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Why Product Doesn’t Win

In the past few weeks, as some of the Valley’s most mature  internet companies have faced crisis after crisis, there’s been a theme circulating that these companies, and Facebook in particular, has lost their product way.

This chatter peaked when journalists and others suggested that Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom should run Facebook, in part, because he’s a fabulous product leader.

It’s an oh-so-familiar theme in the Valley where every VC and entrepreneur you meet will tell you “product wins” and that the quickest way to a $1 billion—or $1 trillion—business is to have your finger on the product pulse. It’s the core tenet of the myth that anyone with the right ah-ha moment in the shower can change the world and become rich in Silicon Valley. All you need is product mojo, and when it’s gone, you’re toast.

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