Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2016
I have worked as a director of engineering at a brand-name post-IPO tech company. I have worked with product managers and group product managers, including people we hired from Microsoft, Spotify, Google, etc. I worked there for 8 years, from before we had a single product manager, and watched the product management discipline evolve.

I didn't learn anything new from this book, since it captures (more or less) how we work. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have value. This is the best one-book summary of how a modern product manager should approach building a product. I would happily give this to every product management new hire. It captures the current zeitgeist and, especially in the first half of the book, provides the execution details that are sometimes missing from otherwise great but theory-laden product development books. (I'm looking at you Principles of Product Development Flow!!!)

I knocked off a star because the book has some flaws that could be rectified in a future edition. Some topics are covered so superficially you'd almost be better served just by a link to the relevant wikipedia page (this was most noticeable in the sections on execution covering Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Deployment). I would rather these sections be either shorter (just a reference to a more definitive book on the subject) or longer (and have more of a focus on how a product manager is affected by the topic or should drive change).

There were several sections where I felt the writing belabored obvious points and what was explained in 5 or 10 pages probably could have been done in 1 or 2. For instance, the example of "waves" of user testing that gradually refine the product or the examples of "equations" for business metrics. But again, take my opinion on this with a grain of salt because all of this stuff is how I'm used to working. Possibly readers who are newer to this approach NEED the long-winded explanations to see how it works in practice.

Due to the above two points, the last 1/3 of the book I skimmed large sections. But the first half or two-thirds of the book are really, really good.
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
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