Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love
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Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  552 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Why do some products make the leap to greatness while others do not? Creating inspiring products begins with discovering a product that 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 ask your engineering t...more
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by SVPG Press
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Adam Wiggins
"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
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
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
Greg Brown
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!
John
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.
John
Jun 14, 2009 John added it
great book on product management. attention product managers: read this
Adam
Jun 28, 2009 Adam is currently reading it
Great book. Give great information on details of Product Management.
Forrest
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
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
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
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
Molnár Tamás
The book itself was good to read and gave me some inspiration on my actual product. However everything written down was high level and not new to me. It was a great summary and organized my thoughts around product management.
Shuan
A very good introduction to software and Internet product management. Highly recommended to people who are new to this function; a great orientation to role and to the processes. To people who have been in the field for a couple of years already, it serves as a refresher; reminds us to do what we know we ought to do.

The key takeaways for me:
1. The primary responsibility of a product manager is to ensure that the development team is working on a product that the target customers will need and wil...more
Theo Baxter
Inspired offers up a lighter more fast paced way of doing Product Management. Allowing the transition to put Ideas into Reality with the least possible resistance. Although the book is very Software Product oriented, many of his ideas could be translated into Service Product Management.

Update: Wow, just finished reading Inspired. What a great book. It helps you priorities as a Product Manager, full of information which will change your PM style from slow water-flow to quick agile, and customer o...more
Ilia
May 30, 2010 Ilia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
If you are a product manager or aspire to be - read this book.

If you've ever had any role in a development organization, even a non-product one, you will have a lot to learn. Reading this book it's impossible not to come away with lots of ideas for what you should be doing better, and recognizing many past mistakes.

Product discovery was for me a big revelation. We were already doing it, kind of, but no-one was aware of it as a separate activity. It was very enlightening to see how Marty suggests...more
James Armstead
Lots of good information in here, especially working through the Agile sections.
Cerelle Centeno
Probably need to re-read some chapters...particularly the one about project management (over and over until it becomes my mantra). Also going to see if Lynn Reedy is hosting workshops.
Supermophed
A must read for any budding product manager. A great read for any product manager stuck in a rut that needs a refresher on best practices.
Lindsey Smith
A great overview of the product manager role in modern software development companies. It leads off with a solid case for why you would want to add this position into a software team. The heart of the book are the middle chapters that supply the what and the how , giving a smart guide to all of the areas that a PM could or should spend time and attention on. The last few chapters are quick hits of the author's lessons learned over the years.
Jane
This is *the* product management book. A good recommendation from a friend and one I've already recommended to two others.

It definitely fits into the mostly common sense bracket of books but it is very well written, with lots of points to action and consider. It is well paced and nicely divided between People, Process and Product.

Also, I highlighted so many bits on my kindle that it started storing ““.

Well worth reading.
Dan Graham
A good cursory look at the importance of product management (how to get a software product from idea to implementation). The books is a general outline of the Product Management role at various companies with some discussion of tangent roles and the different practices and techniques used to successfully manage product creation. Worth a read for anyone engaged in product investigation, product marketing, product engineering or usability and interactive design.
Simone Collins
Though I think Cagan's advice is best for more structured environments (and not for startups, which is where I'm trying to figure in some product management), Inspired did give me a bunch of ideas to work with. Cagan's advice is CERTAINLY more useful than the more old fashioned stuff taught to me in business school, so I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick look at some useful product management practices.
Andreabwilliams
I found this book expressed some excellent ideas in a clear and concise way with good examples on the pitfalls an organization may encounter along the way as it is building out brand new software or even improving existing products. It addressed the challenges of distributed teams and also presented what I believe are the correct roles to have on the team building and supporting the software.

A solid thumbs up from me.
Dave
This was a terrific book! I'm going to go back through and study my Kindle notes on this one right away. He offers a great overview of a very refined product development process, from finding a great idea, a lot on the vetting & discovery phase, some good info on development and taking things through to review and improvement. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in creating any kind of web software product.
James Tharpe
A decent guide to Product Management that contains some good food-for-thought for anyone involved in developing products, especially web-based ones. While I took much of the advice to heart, the book is too anecdotal for my taste. Many of the "arguments" for why you should follow the advice boils down to "trust me, I'm an expert." More studies and first-hand accounts would have driven home the points much more effectively.
Todd Webb
The title would lead you to believe that it talks about how to inspire your end-users and make them fall in love with your product. In fact the book is more a compendium of wisdom from a very experienced software product manager. I found Cagan's advice useful. If you aren't familiar with what product managers can or should be doing, and want to know, you will get something out of this book.
Roy Klein
The book comes highly recommended and the author seems authoritative enough, but I found it hard to finish (in fact, I read only 75% of it), as it has a repetitive, excruciating style. I suppose I will eventually read the rest of the book as I do consider the information to be valuable and mostly correct, but it's so hard to get absorbed into it that it'll probably take some time.
Jeremy
Excellent condensed knowledge base of the core principles necessary for Product Development teams and leadership. The examples give more focus to larger organizations with considerable resources, but you can apply quite a bit of the advice to small-mid size companies as well. If you don't have a dedicated Product Manager, this book will spell out for you why you need one.
Nico
Well, I wouldn't say it's a life-changer, but for people like me who work on creating web products, this book has more than enough useful advice to be worth the price of purchase. As another reviewer noted, it's too bad that an author who is so enthusiastic about data-driven decision-making uses such little data to bolster his points. Oh well. I'd still recommend the book.
Glenn Nano
Re-read most of it this week. Cagan relays crystal-clear focus on a product manager's responsibility to research and learn both the opportunity/problem to be addressed, and the methodology for discovering, prototyping and improving on a solution. Required reading for makers who care about users and building sustainable businesses.
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Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love

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