Product Wisdom

A collection of inspiring quotes from leading product management expert

“Failure is success in progress.”

Albert Einstein

Theoretical Physicist

“Building a great product is a creative, chaotic process which you won’t get right every time, so you have to also be learning from success and failure.”

Gibson Biddle

Former CPO Netflix

“Many SaaS businesses strive for $0 customer acquisition cost (CAC) and yet most still end up spending a small fortune acquiring each new customer. If you want to get to $0 CAC, Product-Led Growth is the only way you're going to make it happen.”

Olof Mathé

CEO MixMax

“Until you’ve built a great product, almost nothing else matters.”

Sam Altman


“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”

Brian Chesky

Co-founder and CEO Airbnb

"Design is the silent ambassador of your brand."

Paul Rand

Graphic Design Pioneer Creator of the IBM Logo

"Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints."

Jonah Sachs

Author Unsafe Thinking

“The most important thing for a product manager is to be able to see the big picture and understand how all the pieces fit together. It’s about understanding the market, the competition, and the customers, and being able to translate that into a product that meets their needs.”

Marissa Mayer

Former CEO Yahoo!

"If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete."

Jack Welch

Former CEO General Electric

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”

Peter Drucker

Author Innovation and Entrepreneurship

"Make the customer the hero of your story."

Ann Handley


“If you cannot fail, you cannot learn.”

Eric Reis

Author The Lean Startup

"The biggest risk is not taking any risk.”

Mark Zuckerberg

CEO and Founder Facebook

"The trouble with market research is that people don’t think what they feel, they don’t say what they think & they don’t do what they say."

David Ogilvy

Founder Ogilvy & Mather

"Feedback is the breakfast of champions."

Ken Blanchard

Author The One Minute Manager

"A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it it’s not that good."

Martin LeBlanc

Chief Product Officer Freepik

“No matter how beautiful the visual design is, if it fails to help our users achieve their goals, it’s bad design.”

Crystal Yan

Product Manager Stripe

"Our customers don’t care about the majority of our feature releases."

Teresa Torres

Product Discovery Coach

"The value is in what gets used, not in what gets built."

Kris Gale

CTO and Co-founder Clover Health

“Customers are who we build our apps for, so we want to give them what they want and need while empathizing with their struggles and frustrations."

Jason Pace

Software Engineering Manager Alchemer Mobile

“Only move forward with creating a product that will be ‘above the bar.’”

Brian Lawley

CEO and Co-founder 280 Group

“Everybody’s communication style is different. The more you can take the time to learn about the specific people on your team and appreciate their individual communication styles, the better you can facilitate communication for your team and your organization.”

Matt LeMay

Author Product Management in Practice

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Reid Hoffman

Co-founder LinkedIn

"Keep things simple. Only use artifacts that help the Scrum team move closer to a shippable product.”

Roman Pichler

Author Agile Product Management with Scrum

"Hard decisions make great products. Your job is not to carve the safe route. Your job is to increase the probability that you’ll be delighting millions of users in a sustainable fashion."

Hunter Walk

Former PM YouTube

“Although many people are drawn to product management by the promise of “building products that people love,” the day-to-day practice of product management involves much less actual building than it does supporting, facilitating, and communicating.”

Matt LeMay

Author Product Management in Practice

“Product is all about continuous learning.”

Alicia Dixon

Senior Product Manager Hilton Worldwide

"Product management is a job of influence, not authority."

Ken Norton

Product Partner Google Ventures

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Bill Gates

Co-founder Microsoft

"Spend the vast majority of your energy ensuring you got the defaults in your product experience right. Never use 'but we added an option…' as a crutch. Only power users use options."

Julie Zhuo

Former VP of Product Design Facebook

“The utmost thing is the user experience, to have the most useful experience.”

Marissa Mayer

Former CEO Yahoo!

"The value isn't in your roadmap, the value is in the roadmapping process. What you're actually doing is laying out your assumptions of the problems that you're solving. So you're saying, 'I think we have this problem, then this problem. What do you think?' The whole point is that you just share your early assumptions with other people on the team, with customers, even, like anybody who will listen and just check that you're on the right path."

Janna Bastow

CEO ProdPad

"Move away from output to outcomes."

Lea Hickman

Partner Silicon Valley Product Group

“The best prioritization happens when it’s not driven by one person, one idea, or one perspective on the product. No one is as smart as all of us.”

Richie Harris

CTO Singlemind Consulting

“Prioritizing solutions is a left-over side effect of being output focused. When we are judged by what we deliver, the key decisions are focused on what to build when. But when we are judged by what outcomes we drive, it’s less about what solutions we deliver and more about what problems we solve for our customers. Product teams should stop prioritizing solutions and instead prioritize opportunities.”

Teresa Torres

Product Discovery Coach

“Good prioritization is based on cold, hard facts. When you have data and you have a clear strategy, prioritization becomes easy.”

Melissa Perri

Founder Product Institute

“If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.”

Ken Robinson

Author The Element

"Product-led growth is like the flywheel: It’s hard to push initially, but once it starts moving, you see a level of stable growth and momentum unmatched in any other growth model."

Avinash Tiwari

Co-founder pCloudy

“Product-Led Growth might be buzz-wordy right now but this is going to just be called "good business" very soon.”

Val Geiser

Strategic Advisor Octane AI

“Breakout companies almost always have a product that’s so good, that it grows by word of mouth.”

Sam Altman


"David Bowie didn’t invent glam rock. Google didn’t do the first web search engine, and Elon Musk didn’t invent the electric car. In all of these cases (and there are countless others), they took something that already existed, and did it better. This is what product excellence is all about."

Gannon Hall

Former SVP Product Management Shopify

“The role of the product manager is to be the voice of the customer within the company.”

Jyoti Bansal

Co-founder and CEO AppDynamics

“Product management is about being the bridge between the customer and the company.”

Tim Ferris

Author Tools of Titans

"Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you."

Mark Cuban


“Everyone from the CEO down to the contact center agent should know what it feels like to be a customer.”

Blake Morgan

Author The Customer of the Future

"There is only one boss. The customer."

Sam Walton

Founder Walmart

“Shipping work must also solve a problem and result in customers truly receiving value from whatever was shipped.”

Richard Banfield

Author Design Sprint

"Compliments are the fool’s gold of customer learning: shiny, distracting, and worthless."

Rob Fitzpatrick

Author The Mom Test

“Customer data and feedback are your most reliable assets, don't ignore them, and use them wisely.”

Jubin Kothari

Principal Product Manager DocuSign

“It’s a mistake to conflate success with shipping a large quantity of features.”

Julie Zhuo

Former VP of Product Design Facebook

“Any damn fool can make something complex, it takes a genius to make something simple.”

Pete Seeger

Product Director DocuSign

“Our plan is to lead the public with new products rather than ask them what kind of products they want.”

Akio Morita

Co-founder Sony Corporation

“Product Management is not about the product but about the people.”

Martin Eriksson

Product Partner EQT Ventures

"You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around."

Steve Jobs

Former CEO Apple

"Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers."

Seth Godin

Author The Dip

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”

Michael Porter

Business Professor Harvard University

“If coming up with OKRs is very painful, that’s usually a symptom of lack of strategy, because if your product strategy is flowing logically, your OKRs should be easy to do.”

Nacho Bassino

Author Product Direction

"As a PM, it's really easy for stakeholder communication to become an afterthought – something that you do after your "real" work is done. But it's so key! Get in the habit of keeping stakeholders in the loop early & often, and you'll make your own job (& theirs) so much easier.

Christina Weiss

Product Management Consultant CKW Consulting

“If you continue to improve a product enough, you’ll eventually ruin it.”

David Pogue

Columnist New York Times

"Product management is about insights and judgment, both of which require a sharp mind. Hard work is also necessary, but for this job, it is not sufficient."

Marty Cagan

Founder Silicon Valley Product Group

"A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat."

Deep Nishar

Former Senior VP of Products & User Experience LinkedIn

“Quite simply, it’s the product manager’s job to articulate two simple things: What game are we playing? How do we keep score?”

Adam Nash

Former VP of Product & Growth Dropbox

“In most cases, having and using a fantastic machine learning algorithm is less important than deploying a well-designed user experience (UX) for your products.”

Mariya Yao

Chief Technology & Product Officer Metamaven

"In product strategy, I focus a lot on delighting customers in hard to copy, margin-enhancing ways."

Gibson Biddle

Former CPO Netflix

"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better."

Jeff Bezos

Founder Amazon

"Your product roadmap is the prototype for your strategy. It’s your key to vision alignment. It’s your ever-adaptable communication aid, the one thing your team can coalesce around and use as a North Star guiding light."

Bruce McCarthy

Founder Product Culture

"The product vision should be inspiring, and the product strategy should be focused."

Marty Cagan

Founder Silicon Valley Product Group

“The biggest product management challenge is resource alignment. Team sizes are always changing and frequently lopsided. Some weeks you have plenty of design bandwidth and no iOS, others you have no design and all iOS. Having a deep backlog of well prioritized projects is key to operating an efficient team.”

Ethan Hollinshead

Senior Product Manager Strava

“Bad prioritization is an excellent way to kill your startup.”

Lenny Rachitsky

Product Lead Airbnb

“Methods of product prioritization should not be used to replace human decision-making. A good structure is a way to get everyone on the same page when it comes to the product’s overall goals. Prioritization approaches are exercises in weighing the numerous options available for any given feature or concept.”

Zaina Alhmoud

Content Specialist Product School

“It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Bill Gates

Co-founder Microsoft

“I love Product-Led Growth because it's the only way to scale your growth without dramatically increasing your resources. You're using the product to sell itself which is the easiest kind of sell.”

Jennifer Stoldt

Head of Online Growth Checkfront

“The future of growth is product-led. Data shows that companies leveraging a Product-Led Growth strategy perform better on average – faster growth, higher margins, lower burn and stronger valuation multiples. Product-Led Growth will soon become the norm, making it table stakes for SaaS companies that want to win in their markets. What is your company doing to adapt to the product led growth revolution?”

Blake Bartlett

Partner OpenView

"Products are made in a factory, but brands are created in the mind."

Walter Landor

Co-founder Landor & Fitch

“A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless.”

Stephen King

Author The Shining

"Product management is the intersection of technology, business, and user experience.”

Aaron Levie

Co-founder and CEO Box

"The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be only sustainable competitive advantage."

Arie de Geus

Former Senior Executive Royal Dutch/Shell Group

"Nothing is more important than learning what customers want so we can make them happy."

Brian de Haaff

Founder Aha!

“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways."

Richard Branson

Founder Virgin Group

"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work."

Thomas Edison

“Done is better than perfect.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Former COO Facebook

“My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers.”

Andrew Mason

Founder Groupon

"Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you're probably being slow."

Jeff Bezos

Founder Amazon

"All programs built without user testing are predictions. All predictions are wrong."

Diego Lopez Castan

UX, UI Lead Fpay

"When UX doesn’t consider ALL users, shouldn’t be known as 'some user experience' or.. SUX"

Billy Gregory

Accessibility Program Manager Ubisoft

“The best way to make news is to announce a new category, not a new product.”

Al Reis

Author Positioning

“To be a great product manager, you need to be able to think like a customer.”

Marty Cagan

Founder Silicon Valley Product Group

“Step 1 is to build something that users love.”

Sam Altman


“At the heart of every product person, there’s a desire to make someone’s life easier or simpler. If we listen to the customer and give them what they need, they’ll reciprocate with love and loyalty to your brand.”

Francis Brown

Product Development Manager Alaska Airlines

“If you ask why enough times, eventually you’ll work it out and get to the root cause.”

Des Traynor

Co-founder Intercom

"Too often we wait too long to ship because we want something to be perfect. We’ll pre-optimize a product before launch when it’s cheaper and more effective to post-optimize (as in optimize after launch with real user feedback and data)."

John Vars

Former CPO TaskRabbit

“A launch plan should touch every single aspect of the 'whole product customer experience,' where 'whole' and 'customer' should be considered in the broadest way possible.”

Eddy Vermeulen

Author Practical Product Management

“Customers are who we build our apps for, so we want to give them what they want and need, while empathizing with their struggles and frustrations. For me it’s not necessarily the mantra of the customer is always right, but do everything with the customer in mind.”

Jason Pace

Technical Product Manager Alkami

"Product management is the art of creating something people love and then figuring out how to make money from it."

Ben Horowitz

Co-founder Andreessen Horowitz

“Product managers are the connection between customers and the engineers who build the product. You are a bridge between what customers say and what the organization actually builds. You sit at the epicenter of everyone in your organization who builds, markets, sells, and supports your product. You explain what engineering is building to the people in sales and support. You interact with legal. You interact with finance. You are the ambassador for your products inside and outside the company. You are everything.”

Brian de Haaff

Founder Aha!

"A product roadmap is a living, breathing document that evolves as the needs of your customers and the market change."

Kate Matsudaira

VP Splunk

"A good product roadmap is one of the most important and influential documents an organization can develop."

Marty Cagan

Founder Silicon Valley Product Group

“Roadmaps are evidence of strategy. Not a list of features.”

Steve Johnson

President Berkshire Grey

"Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details.

Jeff Bezos

Founder Amazon

“Great product teams are able to strike the right balance between building the right thing, building it right, and building it fast. Prioritization frameworks can be a reliable way to do that over and over again, at scale.”

Andrei Beno

Senior Product Manager HotJar

“I leverage my knowledge of our business and customers to better prioritize what features make it onto the roadmap and help my team understand why we’re building those features.”

Lauren Chan Lee

Director of Product

“The product manager needs to map the product strategy down to the individual features, and prioritize them in the right order across product development stages so as to maximize the winnings. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas.”

Steve Jobs

Former CEO Apple