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Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love Hardcover – June 18, 2008
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"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
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.
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The entire focus is on prototyping, which is true for any product manager. At 220 pages it is like a nice crash course on product management.
If you are looking for something in detail on a specific product management topic, this book isn't one.
At times author repeats himself as a filler and sometimes even beats around the bushes thus impacting the pace of reading. Overall a Good book for beginners in the field of Product Management! Not saying that experienced cant benefit from it.
On the down side, it could be more updated in places, and occasionally reads like a collection of blog posts, but that's 50% of tech / business books these days. Also, I didn't like having to go to their site to find examples of the different documents and deliverables mentioned. They claimed this was done so they could continuously add more content, but that doesn't seem to have happened. Mostly there are just one or two examples of each thing.
Even though the author claims that this book is written for the software industry, I can vouch being a Poduct Manager in an industrial mechanical product firm that most of the principles of this book can be applied to this field also.
The best part about this book is the distinction that the author gives between the job of a product manager and many other jobs like product marketing and product design.
As a product manager, I would really recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the power of producr management.
Further, it provides insight into the processes, evaluation tools, market research, and methodologies a product manager should enact to evaluate, build, and launch successful releases of new products. Sprinkled in each chapter are Cagan's tips that don't quite fall into any bucket, but are especially valuable bits of knowledge - such as how to discover product management talent within your organization.
This is one of those books wherein I was inspired to annotate in a sketchbook rather than a notebook, and draw out my take-a-ways.
The primary down-side is this book is quite basic. A lot of things covered are all common-sense and rudimentary by today's standard (if a reader doesn't even understand iterative development, product management should be the least of his worries). Then the book doesn't really go in-depth on any single point it presents.
Overall, it's a solid management survey, great introductory text.
Marty keeps hitting the target page after page.
There are companies that do Product Management very well. Apple is one of them. Google has a lot of people in this function, but search is still their main revenue earner and they have failed to have a new product in their stable which accounts for double digits in their revenue stream. Most companies have talented people but do not really encourage innovation.
"Great Product Managers can be picked from engineering, IT, marketing, and a lot of times no prior experience is required except the passion to create great products."
Agreed. People with passion and ownership are responsible for great products.
Here's how the book assesses product opportunities:
1. What's the problem you're trying to solve?
2. For whom?
3. Size of the opportunity/market
4. What's the measure of success? (Revenue/Metrics)
5. Competitive landscape
6. Product Differentiators
7. Why now? Window of opportunity?
8. Go to market strategy
9. Factors critical to success
10. Based on the above -Go or No Go
If you've been in the business, you will notice that every page resonates. This book is a must buy/must read for all product managers.