The 12 Most Important Blog Posts From Aha! This Year
December 28, 2021

The 12 Most Important Blog Posts From Aha! This Year

by Brian de Haaff

The end of the year is a natural time for reflection. For many of us, it is when we have a chance to pause and take stock of what we have accomplished. But deep introspection does not need to have a timestamp. If you have read the Aha! blog, you know that we are continually asking ourselves what we can do to be better every day. Each blog post this year reflected that theme in some way.

This year we wrote about organizational, team, and personal growth — underscoring what it takes to build meaningful experiences for customers with teammates who are invested in each other's success.

It was another challenging year. Looking back, I am not sure that we expected to be riding yet another wave of the pandemic leading into the holidays. Our remote team has not been together in the same room since 2019 and we have had to get even more creative about our team rituals.

And yet, we have grown to depend on each other more than ever. If you are fortunate enough to be part of a close-knit team, I imagine you have also experienced a deepening of relationships. Challenging times strengthen bonds and illuminate what is most important.

It is from this perspective that we wrote about product development, leadership, and personal growth, among other topics, this year. Success in any area requires a commitment to showing up, questioning old patterns, and making room for something new.

Here are 12 posts from 2021 that sparked interest and got readers thinking about new possibilities:

Product teams

We shared the real secret behind every great product manager — it is the cross-functional product team. But advocating for a formal team can be daunting if your organization does not understand the value. The following posts can help you make the case or even just look at product teams from a different lens.

1. The Benefits of a Cross-Functional Product Team

2. The Product-Led Organization vs. the Engineering-Led Organization

3. The Empathy Gap Is Real in Product Development

4. The Product Manager vs. the Engineering Manager


The most meaningful questions rarely have simple answers. Leaders are responsible for making sense of complexity to help the team achieve its best. Get advice on living in the gray areas from these posts.

5. The Founder's Paradox: How to Bootstrap a Big Software Company When Everyone Else Raises Money

6. The Founder's Paradox: How to Build Right Long-Term Habits and Perform Now

7. The Founder's Paradox: How to Treat Everyone Differently and the Same

8. The Founder's Paradox: How to Be Original in a World of Copycats

Personal growth

More and more people are reevaluating their professional roles and considering a job change. In the U.S. alone there have been 10 million open jobs each month since the "Great Resignation" began. Before you leap into something new, read these posts.

9. The Undeniable Truth Hiding Behind the Great Resignation

10. One Small Thing That Will Bring You More Joy At Work

11. How To Do Work That You Really Do Not Want To

12. You Need To Say No at Work

When I look at the year ahead, I am optimistic that the Aha! team will continue to pursue bold, fulfilling work. And I hope you will too.

Inspiration for this blog often comes from our readers — your emails, notes, and comments on LinkedIn. Thank you for being part of the conversation. I look forward to another year of discussion and writing about how you can build lovable products and businesses.

What new ideas and goals came to you in 2021?

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Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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