Getting started with product management

Are you headed down the product path? How about some trail magic to get you going? Help yourself to these great resources:

Required reading

Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan

Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan

Many Product Managers recommend that you start here. Cagan's book is a terrific introductory text on Product Management that highlights the core of this unique role and distinguishing it from the other, similar sounding roles of Project Manager and Product Marketer.

This is an easy read but chock full of foundational topics that is guaranteed to help ground your own PM decisions. Some of our favorite highlights include:

  • An introduction of Product Discovery as a way of balancing what is valuable, what is feasible, and what is usable
  • A 10 question Product Opportunity Assessment that accomplishes much of the same goals as a full MRD/PRD
  • Tips on hiring Product Managers and building a strong Product team

Buy the book on Amazon

Recommended podcasts

This is Product Management from Alpha UX

This is Product Management from Alpha UX

This is Product Management was launched in 2015 and provides short but insightful interviews with smart product people from a wide variety of disciplines. The show format includes a set of "benchmark" questions at the end that provides unique insight into each guest.

Meetups to Explore

Every month, more and more opportunities spring up for Product Managers to meet and share ideas. We can speak directly to those in the Chicago area and recommend signing up for an upcoming event.

Chicago PMA - The Chicago Product Management Association, ChiPMA, is a professional networking group for sharing ideas and best practices, and building the product management community in the Chicago area.  Modeled after the Silicon Valley Product Managers Association (SVPMA,, ChiPMA's meetings expose members to current trends in innovation, product strategy, product marketing, development approaches and the latest tools and technologies. 

Learn more about upcoming meetings here

What is it like to be a PM?

For a solid year, I posted a short essay on a broad range of product management topics. Click below to explore the  articles, share with your colleagues and join the conversation.

Starting your first Product company?

There is a growing body of work to help new entrepreneurs looking to launch new products and to build businesses around those products. Below is a collection of articles that are guaranteed to help you avoid making costly mistakes early on in your venture - when it can cost you the most.


The Startup Framework To Validate Your Idea Before You Spend $1

“If your startup failed, it’s because it didn’t solve a tier 1 problem for a large enough audience — here’s how to never make that mistake again.”

Mitchell Harper, CEO of Capital Labs published a short but insightful article on Medium to advise aspiring product managers who can't afford to go down the wrong path.


We were struggling to narrow down the most important benefits in our value proposition. TheProductPath helped us separate our reseller message from our consumer message, ultimately simplifying our solution and improving our conversion results.
— Brett Moody, Eldest Daughter