Sunday, January 09, 2011

The 30-Minute Product Manager, redux

A few weeks back I threw out a handful of reading recommendations for Product Managers. I got a bunch of good feedback and additional suggestions—in blog comments, Tweets and email at work (the latter by default I won't be sharing).

Jim Ray reminded me of Michael "Rands" Lopp, "another great source of geek and management advice". In particular there's the book Managing Humans (which I have on my stack but haven't read yet).

Satyajeet Salgar, whose own blog I linked to, added a recommendation for Ben Horowitz's wonderful "Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager" [pdf].

Hunter Walk, another great PM whose blog I linked to, chipped in with a recommendation for the Quora Product Management Topic. Good call! That's where the Ian McAllister post on "working backwards" came from. As Hunter says, right now there's lots of interesting and diverse material from which to learn.

Finally Michelle Dy pointed me at a blog post by Jason Goldman (erstwhile Product VP at Twitter): Enable Float Alignment. In a similar vein to the previously linked Anatomy of a Feature, this speaks to the cost burden of every single feature added to a product and urges product designers to take more active stewardship in creating "just the experience they feel is best overall" rather than pandering to every niche desire.

I feel pretty lucky to have the benefit of input from these folks!

In other news, The Bean was 161 days old this weekend. I feel pretty lucky on that front too:

Day 161


Mark said...

Although I'm not a PM myself (I'm a dev) these links are very useful to provide arguments to keep our PMs under control. Some will pull any number of requirements out of the air without thinking through the impact on the rest of the product, instead relying on devs and designers to work them out during implementation. With this in mind, how important do you think a technical background is for a PM producing web services, mobile apps etc. in order to make product decisions, like in the example "Anatomy of a feature"?

Sue Hepworth said...

Personally, I prefer the Bean to any of this other stuff - she's your best product yet.

Isaac said...

Mark---thanks for the feedback; I'm glad you find the links useful. I think hands-on technical experience is super-important for PMs producing software products.

At Google PMs are required to have a CS degree. I think that takes it too far.