Better Product

Balancing the Future in the Present with Chris Byers, Formstack

A customer-first approach is tried and true, but sometimes we narrow in on customers so closely that we miss opportunities to innovate.

Chris Byers, CEO of Formstack, joins us on our latest series: The Future Of Work. In our conversation we discuss the topic while previewing featured products and discussing ways of innovating efficiently. We dive into lessons Chris has learned about remote work, inviting designers to cast a vision for your product, and balancing the future with the present.

If you want more information on this topic, check out Formstack’s podcast Ripple Effect hosted by Chris.


  • Step back and identify patterns to build a flexible product.
  • Get away from your screen and ideate on physical paper.
  • Allow designers to cast a vision for your product.
  • Allocate your investments to balance innovation with day-to-day operations.
  • Think about how you can innovate with the team you have today.

Things to Listen For:

  • [02:00] Empowering teams to develop solutions for remote work
  • [04:30] Minimizing video call fatigue while collaborating remotely
  • [05:50] Emulating in-person work with innovative video call tools
  • [08:30] Building products for generic spaces
  • [11:30] Identifying patterns to build for the horizontal buyer
  • [12:00] Involving design early in product development
  • [13:30] Ideating on paper
  • [14:20] Allowing designers to cast vision for your product
  • [15:40] Handling new use cases with design-first products
  • [16:45] Stepping back to understand the real problem you’re trying to solve
  • [18:30] Anticipating future opportunities and problems
  • [20:50] Using investment allocation to balance reactivity and thought leadership
  • [24:10] Contemplating the future of work
  • [26:10] Creating professional communities outside of work
  • [31:00] Innovating efficiently
Have a content idea for the community? SUBMIT AN IDEA