Inspired 2nd Ed.

How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

Marty Cagan

Publisher: Wiley, 2018, 349 pages

ISBN: 978-1-119-38750-3

Keywords: Product Management

Last modified: May 4, 2019, 12:13 p.m.

How do today's most successful tech companies — Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla — design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than the vast majority of tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love — and that will work for your business.

With sections on assembling the right people and skillsets, discovering the right product, embracing an effective yet lightweight process, and creating a strong product culture, readers can take the information they learn and immediately leverage it within their own organizations — dramatically improving their own product efforts.

Whether you're an early stage startup working to get to product/market fit, or a growth-stage company working to scale your product organization, or a large, long-established company trying to regain your ability to consistently deliver new value for your customers, INSPIRED will take you and your product organization to a new level of customer engagement, consistent innovation, and business success.

Filled with the author's own personal stories — and profiles of some of today's most-successful product managers and technology-powered product companies, including Adobe, Apple, BBC, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix — INSPIRED will show you how to turn up the dial of your own product efforts, creating technology products your customers love.

The first edition of INSPIRED, published ten years ago, established itself as the primary reference for technology product managers, and can be found on the shelves of nearly every successful technology product company worldwide. This thoroughly updated second edition shares the same objective of being the most valuable resource for technology product managers, yet it is completely new — sharing the latest practices and techniques of today's most-successful tech product companies, and the men and women behind every great product.

    • Preface to the Second Edition
  • PART I: Lessons from Top Tech Companies
      1. Behind Every Great Product
      2. Technology‐Powered Products and Services
      3. Startups: Getting to Product/Market Fit
      4. Growth‐Stage Companies: Scaling to Success
      5. Enterprise Companies: Consistent Product Innovation
      6. The Root Causes of Failed Product Efforts
      7. Beyond Lean and Agile
      8. Key Concepts
  • PART II: The Right People
    • Product Teams
      1. Principles of Strong Product Teams
      2. The Product Manager
      3. The Product Designer
      4. The Engineers
      5. Product Marketing Managers
      6. The Supporting Roles
      7. Profile: Jane Manning of Google
    • People @ Scale
      1. The Role of Leadership
      2. The Head of Product Role
      3. The Head of Technology Role
      4. The Delivery Manager Role
      5. Principles of Structuring Product Teams
      6. Profile: Lea Hickman of Adobe
  • PART III: The Right Product
    • Product Roadmaps
      1. The Problems with Product Roadmaps
      2. The Alternative to Roadmaps
    • Product Vision
      1. Product Vision and Product Strategy
      2. Principles of Product Vision
      3. Principles of Product Strategy
      4. Product Principles
    • Product Objectives
      1. The OKR Technique
      2. Product Team Objectives
    • Product @ Scale
      1. Product Objectives @ Scale
      2. Product Evangelism
      3. Profile: Alex Pressland of the BBC
  • PART IV: The Right Process
    • Product Discovery
      1. Principles of Product Discovery
      2. Discovery Techniques Overview
    • Discovery Framing Techniques
      1. Opportunity Assessment Technique
      2.  Customer Letter Technique
      3. Startup Canvas Technique
    • Discovery Planning Techniques
      1. Story Map Technique
      2. Customer Discovery Program Technique
      3. Profile: Martina Lauchengco of Microsoft
    • Discovery Ideation Techniques
      1. Customer Interviews
      2. Concierge Test Technique
      3. The Power of Customer Misbehavior
      4. Hack Days
    • Discovery Prototyping Techniques
      1. Principles of Prototypes
      2. Feasibility Prototype Technique
      3. User Prototype Technique
      4. Live‐Data Prototype Technique
      5. Hybrid Prototype Technique
    • Discovery Testing Techniques
      1. Testing Usability
      2. Testing Value
      3. Demand Testing Techniques
      4. Qualitative Value Testing Techniques
      5. Quantitative Value Testing Techniques
      6. Testing Feasibility
      7. Testing Business Viability
      8. Profile: Kate Arnold of Netflix
    • Transformation Techniques
      1. Discovery Sprint Technique
      2. Pilot Team Technique
      3. Weaning an Organization Off Roadmaps
    • Process @ Scale
      1. Managing Stakeholders
      2. Communicating Product Learnings
      3. Profile: Camille Hearst of Apple
  • PART V: The Right Culture
      1. Good Product Team/Bad Product Team
      2. Top Reasons for Loss of Innovation
      3. Top Reasons for Loss of Velocity
      4. Establishing a Strong Product Culture



Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Very Good ******** (8 out of 10)

Last modified: Sept. 13, 2020, 4:51 p.m.

What a surprise! To find a very good book about Product Management that manages to covers all the basics and mindsets (even though I am a bit disappointed that the business parts are only marginally described).

If you really want to know what Product Management is, this is the book to read.

Highly recommended.


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