Lessons from Atlassian: Launching new products, getting buy-in, and staying ahead of the competition | Megan Cook (head of product, Jira)

Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career

Feb 4 2024 • 1 hr 21 mins

Megan Cook is the head of product for Atlassian’s Jira software, which is used by 75% of Fortune 500 companies, has over 125,000 customers globally, over 15 different products, and is by far the most popular project management tool in the world. Megan has been at Atlassian for just under 11 years, and before this role, she was an analyst, a developer, and an Agile coach. In our conversation, we discuss:

• How to get buy-in for your ideas

• The value of starting small

• How, and why, creating space for play is so essential

• How Jira stays ahead of endless competition

• Atlassian’s approach to launching new product lines

• Tactical tips for making remote work, work

• A personal failure and the lessons learned from it

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Find the transcript for this episode and all past episodes at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/episodes/. Today’s transcript will be live by 8 a.m. PT.

Where to find Megan Cook:

• X: https://twitter.com/meganwcook

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cookmegan

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Megan’s background

(03:50) Creating space for play and psychological safety on teams

(07:36) Peer feedback groups

(10:30) Sharing stories of failure

(13:33) The “10 dollar” game for priorities

(15:24) Advice on making remote work, work

(24:16) Getting buy-in for your ideas

(28:33) The importance of staying open-minded

(34:05) A quick summary of how to get buy-in

(36:45) Fighting the good fight

(38:15) Identifying customer pain points

(43:04) Starting small and showing success

(46:08) Launching new product lines

(53:35) Atlassian’s gated process for new product ideas

(58:00) How Jira stays ahead of competitors

(01:04:28) Learning from failure

(01:08:30) Fight club

(01:10:08) Lightning round


• Jira: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira

• Atlassian: https://www.atlassian.com/

• Bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/product

• Ben Crowe on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-crowe-67299714/

• Ash Barty on X: https://twitter.com/ashbarty

• Atlassian’s blog, Work Life: https://www.atlassian.com/blog

• Lessons learned: 1,000 days of distributed at Atlassian: https://www.atlassian.com/blog/distributed-work/distributed-work-report

• New research: How to make time for the work that matters: https://www.atlassian.com/blog/distributed-work/calendar-redesign-experiment

• Atlas: https://www.atlassian.com/software/atlas

• Confluence: https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence

• Lenny’s swag store: https://lennyswag.com/

• What is CSAT and how do you measure it?: https://www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/customer/what-is-csat

• The UX research reckoning is here | Judd Antin (Airbnb, Meta): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ux-research-reckoning-is-here-judd-antin-airbnb-meta/

• Charlie Sutton on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charliesutton/

• Nokia 6100: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_6100

• Compass: https://www.atlassian.com/software/compass

• Jira Product Discovery: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/product-discovery

• Canva: https://www.canva.com/

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love: https://www.amazon.com/INSPIRED-Create-Tech-Products-Customers/dp/1119387507

Scaling People: Tactics for Management and Company Building: https://www.amazon.com/Scaling-People-Tactics-Management-Building/dp/1953953212

Foundation on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/foundation/umc.cmc.5983fipzqbicvrve6jdfep4x3

Foundation book series: https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-3-Book-Boxed-Set-Empire/dp/0593499573

• Traeger smoker: https://www.traeger.com/shop/wood-pellet-grills

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Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

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