Brian Norgard

Best quotes by Brian Norgard

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

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1

You don't hire talented people to tell them what to do. You hire talented people to tell you what to do.

2

Startups are hard, try to avoid: -living with your team -conferences -delaying equity convos -raising $ from non seasoned investors -schwag -business advice from lawyers -endless coffee meetings -decompressing w/ social media -not sleeping -equity grants to trophy advisors

3

Reasons your product will fail: 1. Too complex 2. Can’t easily be described 3. Didn’t iterate fast enough 4. Bland 5. Failed to launch into a community 6. Doesn’t save time/money 7. Poor design 8. Does too much 9. Didn’t take a feature risk 10. Listened to wrong the customers

4

The most expensive way to pay for anything is with time.

5

There are 7.8 billion versions of reality.

6

We are in the early stages of a tectonic shift in work, enabled by software Software is about to eat the physical office Remote work will simply become “work” Let’s compile a list of the best modern tools Anything is game — startups, big companies, hardware, software... Go!

7

How to unlock creativity: -slow down -study another field -get into nature -get out of office -music, lots -sketch -cardio before/after -nibble on small ideas -throw stuff away -atomize the work -look for orthogonal inspiration -breathe -learn about circadian rhythm -paint

8

The best ROI early in your career is to work closely with someone in the .01% of their field. It will show you what good habits, clear thinking & perseverance looks like. Thereafter, you can tweak their “models” to fit your world view. This is the fastest path to greatness.

9

Delete your product backlog every six months. If it’s important, it will emerge again. If not, you’ll save your team the mental anguish of rehashing something that will never see the light of day.

10

A lack of product-market-fit is never solved with more features.

11

I wholeheartedly reject the notion that every product must solve a problem (I hear this a lot from investors) Our lives are busy, noisy & difficult, there exist a class of products that aim to delight & displace people from reality These products have a place in our world too

12

A/B testing culture guiding product is a clear signal the company is out of new ideas.

13

Being busy is cheap, focus is expensive.

14

No one cares about your product. Who built it, its features, the origin story — it’s all superfluous. People only find value in what your product can do for them right now. Save people time. Save people money. Give people an escape. The selfish hand will always govern.

15

You first 10 years of work are a journey to find the the people you want to work with for the next 50.

16

If your consumer app isn’t being used while someone sits on the toilet, it’s probably not going to work.

17

Own a business or be owned by a business.

18

People buy stories not products.

19

Behaviors that are rewarded in the corporate world will destroy your next startup.

20

Being good at product is being good at people

21

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

22

The first trillion is the hardest

23

Junior product teams obsess over creating features. Senior product teams obsess over eliminating features.

24

Work with people that make arguing enjoyable.

25

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

26

Great founders: High integrity Learning machines High energy High pain threshold Intellectual flexibility Empathetic Culturally curious Quick at forgetting (mistake amnesia) Unbelievable recruiters Incredible storytellers Patient & urgent Playful Point of view heavy

27

Prototype the absolute simplest version of your dream product. Use it yourself first. Also include teammates, friends & fools. Then pause for a week. Do you miss your product? If the answer is “yes”, you are onto something. A practical heuristic for future value.

28

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.

29

I’ve never met a good product person who didn’t want anything but absolutely brutal feedback on their work

30

Most product strategy comes down to saying no.

31

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!

32

Being able to think twenty years younger or older than your age is an incredible skill.

33

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

34

If you aren’t the first customer of your product, it’s the wrong product.

35

Design isn’t how it looks, design is how it works.

36

The single best growth hack in existence is a quality product that only works when used with other people.

37

Don’t do a better job than the competition, do what the competition can’t do.

38

People don’t want good products. They want simple solutions that improve their lives. That could mean saving them time/money. It could equate to helping them disconnect from reality through entertainment. You could make their job easier. But people never want good products.

39

A great product doesn’t need a tutorial.

40

Avoid making food decisions when hungry. Avoid making product decisions when desperate.

41

A product must make you feel before it makes you think.

42

You are not bored, you are boring.

43

Startups are neither marathons nor sprints. Startups are marathons with intermittent sprints.

44

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

45

It’s too simple is the greatest compliment a product can ever be paid.

46

Competency will make you a living. Creativity will make you rich.

47

If you don’t enjoy the process, you won’t enjoy the payoff.

48

The next time a product launches you don’t admire instead of trashing it pause. Think about the sacrifices that were made to get that live. Someone’s mom went to school at night, maybe worked two jobs so their kid could reach for the stars one day. We are all in this together.

49

Building products is more fun than talking about building products.

50

We are quickly moving toward a world where remote work will just be called work

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