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Frequently Bought Together

Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love + The Product Manager's Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed as a Product Manager + The Product Manager's Desk Reference
Price for all three: $86.03

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: SVPG Press; 1st edition (June 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981690408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981690407
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"At eBay, of all of the leaders in the past decade, Marty had the most significant and lasting impact on how we create products."
- Frerk-Malte Feller, Managing Director, eBay Germany

"When it comes to creating inspiring products, Marty Cagan knows his stuff."
- Pete Deemer, Former Chief Product Officer, Yahoo! and CEO of GoodAgile

"Marty balances key product management principles, great new techniques, and examples that bring them all home."
- Jim Denney, VP Product Management, TiVo

"Marty is not only a seasoned expert on all aspects of the often ambiguous discipline of product management, his book also provides inspiration, tools and techniques, and really practical help."
- Judy Gibbons, Accel Partners

"This is a must read if you have any hope of building a company based on great products."
- Chuck Geiger, Former CTO, PayPal, Travelocity and Ask.com

"It doesn't matter how good your engineering team is if they aren t building the right products, and no one is better than Marty at helping teams discover the right products."
- Marty Abbott, Former CTO, eBay and Partner, AKF Consulting
--Back Cover

About the Author

Marty Cagan is founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, where he helps companies create winning product strategies and develop the skills of their product organization as well as the techniques they use to create successful products.

During the past 20 years, Marty has served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world. He was most recently senior vice-president of product management and design for eBay, where he was responsible for defining products and services for the company's global e-commerce trading site. Prior to that, Marty was vice-president of product at AOL and Netscape Communications, and a software engineer at HP Labs.

Customer Reviews

This book is easy to read and very practical (unlike many business books).
Clare Hutchinson
Following his advise will help any company from a new start-up to a large established corporation become more successful building great software products.
Mike Bailey
The book describes the product manager's role in agile and waterfall software development with just the right amount of detail.
Michael Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lev Kurts on June 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yet another collection of blog posts. This is becoming a genre of it's own. Unfortunately, there are inherent problems with this type of a book:

1) Usually, there not enough time spent in order to "arrange the material in the book into a coherent progression and logic" (quoted from Charles Petzold).

2) Some topics are not discussed deeply enough, because it was originally just a blog post and, as such, was not intended to be thoroughly researched.

3) Tendency to repetition and oversimplification, hence prose becomes extremely bulky, but with insufficient content. This is also probably due to the fact that these were originally independent posts intended to be read individually. Even the best editors can not help with it.

In addition to the problems outlined above, this particular book has some unique deficiencies:

4) Examples are not in the book, but on a separate web site. To be fair, author warns about it and apologizes for it in the introduction, but still. In author's own words: "I realize this breaks the flow of reading a book". It does.

5) Lack of real world situations. Author used to work for some of the most exciting companies in the world: eBay, Netscape, HP. I would love to hear some information on how things are/were done there.

6) I personally find the 'high-fidelity prototype' concept to be highly questionable. But it is used as a foundation for many other ideas. High-fidelity prototypes could be as difficult to build the product itself, it all depends on the product and subject matter. Yet, it is presented as a sort of a product manager's silver bullet, without any discussion on when building this prototype could be problematic.

7) Lack of 'features discussions'.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Gloria Petron on June 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I spent years as an interface designer in a risk-averse Fortune 500 company as the sole advocate for usability, wearing the additional hats of information architect, HTML coder, visual designer, and more. In that company, the developers were an abusive bunch who called the shots, fought me on every design proposal, and demanded tons of documentation before anything was ever built. I also had little access to end users. There were maybe two releases per year, and they were always painful.

I left that environment to become a user experience consultant in another Fortune 500 company. Despite the fact that I now had a fresh start in a friendlier environment with a more collaborative team of developers, I was wary and defensive. I didn't want to blow my new gig, though, so I was looking for guidance fast. I read two books that saved me: Alan Cooper's "Inmates Are Running The Asylum", and "Inspired".

Prior to these books, I'd heard the terms "waterfall" and "agile" before but never really knew what they meant. But now it was like suddenly learning the name of an affliction from which I'd been suffering. Several times while reading "Inspired" I caught myself saying, "Yes - yes, that's it! That's what happened to me!" It really was like the song by Roberta Flack: this guy knew my pain and had could have BEEN me in some of the stories he describes.

I'm not able to put into practice everything Mr. Cagan describes in an optimal environment, but thanks to this book I have a much better understanding of my hats, including ones I didn't know I was wearing. His insights have helped me learn to pace myself, and perhaps even more importantly, to forgive myself if I don't get to every single thing. I highly recommend this book to user experience professionals who are working for large organizations where it is a challenge to introduce and nurture new thinking.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Miha Ahronovitz on February 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a pity that there are only 5 stars to award the maximum appreciation for this book. There are a number of achievements that deserve, alone, five stars.

First, Marty Cagan clearly states what qualities a Product Manager must have. Not everyone is talented to be a Product Manager. The author lists unmeasurable traits, such as product passion, customer empathy, innate intelligence (there is no substitute for it, we learn), ethics, integrity and confidence. The latter is very important as the entire teams in engineering and marketing must be kept inspired. This leads to the corollary that simply training a person to be a Product Manager is not enough. One must know when an unsuitable person must look for other positions. This is something uncommon, to consider what many view a process driven function to a talent.

Second, the book asks where to place the Product Manageent function. In Engineering? In Marketing? There is a distinction between a Product Manager and Product Marketing Manager. As veteran product manager myself, I know the challenges to be part of engineering. Engineers are sometimes suspicious of marketing and their product manager becomes the "piñata" everyone beats in frustration. As part of Marketing, there is tendency to follow release processes and create demands engineering can not deliver in a logical way. Marty advocates the creation of a Product Council with equal rights as engineering and marketing

Marty says a successful product manager sees himself as the CEO of the product. This is absolutely true, but unfortunately the Directors of Engineering and those of Marketing, also see themselves as CEOs. As long as an independent product council does not exist, the product manager must be a CEO with zero authority.
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