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:
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
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.
- Episode 19 - Developer Evangelism with Tim Falls, Vice President of Community at Keen.io
- Episode 6 - Experimentation with Tristan Kromer
- Episode 3 - User Engagement with Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products
- Episode 1 - Demand Validation with Steve Cohn, Founder of Validately
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, www.svpma.org), ChiPMA's meetings expose members to current trends in innovation, product strategy, product marketing, development approaches and the latest tools and technologies.
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.
A year in the Life of a Product Manager
- Managing Stakeholders 14
- Product Strategy 14
- Product Culture 13
- The PM Role 11
- Product Validation 10
- Roadmap Planning 10
- Customer Research 7
- Feature Prioritization 6
- Product Teams 6
- Voice of the Customer 6
- Product Release 5
- Product Roadmap 5
- Product Team Management 5
- Product Feedback 4
- Customer Development 3
- Opportunity Assessment 2
- Product Portfolio 2
- Competitive Analysis 1
- Product Data 1
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.
“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.