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Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams Paperback – June 3, 2017
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From the Publisher
Leadership in a new craft
In today’s fast moving world good product management is quickly becoming critical to maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage. We are fascinated by the unique challenges that product leaders face - from start-ups to enterprises - and interviewed over 50 of the world's top product managers to uncover and share their insights into how launch great products and build successful product teams.
--Des Traynor, Cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer, Intercom
"Richard, Nate, and Martin deliver impactful lessons in customer-driven product management practices in Product Leadership. They have collectively walked the walk in applying human-centric design principles time and time again in the wild, which is evident in their message and many useful real-world examples. As a technology leader across dozens of client-facing NASDAQ applications, I am challenged every day to drive product innovation at scale while maintaining stability. The approaches in Product Leadership, backed by real, relatable experiences, make this an indispensable reference to deliver and evolve great products for our hundreds of thousands of users!"
--Heather Abbott, SVP Corporate Solutions, NASDAQ
"Designers, engineers, and product managers who've been looking to take the leap into leadership--look no further. Product Leadership distills the history and future of the eld alongside the insights of its luminaries and experts, and presents an invaluable guide for leveling up your skills and execution."
--Ryan Freitas, Design Director, Facebook
About the Author
Top customer reviews
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* The book provides an excellent broad overview of a number of product management concepts - a great 30,000 ft view for product leaders
* They cover some key principles of product leadership that are rarely covered in other product books and forums like: hiring, team-building, career pathways, and other leadership concepts.
* The ideas in the book are well-supported by experienced practitioners and there are a number of references to people worth following and books worth reading.
* Because the book ties everything back to being customer-centric, it's a good reminder (even if you're an experienced product builder) to research everything and always let the customer voice win.
* The intense focus on tying everything you do in product back to three key variables: usability, feasibility, and sellability (value) was a good reminder for me.
* The three chapters on how product management differs within different contexts (startup, growth, and enterprise orgs) were extremely valuable.
* There were so many interviews that went into the book - it would be nice to have a larger view into those conversations. Publishing raw interview transcripts, for example, would be amazing.
* Many of the people who were interviewed have amazing stories to tell, and it would be nice to have a more visibility into those stories.
* The partner ecology chapter was missing a piece for me - I was hoping that it would dive more into things like business development style partnerships, integrations, and other ways for businesses to work together to go-to-market with experiences they couldn't otherwise deliver alone.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone in product management or in any type of leadership role in a product-driven organization. While none of the concepts were new to me, it was a healthy reminder of the tools we use to build customer-centric products.
This book is good compilation of what product management is all about. It even takes it a step further to explain product leadership and share how it’s different from product management. If one is starting out in product management, this can be a good beginning point.
Now on why I think this could have been better. First, there is nothing new in this book. If you have spent few years in product management and have read some books already (likes of Lean Startup, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Hard things about hard things) or read/watched online stuff (likes of Sam Altman series), the only thing that this book serves is to refresh some of those concepts.
Second, I felt that the writing style was too verbose, making it boring to read. Few ideas were repeated throughout the book. For example, part 2 of the book calls out how a PM is different across various organizational states, that is startup, emerging and enterprise, but there doesn’t seem to be much difference in the ways a PM would perform his job. Instead of this, exact difference in each of these would have been a better way of putting things together.
Third, the USP of this book was interviews with more than 100 Product Managers. These interview snippets spread across the book seem to be just touching the surface with no real-life examples of why they feel so and/or any practical actionable items for readers. This makes all concepts and ideas look weak and half-cooked.
Fourth, some of the concepts attributed to product leadership are true for general management. Example of these include, how to hire a team, buy vs build decisions, how to work with external partners etc.
Overall 2 out of 5 for me.
But for people like me, for whom product management is not their core skill, this gives the reader a GREAT vision of what an awesome product team looks like. I'm really, really, really glad I spent money on this book. It's already making my job a lot easier as I help my teams work with the product organization and as I set expectations for what we expect the product organization to contribute and deliver.
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