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INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Silicon Valley Product Group) 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition
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Learn to design, build, and scale products consumers can’t get enough of
How do today’s most successful tech companies―Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla―design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than most tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love―and that will work for your business.
With sections on assembling the right people and skillsets, discovering the right product, embracing an effective yet lightweight process, and creating a strong product culture, readers can take the information they learn and immediately leverage it within their own organizations―dramatically improving their own product efforts.
Whether you’re an early-stage startup working to get to product/market fit, or a growth-stage company working to scale your product organization, or a large, long-established company trying to regain your ability to consistently deliver new value for your customers, INSPIRED will take you and your product organization to a new level of customer engagement, consistent innovation, and business success.
Filled with the author’s own personal stories―and profiles of some of today’s most-successful product managers and technology-powered product companies, including Adobe, Apple, BBC, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix―INSPIRED will show you how to turn up the dial of your own product efforts, creating technology products your customers love.
The first edition of INSPIRED, published ten years ago, established itself as the primary reference for technology product managers, and can be found on the shelves of nearly every successful technology product company worldwide. This thoroughly updated second edition shares the same objective of being the most valuable resource for technology product managers, yet it is completely new―sharing the latest practices and techniques of today’s most-successful tech product companies, and the men and women behind every great product.
From the Publisher
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR INSPIRED
"It is rare to find someone like Marty who has impacted early founders, high-growth startups, and multi-billion dollar companies over decades through his product leadership. So when he decides to distill his knowledge in a book, it becomes a must read!"
―Avid Larizadeh Duggan, General Partner, GV (Google Ventures)
"If you only have one book on product management, this is the one."
―Chad Dickerson, Former CEO, Etsy
"This book was a catalyst for helping us transform how we organize and operate. Marty gave us a compelling case for change, actionable steps, and the fundamental truths to keep us on course."
―Ann Yauger, AVP Product, CarMax
"When I was a product leader, I experienced a fair bit of accidental successes and puzzling failures. Marty's writing has helped me understand how product managers and product organizations really should work. I wish I'd had this book years ago."
―Jeff Patton, Agile Product Leadership Coach
"I don't know of any other person who has the breadth and depth of knowledge and insight in Product Management that Marty possesses. This is not your typical business book where you skim it in 30 minutes and wonder why it was worth $14.99. INSPIRED is a book you can study, discuss, use to teach, show to your management, and use as a force for change in your company or in your career."
―Kyrie Robinson, VP User Experience, Chegg
"INSPIRED was an invaluable resource to me and the Heroku team when we were scaling through the challenging 50-150 employee phase. This book should be on the shelf of anyone in a product leadership position."
―Adam Wiggins, Co-Founder, Heroku
"The first edition of INSPIRED shaped my thinking as a young product manager, and I now assign it to my students to make sure they are making the right things in the right way. INSPIRED teaches you to think like Silicon Valley's smartest product managers."
―Christina Wodtke, Author, Professor, and Startup Advisor
"Product Management is the art and science of creating the products that give each company its existence. It's the core of a business. For the digital world, Marty Cagan helps you understand and master Product Management like no other. This is essential reading to remain relevant tomorrow."
―Frerk-Malte Feller, Workplace by Facebook
"When asked what product is, and how companies can accelerate growth, I always start with 'read INSPIRED and then we can talk.'"
―Sarah Bernard, VP Product, Jet.com
"When Marty talks and writes about product, it becomes clear that his knowledge is based on walking the walk. He knows the difference between great technology, and great products based on great technology."
―Bjorn Carlson, Engineering Team Lead, Google Cloud Platform
About the Author
MARTY CAGAN, widely recognized as the primary thought leader for technology product management, is the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG). He served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay.--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B077NRB36N
- Publisher : Wiley; 2nd edition (November 20, 2017)
- Publication date : November 20, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 602 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 362 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,518 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2021
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Top reviews from the United States
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It is the best articulation of how to be successful in product management and how to create successful products that I have ever read. It is impossible not to run into into insights about challenges you are having or have had as a product manager when reading it. (This can be a little creepy, how does he know about all these mistakes I have made, is he a psychic?)
Do you want to get a job as a product manager? Read and re-read Marty’s book and steal at least a few of his insights for the interview - you’ll sound like a genius.
Some of the topics that resonated for me (I’m sure there will be different ones for you):
-Product management is distinct from other essential roles: design, engineering, product marketing, and project management (Chapter 1).
-Two inconvenient truths that often cause failed product efforts are: at least half our ideas are just not going to work (customers ultimately won’t use it - which is why you need customer validation early in the process) and it takes several iterations to implement an idea so that it delivers the necessary business value (Chapter 6).
-The three overarching product development principles from Lean and Agile which help you create successful products are (Chapter 7)
-Risks should be tackled up front, rather than at the end.
-Products should be defined and designed collaboratively, rather than sequentially.
-Its is all about solving problems, not implementing features.
-You need a team of missionaries, not mercenaries to create the smallest possible product that meets the needs of a specific market of customers (Chapter 8,9).
-A product manager must bring four critical contributions to their team (Chapter 10):
1) of your customer
2) of the data
3) of your business and its stakeholders
4) of your market and industry
-Product managers (PMs) need product designers - not just to help make your product beautiful - but to discover the right product (Chapter 11).
-Typical product roadmaps are the root cause of most waste and failed efforts in product organizations (Chapter 22). It is all too easy to institute processes that govern how you produce products that can bring innovation to a grinding halt. You need to try to wean your organization off of typical product roadmaps by focusing on business outcomes, providing stakeholders visibility so that they know you are working on important items, and by eventually making high-integrity commitments when critical delivery dates are needed (Chapter 60). Part of this is managing stakeholders which includes engaging them early in the product discovery process ideally with high-fidelity prototypes (Chapter 61).
-Products should start with a product vision in which the product team falls in love with the problem, not the solution (Chapter 25).
- Strong product teams work to meet the dual and simultaneous objectives of rapid learning and discovery while building stable and solid releases in delivery. Product discovery is used to address critical risks: (Chapter 33)
-Will the customer buy this, or choose to use it? (value risk)
-Can the user figure out how to use it? (usability risk)
-Can we build it? (feasibility risk)
-Does the solution work for our business? (business viability risk)
- PMs can’t rely on customers (or executives or stakeholders) to tell us what to build: customer doesn’t know what’s possible, and with technology products, none of us know what we really want until we actually see it (Chapter 33).
- While Amazon has a culture of “write the press release first”, Marty suggests PM should write a “happy customer letter first." Imagine a letter sent to the CEO from a very happy and impressed customer which explains why he or she is so happy and grateful for the new product or redesign. The customer describes how it was changed or improved his or her life. The letter also includes an imagined congratulatory response from the CEO to the product team explaining how this has helped the business (Chapter 36).
- Product managers need to consider the role of analytics and qualitative and quantitative value testing techniques (Chapter 54).
- What it really means for a PM to be the CEO of Product is testing business viability: listening to Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Finance, Legal, BD, Security, etc. before building the product (Chapter 56).
-Establishing a strong product culture requires (Chapters 66-67)
-Innovation culture: compelling product visions, strong product managers, empowered business and customer savvy teams product teams often in discovery
-Execution culture: urgency, high-integrity commitments, accountability, collaboration, results orientation, recognition, strong delivery management, frequent release cycles
(and it is hard to do both)
However, it was not easy for me to engage as it didn't have too many stories. I mean, the author is too serious and reminded me of my college books such as those for Physics or Math.
Nonetheless, I would recommend this book to anyone just starting out working in Products.
While I doubt any company is perfectly aligned with his principles, he gives vision for where you can be. If you are in product or work in close proximity of product you will smile as he describes the things we do (the good and bad) and turn thoughtful as you consider his ideas. Cagan does not tell you exactly what to do, but names the problem, and gives guidance that is helpful for you to create your own solution in your specific situation.
Much of the content can be found in his blog posts found on the Silicon Valley Product Group site which I see as a good thing for two reasons. 1) you can pass on the info easily by just sending a link and 2) it shows that he did not just write a book to write a book, but this is an accumulation of experience and thought that has culminated in this book.
Thank you Mr. Cagan.
I took gobs of notes. Here are some of my favorites:
* Two Inconvenient Truths about Product
1. The first truth is that at least half of our ideas are just not going to work.
2. The second inconvenient truth is that even with the ideas that do prove to have potential, it typically takes several iterations to get the implementation of this idea to the point where it delivers the necessary business value.
* typical roadmaps are the root cause of most waste and failed efforts in product organizations.
* If you want to DISCOVER great products, it really is essential that you get your ideas in front of real users and customers early and often. If you want to DELIVER great products, you want to use best practices for engineering and try not to override the engineers' concerns.
* the product organization is not there “to serve the business” but, rather, to solve problems for our customers in ways that work for our business.
Top reviews from other countries
Whilst a significant amount of the book is focused on the importance of solving customer problems - outcomes over outputs, which is the theme of a lot of product books around, there are 67 chapters covering:
> The different growth stages of tech companies, lessons and some really good success stories from Product Managers of Google, Adobe, BBC, Microsoft, Netflix and Apple
> The challenges and the reality of being a Product Manager
> The different roles of the Product/Agile team, supporting roles and additional leadership roles needed as you scale
> Tones of advice about product vision strategy and KPIs
> Huge amounts of discovery and transformation techniques
> Stakeholder management
And it also accurately describes the top reasons for loss of innovation and loss of velocity.
It is the only book on Product Management that I recommend and I sometimes feel like I'm pushing it onto people but it really is that good.