Jeff Weiner on What Makes A Great Product
In a recent episode of This Week in Startups, the product-driven CEO of LinkedIn dishes on how he defines a great product.
I loved this conversation between Jeff Weiner and Jason Calacanis at last week’s Launch Festival. Jeff discussed the following five dimensions for how he defines a great product, adding that a truly great product has all five of these attributes. In his view, a great product:
- Focuses on a single value proposition. Great products have a lazer-like focus on doing one thing really, really well. The examples he gave: Google Search and Headspace. Others I would add: Whatsapp, Venmo (for being focused on exclusively social money transfers), Instagram.
- Is simple, intuitive, and anticipates needs. Example he gave: Waze (because it learns from your usage and anticipates where you may be going). I would add: Google Calendar (for the above reasons), Medium (for features like sharing drafts, controlling privacy of comments, et al).
- Exceeds expectations. Examples he gave: Sonos and Virgin America. I would add: Meerkat (because despite all the hype, it more than lives up to it), Slack (same).
- Resonates emotionally. It’s not just about creating value, it’s about the way the product makes you feel. Example he gave: Tesla (because “it feels like driving the future”). I would add: Wealthfront (it makes me feel confident about financial decisions), the Imgur iOS app (gesture-based interaction feels like a new form of entertainment).
- Changes your life. In big and small ways. Examples he gave: iPhone 6+. I would add: Airbnb (fundamentally changes the way I travel and think about apartment rental), Uber (fundamentally changes how I navigate cities).
Jeff went on to discuss what LinkedIn is focused on next, such as product-driven ways to integration professional-relevant conversations. I’m a huge fan of This Week in Startups, and this is one of my favorite episodes.