What are the superpowers that lead to product success? In the first episode of the new Product to Venture series with Mighty Capital Managing Partner SC Moatti, Menlo Ventures Venture Partner Joff Redfern shares lessons on building great products at LinkedIn and Atlassian, the skills that make a top product leader, and his transition to Menlo Ventures. He discusses why operators are moving to VC and his focus areas investing in the future of software teams, productivity with AI, and network businesses. For ambitious PMs, Josh offers advice on communication, impatience, and “asking forgiveness, not permission.”
- Communication is the most important skill for product managers.
- Customer focus is one of the main superpowers for product success.
- Inspiring and driving outcomes are important for product leaders.
- Impatience and having a strong point of view are traits of top product leaders.
- Silicon Valley culture fosters generosity and mentorship.
- The transition from individual contributor to manager requires scaling by hiring others.
- As a VC, Joff feels like a “solopreneur” with more independence than as a CPO.
- Joff is interested in software development lifecycles, productivity/future of work with AI, and network businesses.
- Building a great team is the top priority for a CPO.
- Simplifying ideas is important for a CPO.
- Having both intellect and compassion are necessary superpowers for product success.
- Books like Zero to One and Seven Powers provide enduring strategic insights.
- Asking forgiveness, not permission, is good advice for ambitious PMs.
- Products That Count, Reforge, and Saajan provide learning resources for PMs.
- Great products are useful, simple, and anticipate needs.
- Hiring and growing talent is a key CPO responsibility.
- Prioritize clear vision, strategies and OKRs with accountability.
- Impatience and a strong point of view help drive change.
- Communication is vital for product managers to build unity of effort.
- Inspiring and driving outcomes are crucial.
About the speaker
Joff Redfern leads the collaboration product team at Atlassian - including Confluence and the Stride collaboration product. Prior to Atlassian, he was VP of Product at LinkedIn where he led LinkedIn’s flagship products through a transition from desktop to mobile. Joff was also VP of Product at Yahoo, Harris myCFO and Fidelity Investments. Joff has also worked with startups as co-founder of Flattenme.com and an advisor to SimpleBank.