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Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  2,898 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
Why do some products make the leap to greatness while others donot? Creating inspiring products begins with discovering a productthat is valuable, usable, and feasible. If you can not do this,then it s not worth building anything. - How do you decide which product opportunities to pursue? - How do you get evidence that the product you are going to askyour engineering team ...more
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published June 18th 2008 by SVPG Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Adam Wiggins
Jun 09, 2015 Adam Wiggins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
"Inspired" is a well-written, thorough, and down-to-earth work covering all aspects of product management at software companies.

To paraphrase/summarize: the job of the product manager is to discover a product that is useful, feasible, and valuable. They do this through understanding users and potential users in detail and evaluating opportunities to solve problems for those users. Once an opportunity is identified, they create a prototype, validate the prototype with users, then work with engine
...more
Ellen Chisa
Feb 01, 2014 Ellen Chisa rated it it was amazing
I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't read this book until today. I's pretty a concise summary of all the other articles, books, and conversations that I've had in the field. You could probably save a lot of time by reading this book when you're first interested in PM, rather than after doing it for four years. (But re-read it then, too!)

I particularly liked that he discussed:

- Clear definition of role separation and responsibilities of marketing, PM, interaction design, development.
- The emphasis on
...more
Chris
Jun 18, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
Inspired is pretty high level and tends to focus more on the organizational challenges related to product development. I feel that there are some better resources out there (especially online blogs) if you as a product manager are looking for strong guidance at a more tactical level. Although, the SVPG website has some useful resources. I kept putting off reading this book, and after having experienced the growing pains as a PM and other major organizational transitions, most of the insights the ...more
Amr Salah
Jan 09, 2015 Amr Salah rated it it was amazing
A must-read book for every designer out there, and is considered as the holy book for product management as well.
Adam Zabell
Feb 23, 2015 Adam Zabell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
tl;dr - products need prototypes, are grounded in answering emotions, and can always be improved.

Product management starts with this book. If you want be one, start here, then go find something that talks about the products in your field of interest, or describes the process by which you get yourself hired, or the way you raise capital to fund your own product. But, start here to learn what it means to build a product quickly and successfully.

Not that you're guaranteed success. Especially when y
...more
Disha
Jan 25, 2016 Disha rated it it was ok
Picked up this book after a great review in Economic Times. The content is very disappointing to say the least. The author has missed on several key responsibilities and challenges of product management and has only penned a theoretical and ideal world description. The book does not talk in examples and almost sounds like a boring lecture. Not for beginners and surely not for veterans either. Disappoint s.
Greg Brown
Apr 28, 2012 Greg Brown rated it really liked it
Read this book for work, and it really is the best book on how to create products out there. A ton of useful advice encapsulated in a good theoretical framework. Helped crystallize many of my existing intuitions while giving them the rigor and depth needed for actual practice. Recommended if you want to make good things!
Amelia
Jul 07, 2015 Amelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Has a lot of great advice for anyone curious about how to build something, not just for product managers. One of my favorite things about this book is the amount of concrete, actionable pieces of advice, as opposed to big lofty guiding principles that sound great but leave you wondering what to do next.
DV
Sep 03, 2016 DV rated it really liked it
With Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love, author Marty Cagan presents the culmination of twenty years of experience defining and building products for arguably some of the most successful technology companies of the past two decades, including eBay, Hewlett-Packard and America Online.

Cagan clearly defines and separates the roles of product management (including experience design and usability testing) from project management (including engineering) and product marketing. Stating that
...more
John
Mar 01, 2009 John rated it it was amazing
Great book on how to be a good product manager. Has a lot of good points on how to figure out what to build, and how to build it with minimal cost & risk by making sure it's what people will want to use.
Dave Bolton
Dec 16, 2012 Dave Bolton rated it really liked it
A good concise overview of software product development, that doesn't pander to any particular group in the chain. Going to order some copies for my team.
Allan
Mar 01, 2015 Allan rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
A great book for product managers. As a software developer, I recognized many of the themes and how the principles relate to creating better code (or more often, how failing at them leads to poor experiences). I especially like the idea of proving out ideas before beginning development. But a lot of the book was tangential to my job. It's valuable to know how product managers ought to behave, but there wasn't much for me to apply directly.

My current employer is actively striving to apply the con
...more
Kresimir Mudrovcic
Sep 19, 2014 Kresimir Mudrovcic rated it really liked it
Interesting, insightful, easy to read and digest, useful tips for anyone who is into Product Management or startups.
Andreas Manessinger
I read this book following the recommendation in Jeff Patton's book "User Story Mapping" and I am glad I did. "Inspired" is mostly about consumer products and much less about creating custom software (the kind of software that I write at work). Still, the important thing is independent of what you write. The important thing Marty Cagan teaches is, that a solid technical implementation is really only a small part of a product's success. What counts at least as much is, that you implement somethin ...more
John
Jun 14, 2009 John added it
great book on product management. attention product managers: read this
Adam
Nov 28, 2014 Adam added it
Great book. Give great information on details of Product Management.
Nikhil
Apr 15, 2015 Nikhil rated it really liked it
The book does well in detailing out the functions of a product manager. It emphasizes on important distinctions such as the one between a product manager and a product marketing owner. The final 3 chapters list out useful questionnaires that are quite helpful.

Each role in a product team is clearly defined and articulated. The process to follow and the various methodologies involved in creating a product are also described in excellent detail.

Overall a good read on the process involved in creatin
...more
Forrest
Feb 26, 2011 Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I’ve worked with one or two outstanding product managers over the years, and a whole bunch of mediocre ones. Unfortunately, most of my practical knowledge of the field comes from the latter group. That’s why Inspired was such a fantastic revelation for me. Writing with the voice of experience in a direct, honest manner, Marty Cagan cuts straight to the heart of where those mediocre managers went wrong and why the good ones are so successful.

In addition to the excellent breakdown of roles, in whi
...more
Michael Finney
Jan 04, 2011 Michael Finney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
If you're looking for a book on product management and you work with digital/online products, this book is for you.

There are many frameworks around for how to organize managers, marketers, project leads and engineers around a single product. If you are familiar with those frameworks, you know that sometimes they don't always seem to "fit" the digital marketplace. This book is the bridge between those frameworks and the world in which me and my fellow digital product managers live.

The author does
...more
Johan
Oct 02, 2011 Johan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great reading for any product manager both the experienced but also (especially) one new to the profession.

I really like all parts of the book and how Marthy Cagan explains the different roles that usually are needed to ship a great product and how failing to assign a person to each role and/or giving the same person (usually the product manager) to many roles will have a very negative impact to the success of the product.

I also enjoyed how the author stress the importance of great
...more
Adam
Dec 30, 2009 Adam rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this and thought it was probably one of the best product management books that I have picked up in some time.

Among my likes were that it was concise and easy to read and it had a focus on software development, as opposed to hardware or general technology, which most product management texts tend to have. I thought that most of Marty's points were very good; in fact, it is hard to read this book without looking back at your own organization and taking notes on past mistakes.

My on
...more
Dave
Mar 13, 2015 Dave rated it really liked it
Inspired seems to be written for people who are new to product management, or for people who have been managing product with limited success.

I was expecting a theoretical discussion that examines the underpinnings of great product, providing original insight into both product design and product management. While the author does provide some theoretical groundwork, much of Inspired is dedicated to procedurals (how to do X in Y context).

Julian Dunn
Dec 03, 2015 Julian Dunn rated it it was amazing
Great book. Clear, concise prose, short chapters, easily digestible by anyone involved in product development.

What I also liked is that Cagan addresses real life situations such as, what if you're working in a large enterprise? What if you're using waterfall methods? This is great, because not everyone in the world can either tableflip their processes overnight, or go to work for a startup, yet they still need to make successful products.
Ryan Mcconville
Oct 11, 2015 Ryan Mcconville rated it it was amazing
Smart, concise, accessible introduction to product management for software development. Highly recommend for anyone thinking of getting into any aspect of product development (product management, project management, interaction design, visual design, engineering) and even more so for executives or general managers without a product background who are tasked with overseeing software builds.
Tomas K
Dec 29, 2014 Tomas K rated it it was amazing
Nice reading about real experience, describing environment which may be very familiar to you if you work in software industry. What I especially liked is the absence of "true and best advices" since the book is more about good practice and observance of what not to do. It was really nice and relaxing reading (sometimes because you realize you are doing the same right thing :-) )
Sondra
Jan 24, 2016 Sondra rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
The book's title made it sound like it offers more than it actually does, but there are some useful bits of information to be found. This book would be good for someone new to Product Management. I felt like I was reading more of a collection of blogs than a coherent book. I wish the author would have weaved more real-life examples in with the recommendations he made.
Christina Jain
Aug 13, 2015 Christina Jain rated it really liked it
Cagan shares best practices in a wide range of topics related to Product Management, from defining and hiring a PM team to tools and processes he recommends for product development. The book is better suited for reference as its chapters are vignettes organized in barely perceivable categories, but if you do read this book, have patience and stay the course. While Cagan can be repetitive and the book is starting to show its age as many of his suggestions are now standard practice, Inspired is a ...more
Lucas
Jul 30, 2014 Lucas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has a huge reputation, but I found it only ok.

The first problem is that as an experienced software product manager I found much of it obvious. The second is that the claims are based on anecdotes instead of evidence.

That said, I found it helpful to discuss details about the product manager's work.
Ryan Seamons
Jun 03, 2015 Ryan Seamons rated it it was amazing
Shelves: product
Awesome walk through a number of real issues in building products. Love books like this from someone who actually knows (doesn't just study other people doing it and then write). You can tell that Marty has been in the thick of building products. Must read for anyone in product management.
Clark Cole
Apr 22, 2015 Clark Cole rated it it was amazing
Excellent details on what a Product Manager's work content should be- not marketing and not project management. Includes suggestions on what being a PM is all about and how to successfully carry out that work. Excellent intro to the job. Wish I'd found this book earlier!
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“Is my product compelling to our target customer? Have we made this product as easy to use as humanly possible? Will this product succeed against the competition? Not today’s competition, but the competition that will be in the market when we ship? Do I know customers who will really buy this product? Not the product I wish we were going to build, but what we’re really going to build? Is my product truly differentiated? Can I explain the differentiation to a company executive in two minutes? To a smart customer in one minute? To an industry analyst in 30 seconds?” 1 likes
“Product management is about insights and judgment, both of which require a sharp mind. Hard work is also necessary, but for this job, it is not sufficient.” 1 likes
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