A picture of me

Hi, my name is Brett van Zuiden.
I am a maker, a hobbyist, and an optimist.
I live in Oakland.


  • PM Lead at Clever
  • Founding CEO of Filepicker.io
  • Studied EECS, Math, and Mechanical Engineering at MIT
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  • Customer needs first, business needs second

    When building a new product, first find the burning customer problem, then tie it back to a business objective. Too often teams focus primarily on the business needs – e.g. “we want to convert MAUs to DAUs” or “we want to sell into larger enterprises” – rather than the customer needs, resulting in motivated reasoning and mediocre products.

  • Managing product requests from customer-facing teams: top 2 things

    Customer-facing teams are inundated with feedback from customers, and in turn tend to inundate product managers with far more requests than can be prioritized. A simple technique to maintain a reasonable backlog while making customer-facing teams feel empowered is to ask each team to identify and advocate for their top two, and only two, product requests.

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