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Snyk's VP of Product on Vision & Mission – Highlights

Matt O'Connell
Matt O'Connell

If you follow our newsletter, we share several takes and high-quality product content from leaders in the product community. One constant source for excellent content is Lenny's Podcast.

Lenny Rachitsky's interview with Ben Williams (VP of Product at the developer security platform Snyk, which had a recent $8.5b valuation) is fantastic! [1]

Let's look at some practical advice you can use to improve your Strategy & Mission. If you're already using Vistaly, this will help you evaluate what you have on your board and make adjustments to anything that could use improvements.

What is the purpose of the Vision?

"Vision is the nirvana state you aim to enable for your users and customer in the next 5-10 years."

– Ben Williams

Some tips and warnings:

1) Your competition can act upon this if you don't execute it:

  • Effectively Enough
  • Efficiently Enough
  • Quickly Enough

At a glance, those three can seem similar, but here's another way to look at it:

  • Effectively – How impactful is the change to your customers 5-10 years later?

  • Efficient – How much waste are you producing along the way?

  • Quickly – How fast did you get there?

2) If you have to, prefix your Vision with: "In the future..."


It helps avoid making the Vision about a solution, company, or product. Those are execution tools to create valuable change, not the Vision itself.

3) Bind the Vision to the target market

Avoid going too wide or too narrow.

That's the Vision, so what's the Mission?

"This is what you will relentlessly iterate on to take you closer to the nirvana state mentioned in the Vision."

– Ben Williams

The purpose is to help articulate how your organization will realize the Vision.

  • Describe your fundamental approach to reaching the Vision

  • What will you do

  • How will you do it

  • Encode your unique differentiating advantage

This advice makes me think a lot of Richard Rumult's Good Strategy/Bad Strategy and the three components he calls "The Kernel of Good Strategy." [2]

Mainly these two:

  • A guiding policy – The overall approach taken to address the diagnosis (The diagnosis is the first part of the Kernel, and I like to capture this in the Vision)

  • Coherent Actions – The high level of "how you will do it"

There's tons of other content packed in this episode, and if you're working on your Product Led Growth (PLG) motions, you'll find it particularly helpful.

Applying strategic thinking in Vistaly

Evaluate your Vision Statement(s).

  1. Are they big enough? We recommend a 2-10 year outlook, depending on the product or company.
  2. Does it describe a change and avoid referencing your company, product, or specific solution?

Evaluate your Mission(s)

Vistaly uses Objectives & Key Results to capture the Mission.

The objective statements focus on describing your fundamental approach to reaching the Vision, and high-level statements around what and how to go about it.

  1. Are objectives high-level enough to provide direction without being so specific that there's only one way to achieve it?


Vistaly is a single workspace for connecting strategy, discovery, and delivery –– visually

Built for product and go-to-market teams –– efficient separately, unstoppable together.

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Matt O'Connell
Matt O'Connell