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Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love Hardcover – June 18, 2008
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- 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
About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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'.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marty's experience really comes through in his book. He shares a design process strategy built around principles. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Rob
Thank you. Exactly as advertised and delivered as expected.Published 1 month ago by Thomas D. Connell
GREAT great book. Cagan gets how to "build the right product". The team effort of product mgmt, PO and lead technical architect working as a group is absolutely the best... Read morePublished 2 months ago by BWM
The book is simple and straight to the point. Good structure and language comfortable for non-nativa English speakers. Highly recommend.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I've been a product manager for 10 years in eCommerce and even now, this book rings true. Great practical advice for doing the job of a product manager... Read morePublished 3 months ago by seneberg