Jeff Morris Jr.

Jeff Morris Jr. quotes on product

Founder at ChapterOne, an early-stage product fund. Building Product Club this summer. Before VP Product, Revenue at Tinder.

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1

Many of the best product people I know are historians of our industry. They can tell you about features built by companies big & small many years ago. Their intuition is guided by years of studying failure and success. The sooner you become a historian, the better you’ll be.

2

Product is: 1. Coming up with 100 ideas and realizing that 99 are terrible, but 1 is promising enough to pursue. 2. Going down rabbit holes for a living and never getting bored. 3. Finding out that "someone already tried that" and convincing yourself that you can do better.

3

The hardest part about product has nothing to do with designing UX/UI or motivating engineers. Those skills can be learned through hard work. The hardest part is having a unique point of view about the world & being able to articulate those ideas to customers in a simple way.

4

GTM strategy: Build a good product.

5

I hear about a team building "Superhuman for X" almost everyday. A new category of companies is being built in a space which I call luxury software. We have luxury goods in our physical lives: cars, fashion, homes. Luxury software will be built for every tool we use at work.

6

The most important lesson I’ve learned for developing new products: You don’t have to be the first person to come up with a product idea. In fact, that will rarely be the case. But you can almost always make an existing idea better. And that’s when you get the big wins.

7

The best product people I know are truth seekers. They overcome their own ego, politics within their organization, and personal biases — and they build what customers actually want. Truth is the hardest thing to achieve when building products. Seek truth.

8

In a world of OKRs, there are some product improvements that will never make your list of “things to work on” but you know will make your customers happy. * Animations in fun moments * Reducing copy * Better control over push notifications Make time for these projects too.

9

Waitlists are the new MVP: Make sure your product is worth the wait. I see founders copy Robinhood waitlist mechanics — then realize that waitlists only drive growth when customers are insanely excited to use your product. Focus on your core product. Then ask people to wait.

10

Behind every product, there’s a long list of heroes who rarely get public recognition they deserve: 1. Engineers who stayed at the office after everyone left. 2. Designers who gave critiques at the perfect moment. 3. Office staff who create amazing energy at work everyday.

11

I often receive notes asking for the best resources to learn how to build product. Product is an art learned over time, like playing an instrument or becoming a writer. The best way to get better at product is to practice the art. Read less articles. Build more products.

12

"Dashboard paralysis" happens when you stare at the same metrics every single day. You accept these metrics as your reality, stop innovating & become obsessed with optimizing a small set of KPIs. Your product needs a bigger vision than dashboards. Don't stare at them too long.

13

The best digital products create a feeling of craftsmanship. Craftsmanship is easier to feel with physical products like leather goods. Ways to design digital craftsmanship: 📖 Tell the story of the makers. 🤗 Give your product a distinct personality. 🐣 Include Easter eggs.

14

There is no greater rush than shipping a product. The moment when your first purchase happens. The first reaction from a happy customer on Twitter. The feeling of winning with teammates you love. This is why we build product.

15

The secret to building products: 1. Find designers you love working with and trust. Work together for a long period of time. 2. Recognize that engineers are your partners and give them the credit they deserve. 3. Be comfortable failing and trust that you’ll figure it out.

16

Sometimes I can’t believe that I get to wake up in the morning and build products for a living. We are all incredibly lucky to be able to call this a career. Never forget that.

17

Building products is a hits business, like being a screenwriter or a movie producer. For better or worse, you will often be judged by the success or failure of your last release. Celebrate the wins. Learn from the losses. And have some fun along the way.

18

When building products, it’s so easy to feel self doubt. You have OKR’s to beat and teammates who rely on your decision making. It can be paralyzing. The best thing you can do is get outside of your own head and go talk to a customer. That’s how you get your confidence back.

19

So many choices to make when building products: 1. Should every user have access to this feature? 2. Will customers be willing to pay for this feature? 3. How will this impact our core experience? 4. What is the goal? Growth? Retention? Revenue? 5. How can we make this more fun?

20

How to come up with product ideas: 1. Dig into data & identify broken parts of your funnel. 2. Use your own products & be honest about the experience. 3. Get outside your office & meet new people. 4. Work with with amazing designers & engineers. 5. Talk to customers everyday.

21

Favorite quote of the day: “The best product teams crave truth and do math.” Truth + math is an amazing combination when building products.

22

The best product teams: 1. Obsessively follow product releases throughout the entire industry - this is their hobby and not part of the job. 2. Download obscure apps and find inspiration from unlikely places. 3. Challenge each other to learn faster than other product teams.

23

I am obsessed with subscription models. They are the ultimate customer validation. A customer who is willing to subscribe to your product and stay with you month after month is a happy customer.

24

Product is... 1. Showing empathy for customers when internal politics try taking you in another direction. 2. Breaking the rules of your product when you're told those rules will never be broken. 3. Making brave decisions and letting customers decide if you're right.

25

Product leaders must remember: 1. Customers don’t care about your org charts. 2. Your emotional connection to your product won’t matter if customers don’t feel the same way. 3. Your job is to build products that customers need, which is usually different from what you need.

26

In product, utility is a customer expectation. To build special products, you need to: 1. Fulfill customers desire to find community (tribalism). 2. Reinforce your customers dream identity (wish fulfillment). 3. Create a more exciting lifestyle that others can see (signaling).

27

"Inversion is often at the core of great art." The best products break the rules. Let's invert Facebook: 1. Too many parents: social network for teens only 2. People I don't know: social network where you have to "re-friend" people every month Inversion is a powerful tool.

28

Build products with: * Teammates who inspire you to be more creative when you share ideas. * Leaders who challenge you to become a better version of yourself. * Companies who trust you to own the products you build and hold you accountable for their success and failure.

29

The products you build should: 1. Help your customers become a better version of themselves. 2. Create a new reality for your customers and challenge their expectations of your products. 3. Always solve a fundamental human problem.

30

I hear a new “we’re building the next Proctor & Gamble” pitch every few weeks. The model is a CPG studio creating multiple product lines with a shared service layer. Make sure this model isn’t due to a lack of conviction for a single idea. Building one winner is hard enough.

31

I spoke to a very successful investor recently who said that he invests in “obvious” wins. Obvious. A simple and powerful approach. The same framework works for building products. We all try to be too creative at times. Build the obvious wins.

32

Getting products on a roadmap is challenging. Same as every creative industry. Film, TV, Music, Journalism. Every industry has creatives struggles & bringing ideas to life will always be hard. Make ideas happen with data, thoughtful design, & relentless energy. Don't give up.

33

In investing: past success is no guarantee of future results. The same is true for building products. When you build a blockbuster product, your next product will still likely fail. Product market fit is incredibly hard for everyone & customers don't care about past results.

34

Getting a product idea greenlit is never easy. 1. Arm yourself with data. 2. Identify champions within your organization. 3. Pitch with a prototype, not a deck. 4. Get your engineering partners excited. 5. Don't let your idea die. It's your responsibility to keep it alive.

35

I’ve never pitched a product that got a “yes” after the first pitch. Keep your idea alive and keep pitching. That’s being a PM.

36

"Home country bias" is a tendency for investors to favor companies from their own countries over those from other areas. The same tendency exists for products leaders. We build products for people we know and often overlook the rest of the world. Think outside your country.

37

A prototype is worth 1000 meetings.

38

Amazing product > growth hacking

39

Being good at Product is having an obsessive desire to discover new apps, interactions, and forms of expression. You have to be an explorer.

40

I've met hundreds of growth hackers. Amazing how few of them have actually built a successful product.

41

Almost every "startup studio" model has failed to produce notable companies. Reinforces the importance of focus and conviction.

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