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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

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