Evidence-Guided: Creating High-Impact Products in the Face of Uncertainty

Research shows that most of what we build creates little or no value for the users or the business. To break away from this sad statistic you need to adopt a different system, one that combines human judgement with evidence.


Evidence-guided companies do things differently, but it's not an easy transition, and many common practices go against it. In this book you'll find an actionable model: GIST - Goals, Ideas, Steps, Tasks - to help you drive the change in your organization and to start creating high-impact products. 

Book Walkthrough

What readers are saying:

Transformative and practical, Itamar's product development approach captured in this book has been a game-changer for my 100-person organization at Google. The consistent focus on measurable outcomes (goals), flexible solutions (ideas) and reliance on real user data (steps) enabled us to launch five successful products in under five months each was a remarkable achievement at Google.

Sivan Hermon  //  ex-Director Of Engineering at Google  

I really enjoyed this book — the structure, flow, and  level of detail is spot on. Not too detailed to be boring or hard to follow, but detailed enough to understand how to apply it. The GIST meta-framework helps readers combine many useful tools and frameworks for maximum effect. 

Justas Kriukas  //  Chief Product Officer, Omnisend

Evidence-Guided is a masterpiece, it shows how to gain confidence and hit your product goals to have impact in a systematic and empowering way. It brings together so many areas of best practice in a way that just makes sense.

Phil Hornby  //  Founder and product coach, for product people  

The models introduced in Evidence-Guided had a high impact on my ability to prioritize opportunities and weigh-in available information. This is a book I want every member of my team to read.

Joseph Levin  //  Director of Product, Booking.com

One of the things I love about this book is that every now and then it captures a huge truth in a very simple way, that you rarely see summarized so well or even acknowledged. Whenever I stumble upon such a “truth nugget”, I go “YESSSS!”, I wasn't mad, there is something broken here. This raises my confidence to speak with authority about product matters.

Pierric Descamps  //  Senior Product Manager, Hurdle

The book does a great job outlining artifacts and processes (re-imagined using the GIST methodology) and how employees and managers should implement them.  I could clearly see how I can adapt those to my day-to-day work. It's not just a theoretical discussion, but a guide for real-world implementation.

Matan Grady  //  Senior Product Manager, Lusha

Thanks for bringing this book to life. Unlike most other books, yours is jam-packed with useful information and relatable examples. I read a lot of articles and book, but this book does the trick in bringing about a real change.

Jan Bílek  //  Product Manager, Localazy

Book Content

Chapter 1: From Opinions to Evidence

The conflicting approaches of opinion-based and evidence-guided development, and how they're reflected in two stories from my time at Google. 

Chapter 2: Goals

Creating goals using OKRs, the north star metric and metrics trees. Aligning goals across the org, dealing with dependencies and output-focus.

Chapter 3: Ideas

Why most ideas don't work, the discovery engine of GIST, and evaluating ideas using ICE and the Confidence Meter.  

Chapter 4: Steps

Implementing build-measure-learn loops, detecting assumptions, validating ideas using Steps and the AFTER framework. 

Chapter 5: Tasks

How to get your team out of delivery mode and stop working so hard writing stories and epics. Managing the work using the GIST board. 

Chapter 6: The Evidence Guided Company

A full example of a mid-sized company using GIST, and an evidence-guided approach to product strategy, roadmaps, and big projects. 

Chapter 7: Scaling GIST

How evidence-guided development works in startups, mid-sized companies, and enterprises.  

Chapter 8: GIST Patterns

Adapting the GIST model for enterprise B2B, B2C, Multi-sided marketplaces, Platforms and Services teams, and Physical products.  

Chapter 9: Adopting GIST

Common objections and misunderstandings you may run into, and how to deal with them. Ways to smooth the adoption curve and improve the odds of success. 

Book Extras

Along with the book you'll get access to a special companion page with supplementary materials: eBooks, templates, articles and more. 

About The Author

Itamar Gilad is a coach, author, and speaker specializing in evidence-guided product management and product strategy. For over two decades he held senior product management and engineering roles at Google, Microsoft and a number of scale up and startups. At Google Itamar worked on YouTube and was a product lead at Gmail.

Itamar publishes a popular product management newsletter and is the creator of a number of widely-used product management methodologies including the GIST Framework and the Confidence Meter.

© 2024, Itamar Gilad