The Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG) was created to share our lessons learned and knowledge of best practices with our clients. Our four partners are all industry veterans, who have each held executive level positions at major Silicon Valley firms where they have been instrumental in the development of leading products. We are not career consultants; we started SVPG to share what we’ve learned.  >> Manifesto     >> Team

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Missionaries vs. Mercenaries

One of my all-time favorite quotes in our industry comes by way of the legendary VC, John Doerr, where he argues that "we need teams of missionaries, not teams of mercenaries.” This point captures so much, and gets right to the heart of the most important trait of strong leaders, strong organizations, and strong product teams.

This is not hard to spot, either way.  Teams of missionaries are engaged, motivated, have a deep understanding of the business context, and tangible empathy for the customer. Teams of mercenaries feel no real sense empowerment or accountability, no passion for the problem to be solved, and little real connection with the actual users and customers.

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