13:09] Tin Kadoic: [00:13:10] Well, I think it starts with strategy, right? It starts with the team strategy and a mission that a team has  Instagram and Airbnb and like similar sized companies are quite large, but what it boils when it blows it down, you’re still part of like a, a fairly small team. I think like a team that is familiar to  you’re working in an agency or like someone working in a small startup  Your closest team is usually  you know, 10 to 15 people.

[00:13:40] It might have a designer or two, a researcher content design that is always unfortunately understaffed and then maybe like around like 10 engineers.  So when you think about  Prioritization. We always start with what this small team really wants to achieve, like what their strategy is.  [00:14:00]Their strategy needs to be connected to sort of like  other siblings  in that like broader team.

[00:14:06] So like if a big team contains three to five teams  how do those like smaller strategies ladder up to like the bigger strategy?  And then the, the projects  are obviously derived from their strategy, but like, what is important is sort of balancing out the portfolio. Something that we often talked about, talk about  how do we, we, we, for like H for H one in like January, we piloted this framework that  I bet a lot of your listeners are going to be familiar with.

[00:14:32] It’s sort of the big rocks framework.  And it tells this beautiful story of, you know, if you have an empty jar, which is representative of all the team’s energy and focus, and if you fill it with sand, then the jar is completely fell and there’s nothing else you can put in the chart. However, if you start with, let’s say big rocks and you fill in the jar, you can say that the jar is full, but you can still go to the pebbles and then the sand.

[00:14:58] And basically [00:15:00] that is. The framework that ensures we have a really healthy and balanced portfolio of, I guess what we call, you know, big bets and then quick wins  are obviously like other themes across the company that maybe just do visionary work. So maybe their portfolio is like filled with  big rocks and maybe there are some more growth focused teams that have a lot of like iterative work for us and where we are in the product maturity.

[00:15:24] And then the design team maturity. We tried to have. A balanced portfolio, like basically like small, medium, large projects, large projects often take more than one quarter or more than one half.  The results from that project are also not immediately obvious in terms of like, it takes a couple of months to actually like, see  how it’s impacting positively the users, not  hopefully positively and.

[00:15:49] So I think for us starts with a strategy, have a balanced portfolio, and then we’ll the balance portfolio  should imply is that there are big bets and [00:16:00] sort of like quick wins and everything in between.  The strategy is very. Insights driven. So the research team here is like among the strongest research teams that I’ve ever worked with.

[00:16:11] And  really you get this like HD level of reports and insights around like a user’s pain points around jobs to be done, which is like the main sort of framework that we use.  Again, a lot of your listeners are probably familiar with, and so we are deeply rooted in  Really the jobs to be done  for our users and obviously every project more.

[00:16:38] So every strategy is, is rooted in that, in that.  So that’s like a TLDR, I think like it’s a sort of big and complicated process at times, but hopefully that gives you a little bit of a, a high level understanding. 

[00:16:51] Joe Leech: [00:16:51] Yeah, it’s really interesting. I liked the way you, when you talked about a variety of different approaches, that you’ve kind of, you’ve merged together to make something that’s [00:17:00] uniquely your own Instagram and probably uniquely your own in your teams and the areas you’re working in.

[00:17:04] So I like the idea of the big rocks framework, the idea that you’ve got in that jar, you’ve got the big rocks that she, the big. Meaty important, large bats, but then you could fill up around that with sand and pebbles. There’s smaller projects that need to be done. You know, the ones you mentioned about pain points and things like that.

[00:17:19] So I love that way of mixing and that balanced portfolio you talked about as well. So you’re not missing, you know, you know, you’re shipping stuff regularly, but you’re also focusing on the big stuff as well as the little stuff, which is, I think a lot of organizations really struggled to do big stuff and small stuff at the same time with, with a healthy cadence.

[00:17:35] I really liked that. And you know, how you talked about. I guess the big bats which listeners have heard about before. I think we’ve, we heard about that from Sally and a couple of episodes ago about, you know, you thinking in bets and how you have confidence towards the larger things and how those are related to the jobs to be done, that users want to do.

[00:17:52] And the pain points, I like the way you’ve merged all of these different theories into something that works for you, which is really interesting. I’m really love [00:18:00] that. It’s an approach. Great stuff. Yeah.  It’s, it’s, it’s working well for us, but I think the, one of the main point points here is our process is also following the design.

[00:18:14] Tin Kadoic: [00:18:14] I’m thinking almost so like, you know, we as managers and directors and like engineering managers, what we try to do is continuously see where the process is not perfect, like where it’s failing us or where it’s adding confusion for all the ICS on the ground. So like all the engineers and designers, and we are continuously from one quarter to another, trying to figure out how do we improve this process?

[00:18:38] And is it the right one?  Is there a spectrum and we’re like, we’re going too far into big rocks or like only quick wins and like, do all the teams, are all the teams benefiting from the process or is there still ways we can improve it?  And I think like that’s sort of like important it’s, it’s that  we take our process  in the same way that we take our products.

[00:18:59] So like really [00:19:00] iterative and like try to prove it and like remove the pain points even for the. Sort of users that are our, our teams and team members. 

[00:19:09] Joe Leech: [00:19:09] Yeah. Really interesting. And you talked a bit about some other ideas in the round hypothesis and bets there as well. So how do you sort of decide, how do you talk about those big rocks when we’re mixing three theories in here at once here?

[00:19:20] So how do you sort of frame them? Do you talk about them in terms of bats or hypothesis? What do you, how do you sort of talk about these big things, those important initiatives, how are they sort of talked about and decided upon internally. 

[00:19:33] Tin Kadoic: [00:19:33] For sure they are our big bets. I think like very often it’s interchangeable when we think about the big rocks and big bets, I think there is always, it’s always rooted in jobs to be done and sort of like core hypothesis, but there’s almost  There’s almost like a couple of steps before you get to the results.

[00:19:52] So like, you know, the hypothesis to the end result is like a couple of steps removed because maybe  when we think [00:20:00] about people that are creating reels  maybe what we want to get to is more people saving wheels and sort of like being inspired and then like creating a collection of ingredients that inspires them to make sure from video and  That is a little bit of a hypothesis because  it’s not a first order impact.

[00:20:19] It’s like a second order impact because you’re not solely like creating wheels, you’re getting inspired, you’re creating a collection and then like longterm, you are creating something.  The hypotheses are often derived from. Again, I think like  interviews with our creators  we have a very strong and healthy creator community  on Instagram.

[00:20:40] Obviously the reels reels is the newest product, so it just sort of starting up still and it’s growing. But  what I really appreciate about companies like Instagram is that they are in continuous contact with  the creators.  We, we, we sort of know a little bit about their pain [00:21:00] points.  We’re trying to understand different types of creators, so like small, medium, large  for reels, you have everything from very performative and, and, and  sort of like dances and like dance collages to something like comedy, which is like its own like big genre and  I guess, like, how do you understand the different  genres or like flavors of video, and then how do you open a dialogue with the creators?

[00:21:29] And so some of the big bets are around a specific area.  You know, for us, audio and music is really important. Like audio and music is the key ingredient to short-form video.  We have  obviously like great relationships with the music labels.  And we’re, we’re. We’re sort of trying to provide even more creative tools    for our creators, when it comes to like audio and music and [00:22:00] sound effects and voice modulation and all that stuff.

[00:22:03] And, and some of those tools are like complicated to build. You’re basically trying to do sort of like a  premiere pro for mobile and  One of IGS kind of core principles and core principles for the design team for sure is, is ensuring Instagram stays simple and  Once you enter the camera. It’s, it’s, it’s really easy to overwhelm our users with the number of tools and options that they have.

[00:22:29] So we continuously kind of balancing out the big bets  some of the creative tools. And then how do we, how do we make sure the  the camera and the reels as a product and IgE as a whole is as simple and staying, staying true to that. 

[00:22:45] Joe Leech: [00:22:45] Okay. That’s really interesting. I like the way you talked about that as well.

[00:22:47] Cause he, like you say, you’re introducing quite complex tools with some of the big bats, but then you’ll go going back and revisiting the wipes, your work you’ve done later on to make it simpler with smaller projects that fit around the larger bats. I like the way to think about [00:23:00] that, that, you know, you’ve got time to come back and refine something because I know a lot of organizations struggle.

[00:23:04] They’ll ship something huge. I think it’s done. Now. We’re done with that and move on to the next big thing. And they never have the time or the resources left to. You know, to improve something once it’s that they’re moving on to the next big thing already. So I liked the way you talked about having space in your jar to come back and revisit to make sure you’re refining everything.

[00:23:22] That’s there to keep back that kind of core cultural IgG, you know, Instagram is simple. I know, I really liked the way that you talk about that. I love that. Yeah. It sounds like that culture’s quite key to a lot of this decision-making as well. So can you talk us through the culture, Instagram and the culture you sort of foster in the team that you work with?

[00:23:45] Tin Kadoic: [00:23:45] Yeah. I mean, culture means many different things, obviously. It’s, it’s sort of the catchall for. Sense of belonging, the ability to have conversations  the ability to [00:24:00] have like hard conversations at times, the  that you feel is that drives the decisions.  So there’s, there’s, there’s a couple of things here.

[00:24:08] Definitely. You know, for me as a design manager, culture is key sort of how I approach my teams is. There’s this high sense of belonging on the team? There is clarity on what the top priorities are and then everything else is in support of people doing their best work.  For the first couple of months, I would say that  I was more looped in and kind of like focusing my energy on.

[00:24:41] Building that team culture, if you will, within the design team than I necessarily was with the product products are also complex or complicated and hard. And like it takes a while for you to onboard, to fully understand kind of historical decisions where you are understand the competitive [00:25:00] landscape and go from there.

[00:25:01] So  after joining in August, as our team was  Fairly new and growing rapidly. I decided like put in my focus on  building all the necessary scaffolding for the team. So you can imagine that being a little bit harder during  during the pandemic and during kind of working from home  it’s not like we can meet up and have an offsite or like any sort of team building activity.

[00:25:26] So it was a combination of  you know, Forums like the Monday standup and making sure we just like greet each other Monday morning and just like, see each other and like remind ourselves that we are a part of something bigger and that we are all in a similar situation where we can’t meet. And, you know, maybe we’re, we’re struggling because of  a personal situation, but like we are part of something bigger.

[00:25:53] We’re greeting each other welcoming  wishing  happy Monday and then also sharing our top [00:26:00] priorities and  sometimes hopefully ending on a very positive and inspirational note.    I have moments where  I get very. Sort of like emotional and thought about the spring starting and kind of like end us on a three minutes  emotional rent around like sprint.

[00:26:19] And then  there’s a lot of like hearts in the, you know, the zoom, the zoom screens.  But then like one of the forums that I really think is key is really the ritual.  I’ve heard from a lot of team members that joined in the last couple of months that they  have.  Never so quickly felt so much a part of a team.

[00:26:37] I think it’s part of us kind of like, you know, really being intentional about the people that are joining our team about being intentional about the diversity of the team and, and working  as much as possible to create like a diverse set of people. But then also just having, you know, an an hour, every two weeks where  We direct, we talk about the quick wins and the learns [00:27:00] and the changes from the last two weeks.

[00:27:01] We get very personal  and this is obviously been dependent on the individual.  But the, the  the environment is designed  such that we can get personal and we can talk about what we’ve been struggling with and whether that’s  needing to exercise more. We need to walk more  Not starting our laptops at like nine or 8:00 AM, but like creating that space for each other because there’s no boundaries between work and private life anymore kind of working from home.

[00:27:32] And then leaning in and listening in, I think is really important and seeing where things are not working and how we might sort of like as a leadership team, Improve things and improve things for everyone. And  culture, culture, culture is key. It 

[00:27:50] Joe Leech: [00:27:50] like, and it sounds like you’ve created a lovely culture there that, you know, that, that sort of welcoming this and those one, you know, that you’re open to conversations and it’s very gentle, which I love that feeling.

[00:28:00] [00:27:59] You’ve started to create that. So one of the things we talked about then is we’ve talked about decisions and how decisions are made at. Instagram and with your team, can you think about any choices in your career? So product decisions, things you’ve perhaps launched either Instagram or Airbnb that haven’t gone so well or things that have gone out into the world that haven’t been successful or haven’t performed particularly well.

[00:28:20] Can you think about anything that hasn’t gone well in terms of product decisions you’ve made previously in your career? 

[00:28:28] Tin Kadoic: [00:28:28] That’s a great question. I’ll think about this for a second. Then you can edit the silence or the gap.  I mean, Instagram does this thing that I’ve not seen before, that I’m really humbled by and sort of appreciative, which is unshipping things and unshipping them in a way  that it’s almost public and sort of  it’s okay to unship things because a we’ve learned a [00:29:00] ton and B we’re I’m really bullish on keeping like Instagram simple and trying to preserve the core DNA.  I’ve not been at Instagram for the amount of time. Yeah. Where, like, we unshipped anything that’s sort of like my team has worked on, but this has happened for reels and for like other products, it continuously happens.

[00:29:23] What I like about that sort of. You know, spring cleaning for your product. It’s like maybe there was a historical decision where we added a tool in the camera and now we’re seeing 0.01% of people using it. So it feels like it’s taking real estate. It’s adding mental load because it’s like an additional decision, but it’s not actively used or leveraged in a creative way in the camera.

[00:29:53] So. Is that a moment too on ship something, is that a moment to kind of [00:30:00] remove  something from  the toolkit?  Like to me that is like fantastic  that, that is sort of like a regular process that is  But I was very like internally punk and like celebrated by our leaders.  And it’s not  you know, ding on any of the teams or any of the individuals that worked on that it’s regular  a regular, like  appreciation for simplicity.

[00:30:22] I would say. I love 

[00:30:24] Joe Leech: [00:30:24] that.  I do like that idea of, of unshipping. It’s quite a nice again. It’s quite a nice, gentle way to talk about it. It’s not like, not embarrassing. It’s not anything else. It’s not like it’s a failure. It’s a slight, no. It’s not this isn’t work for us. People aren’t using it as much as we, like, we like to use this real estate for something else we’re going to unshare it.

[00:30:40] And it’s a regular common thing that’s talked about and not, yeah, I like that, that it’s talked about and people are comfortable doing that with an Instagram so that it happens, you know, and it’s, you know, it leaves space open then for new. Products within the camera. I love the idea, but you mentioned sort of zeros 0.01% of usage, but [00:31:00] at Instagram that’s quite a lot of people, isn’t it at the same time, it’s like, you know, there’s billions of users using Instagram.

[00:31:05] So it’s still going to be the impact even when you do it and ship it to quite a significant number of people. Is that sort of, can you talk about that at all? The sort of the sheer size of Instagram and the, the, I suppose the pressure that puts on anything that you do? 

[00:31:20] Tin Kadoic: [00:31:20] Yeah. I mean, there’s. It’s very sort of like logical, but there is more pressure on more established parts of Instagram.

[00:31:29] So, you know, explore where you’re searching, where you’re    having suggested posts and videos like that are, that should be like highly contextual to you. That just gets a ton of traffic. So there’s a lot of, a lot of delicacy around like moving things around.  Our CEO, Adam talked about this and he’s very sort of like, you know, vocal on like Instagram.

[00:31:52] And he does like Friday, like Q and A’s. So he often talks about on shipping things and he talked about the experiment [00:32:00] that we had with the navigation. So before kind of like. Introducing shopping and wheels into the main navigation.  Obviously the navigation was almost the same for 10 years and this was a very  surprising slash  upsetting change for a lot of our users, obviously.

[00:32:17] But we did test. Multiple variants and you know, one of the variants    it didn’t really work kind of like messing with Explorer, messing with the second  second part of our product, second tab in the, in the main nav. And there’s a lot of delicacy there and there’s a lot of established  behaviors  the billions and billions and billions of users use, regardless of their, maybe like  tenure on Instagram or market.

[00:32:47] When it comes to reels, I guess we have the, the luxury, but also fresh ginger because we’re one of the newest products in the portfolio. So  we have different usage across markets.  We even [00:33:00] still releasing markets. I think we introduced.    Then new markets, like last month.  So we were like slowly expanding.

[00:33:08] We’re trying to  celebrate by collaborating with local producers in a specific market so that the users have something that it  familiar and relatable to them.  And so we often, you know, we often look at like how reels is doing in a specific market and you’re right. Like 0.0, 1% might be a lot of users, but if it’s adding complexity for like the 99.9% of the users, then that is always the trade-off is like how many people are benefiting from this versus  the Kevin playing this  This was like, I covered the bunch of, I didn’t really like directly answer your question, but I covered a bunch 

[00:33:50] Joe Leech: [00:33:50] of things.

[00:33:52] You did answer that question cause it’s, again, it must be a tension there because of the sheer volume of numbers you’ve got that you need to have you talk about percentage of people. There is a [00:34:00] quite substantial in terms of who you talk about, but your, your why, like, by the way, you’ve talked about this, it’s very open and honest and you’re open and honest with the oil.

[00:34:08] Users and creators about the way you do this as well. It’s not like you’re trying to just suddenly sunset something or remove something and, you know, it’s a press release somewhere. It’s a bit more natural the way you talk about that, which I really like. Okay. One of the other things that we, we talk about a lot in this podcast is competition as well.

[00:34:23] How do you kind of view competition at. Instagram, I suppose, also in reels as well. Do you, you know what, what’s your view on con, who is your competition? How do you view them? What’s your sort of approach to dealing with the competition? 

[00:34:38] Tin Kadoic: [00:34:38] Yeah, I mean, I think we, we, we do talk publicly about our competition.

[00:34:46] It’s his father, like no surprise that, you know, thick talk is really like one of the leaders in the short form videos face.  It’s interesting seeing, you know, a lot of other products and companies  enter this [00:35:00] space as well. You know, for instance, you have  you have a similar sort of experience in YouTube as well as, you know, a couple of months ago or six months ago  Vic talk and some other apps obviously have the benefit of being  A dedicated the app, a single app for a single use case. Yes, I think I’m at this point, Instagram was that at the beginning, but at this point it’s a platform that is offering a suite of products  feed ICTV stories  are all different ways.

[00:35:30] Creators are, you know, using different like media types on Instagram and reels is the newest. Part of that portfolio.  And, and, and obviously we’re, we’re keeping a close eye on our competitors. We think like the competition is, is, is, is healthy itself and making us do things in a better way. In a faster way.

[00:35:52] I think both  usually in a, in a space that’s highly competitive. Like both competitors are like looking at each [00:36:00] other, like trying to figure out what they’re prioritizing for the next cycle or so  What I really appreciate about like Tik TOK is how they’ve created a lot of different subcultures.

[00:36:11] It feels easy for anyone to find their own sort of like subculture within Tech-Talk.  And that’s kinda like grows and grows very organically.  There’s a lot of crossover with creators between the two platforms naturally.  Sometimes creators prefer to have sort of one type of identity almost, and, you know, one app and then a different type of identity in a different app.

[00:36:38] And  they prefer those lines between the two apps where, you know, Instagram is often  seen as  A little bit like more polished rides with  with the  with the feed and like the feed posts  stories is meant to be like biographical and then like what’s tick, dark has done really well is just [00:37:00] allowing  allowing users to  creates a different type of genre.

[00:37:05] And  Yeah. I think that competition is competition is healthy. It’s making all of us like do better work and like have more rigor and like  sort of like more pressure to deliver on the user value.  Because at the end of, you know, it’s the users that are the decision makers here.  So our tools, our community, our like offering needs to be  the thing that they’re interested in otherwise  They have the ability to like go with a different app.

[00:37:36] Joe Leech: [00:37:36] I like the way you talked there about that kind of that competition is healthy, is it makes you do things faster and better. And it also does with, with both sides of that as well. So that the winner really is the user, because they’ve got more choice of just two high quality things, rather than one, you know, standard things it’s driving.

[00:37:52] Benefits to the, to the user, having that competition there in terms of doing, I like the way you talk about that. It’s, it’s a nice way to think about it really is to think that [00:38:00] because you’ve got competition, you’re doing better work. If you didn’t have competition, maybe they wouldn’t push you as far to do that.

[00:38:05] Good work. I really like that way of framing it. It’s a really nice way to talk about it. Great stuff. Okay. We’re almost out at time here.  Is there somewhere that people, that my list listeners can find mine’s more about, about you? Where’s the best place to go and find more about U-turn. 

[00:38:19] Tin Kadoic: [00:38:19] I guess on Twitter and Instagram, obviously Instagram    Instagram is @BlackDuke, and then Twitter is  Tin, which is first name, last name  Great. Well, I’ll make sure I include those. So do go and follow Tin everybody, because thank you so much for your time today. It’s been really incredible. I’ve learned so much and I think our listeners have too. So thank you so much for your time. It’s been really great. Thank you. 

[00:38:46] Thank you, Joe, for having me really appreciate it.

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I'm Joe Leech and I coach leaders and founders to radically improve their business, their team and themselves to create world leading tech products. Work with me.

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