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The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator Paperback – November 21, 2008
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About the Author
Rich Mironov CMO of Enthiosys, a software product strategist, and veteran of four high-tech startups. He is an expert on software product management and marketing. At Enthiosys, he provides strategic consulting to more than a dozen technology clients as well as overseeing marketing. His consulting focus is on business models, product strategy, and Agile adoption. Rich has spent more than two decades at technology companies. Starting in software development at Hewlett-Packard, he was a product manager at Tandem Computers and Sybase. Rich then spent almost a decade at Silicon Valley startups: Wayfarer, iPass, Slam Dunk Networks (VP of marketing) and AirMagnet (VP of marketing/product mgmt). The Art of Product Management grows out of his popular Product Bytes newsletter on technology product strategy (http://tinyurl.com/3kmboy ). Rich is a frequent speaker and lecturer, on the faculty of the Executive Development Center at the UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He has served on boards of Norcal PDMA and SVPMA. Rich has an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.S. degree in physics from Yale University (with a thesis on dinosaur extinction theories).
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As another reviewer notes, some of the specific technologies and examples mentioned are now obsolete but the concepts remain true over time.
Mironov's breezy writing style is fresh and entertaining. The book reads more like a series of conversations than a college thesis, and offers practical advice that you can use right away.
For a process perspective, see Turn Ideas into Products: A Playbook for Defining and Delivering Technology Products.
which is not exactly the case here.
Some blog posts, included into the book, are pretty outdated, like articles from 2002 (in the SaaS part) - this is usually the case with books, compiled out of blogs. Problem is that blog is inherently a diary-like thing, so some posts are older then the others. And publisher require certain amount of pages ...
Some important items (like project management or requirements management systems) are missing in the relevant sections. This is another problem with books, derived from blogs: blog posts are usually written 'under influence' of the moment, so we tend to talk about things that are important to us today, not about all impotant things.
When you forget that this collection of essays takes the 'form' of the book, everything else is actully pretty fine. Essays are organized by topic and are pretty much independent of each other.
Interesting moments (extremely subjective):
-pretty good generic discussion of the place of product manager in the organization and "owning the gaps"
-nice argument about the balancing position of the product manager between engineering and sales
-good explanation of the differences between various roadmaps for various audiences
-book emphasizes the importance of what I call "necessary amount of beuracracy" or what the author calls "defensive processes"
BOTTOM LINE: A fair collection of essays. Probably nothing new for a veteran product manager. Maybe used, but not really, for a complete rookie,simply because of the fact that it's not a book, hence lack of coherence and flow. Definitely useful reading for a mid-start product manager.
I read this book after being a product manager for around 2 years and felt I should have gotten a different book instead but still, it didn't feel like a complete waste of money.
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