Brian Norgard

Brian Norgard quotes on building

Entrepreneur & investor. Ex-CPO, Tinder. Architect of the top grossing app. Investor @SpaceX @Lyft @AngelList @NotionHQ @Airtable & many more...

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The biggest mistake made in building any product is forcing a behavior that doesn’t already exist.


Don’t confuse building a product with building a company.


Your product is imperfect. Your team is imperfect. You are imperfect. That’s precisely why you keep building. There’s so much left to do and experience. It’s time to test yourself — to walk through the forest of impossibility. That’s entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurs there's so much high quality off-the-shelf software out there right now. Ignore building anything that's not your unique differentiator. You'll save time. You'll save money. You can finally focus on what makes your product special & relevant. Good luck!


Building a product is about fighting the insidious disease of more More features, more fluff, more everything As a builder, you have lost the naïveté of a beginner’s mind The more phenomenon is rooted in fear You’ll never defeat more, but you can contain it with awareness


Don’t build something because you can, build something because you can’t stop thinking about it.


Building products is more fun than talking about building products.


Long development cycles create idle time, morphing product teams into theorist not builders. Product theorists devise crackpot intellectual frameworks that distance themselves from real users. The kiss of death. Stay close. Sketch. Prototype. Build. Action over theory.


The hardest thing to do in the universe is to make the complex simple.


You can invent incentives but not new behaviors. Building failed products has taught me this one hundred times over.


Never build for a crowd. Crowds don’t talk about your product, write checks, or care. Individuals do. Build for your sister, brother, or best friend.


Side projects create the greatest companies because they begin as freedom machines, labors of love and truth vehicles. Precious time is traded to pursue something pure.


You can criticize, moan and nitpick about other people’s work. Or you can build.


When in doubt, build a prototype


1. Build for yourself. 2. Build for your close friends and family. 3. Build for your community. The further you move away from your sphere of understating the harder it is to deliver what the customer wants. Don’t delude yourself in building for people you don’t understand.


I’ve reviewed thousands of products Without fail, it’s the products built by people for themselves that continue to win Why? When you are the customer you don’t have to guess what people want Customer focus, incentive clarity & a razor sharp point-of-view creates great product


One of the toughest aspects of building a new product is you have to predict correctly a massive change in a critical technological, cultural or behavioral vector. That goes way beyond the ability to build something.


Real entrepreneurs don’t ask for permission to build product, recruit a team and raise money. They just do it.


It’s really hard to build anything useful, let alone a product that scales. Cheers to those of you bravely giving it a go. I am with you.


The team you build is the company you build


The products you use subconsciously impact the product you build.


Building community before product is for people who don’t know how to build product.


Time invested in developing a product is an unreliable, often misleading metric. We overvalue things that take time and effort. We undervalue things that happen swiftly and effortlessly. All that matters is the end result.


How to build a blockbuster product: -own a rigid constraint -align with a world-class designer + developer -eschew most negative popular opinion -find 1 unique distro angle -ride a cultural tide -have a simple story -identify an obsessed early adopter cohort -be good to people


One of the most powerful signals of overbuilding or poor product strategy is working on things that don’t touch the core.


Fun products are made by fun people.


In company building, everything is a phase. The single most important characteristic in the early days is being rapidly adaptable. Speed, flexibility & point-of-view are your lifeblood. Keep adapting, moving & learning.


One of the coolest aspects of building products is you get to see the future.


If you can think it you can draw it. If you can draw it you can prototype it. If you can prototype it you can build it.


If you want to build a great product believe in something first that no one else does


Interesting people build interesting products


Build for the obsessed, not the casual.


If you aren’t building the product for yourself in consumer the chances of success are incredibly small


Products are getting easier to build however the bar which constitutes what’s good is now sky high.


Extremists make the best products.


The more time I spend building products, the more apparent it becomes a restless state of mind creates the absolute worst conditions for sound decision making.


How bad products get made. Create a committee of the loudest opinions in the room, build something everyone “agrees” upon, work backwards from the needs of the company (not the customer).


Familiar but different—one of the hardest things to get right in building a product.


Most of the top product people in the industry I know never considered themselves “product people” until years into their careers. They just made cool stuff for people.


Be selfish not selfless in building your product. You are the ultimate source of truth on what’s interesting, inspiring and cool. Leave the predictions to the gamblers.


Stuck? Build a prototype with no code and see how it feels in your hand. Stop intellectualizing are start doing.


A product you built is far more meaningful than a product you bought.


Instead of “what should we build” periodically conduct meetings with the question “what should we eliminate”


The more you build, the more to maintain.


Building software can be an incredibly painful yet beautiful process. One that can test the limits of patience and resolve. Imagine throwing hardware into the mix... Respect to the people who manage to create both — at the same time — in harmony.


First you build for ego, then you build to destroy it.


Build for others, build for no one.

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