Inspired Review

Inspired by Marty Cagan


How to create great tech products?

  1. Great culture

Obsess with Customers

Have a product mindset:

Passionate about solving the problem

Have an inspiring product vision

Rapid prototyping

2. Great people

We need teams of missionaries, not mercenaries. — John Doerr

Have strong ownership

Aligned on objectives

Focus on outcomes, not outputs

Two inconvenient truths:

  1. the reality is that half of our product ideas are simply not going to work.
  2. Even when ideas do prove to have potential they’re likely to need several iterations to reach the point where they deliver tangible business value.

Cagan offers three overarching principles which help overcome the aforementioned root causes of failed product efforts:

  1. Risks are tackled upfront, instead of at the end
  2. Products are defined and designed collaboratively, rather than sequentially
  3. Finally, it’s all about solving problems, not implementing features

Product managers need to consider:

  1. Business value. What values would this product bring to the customers?
  2. Usability. How easy the users would use the product?
  3. Feasibility. Are we able to deliver given the resources?
  4. Business viability. Is this product sustainable for the business?

Traits of a great product development process:

  • Spend time on discovery. Collect evidence about what will work for the customer, engineering, and business.
  • PMs help customers understand what is possible. They think deeply about the problems their software solves and what customers will ultimately want.
  • Validate ideas on real customers (prototypes).
  • Validate business feasibility. Just because our customers love it, engineers can create it, does it work for our business? Can we sell it, maintain it, does it work for legal, etc.

Tips and strategies for defining the product:

  • Pre-write your press release. What would it say?
  • Find six reference (prospective) customers.
  • Do customer interviews.
  • Pretend you are the customer using your product.
  • Sponsor hack days.
  • Prototype everything!

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