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The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,748 ratings  ·  156 reviews
The missing manual on how to apply Lean Startup to build products that customers love

The Lean Product Playbook is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful pro

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published May 27th 2015 by Wiley (first published March 16th 2015)
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 ·  1,748 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a 24-year old product owner for an educational mobile app company and this book has been incredibly helpful for me as I learn about how to develop products. I come from a non-technical background and have only been the PO for a couple of months, so I have looked for any and every book to help me out.

This title says it all because it really is a playbook for how to go about building the product. I found it to be much more practical than the Lean Startup and here are some of the key takeaways
Cem Guvener
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great read for product management. Beginner or seasoned in product management? Doesn't matter. I'd definitely suggest it either to learn more or remind yourself some of the basics. ...more
Sebastian Gebski
No star rating as this is just the synthesis of previous "Lean series" books, mainly Lean Startup & Lean UX. It's well written, but there's barely any genuine & original content, except of 1 full chapter which is a real-life case of product pivot (very interesting, TBH).

So if you've already read other books in the series, you can easily skip this one. Otherwise, it's not a bad way of getting familiar with the idea - none of synthesised topics feel too shallow, which makes this book quite a good
Maria Lasprilla
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very practical book. Useful if you want to revisit some product management fundamentals or if you want an introduction to the topic.
Karandeep Baweja
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great read for entrepreneurs and PM's. Crystallises the whole process reduces uncertainty in one of the most important part of your startup's journey. ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For software, the product itself is intangible code, often running on servers that the customer never sees. The real-world manifestation of software products that customers see and use is the user experience (UX)

Customers and their needs, which you can target but can't change

See the difference between problem space and solution space.

Strategy Means Saying “No”

Usability answers the question, “Can customers use your product?” Delight answers the question, “Do customers enjoy using your product?”
Wyatt Thompson
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book. I've been a PM for a few years but mostly learned on the job. I wish I had read this when I first started. It allowed me to take a step back and see how everything is supposed to be working together.

I especially like the section of the Kano Model and scoring Must Have / Performance / Delighter features against competitors for a MVP. A lot of times, I think I've launched MVPs that are too "minimal".
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book to get an idea of what product management is. This lays a very good layout of the different concepts involved in PM. It also provides relatable examples and easy rules of thumbs for practitioners. I thoroughly enjoyed the metrics section of the book.
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very clear and concise methodology towards building a new product. It is not so much for Series C startups and beyond as much as it is for the earlier stage startups. Loved the logical flow in which the book is written. It is almost like a train journey starting from the idea station to the destination station of "live product" ...more
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Good enough to understand product management from start, sometime it is too much in detail and repetitive. Still good to start with this book.
Dmytro Chaban
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After this book, I'm feeling like I was really dumb. Now I understand how product development works and, most importantly, how to validate product-market fit ...more
Atilana Piñon
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a good book for people trying to initiate as a Product Manager in a tech company. It gives you the best practices to have a product-market fit with your product. ...more
Arnab Dey
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very well structured and helped me appreciate product management for what it is all over again!
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ilia by: Tim Herbig
if you only read one product management book, read this one. longer review coming, but this has the best overview and gives you a lot to work with right away.
Barry Graubart
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Really does a great job at walking through the full product development lifecycle from a product management standpoint. Great and practical focus on how to bring minimum viable product to market; how to run a beta to gather feedback, etc.

I also like that it's not limited to startups; most of what's in here is applicable to both startups and more mature businesses.

If you're a fan of Steve Blank's approach to product management, this is a great companion (and is better written than the
Gerry H
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the thing Olsen address so well in this book is how to quantify - put into a measurable metric - qualitative user stories to reinforce decision and determine priority in building product features. I'm a product builder and a marker launcher who came from creative agencies and market research agencies background; I think his methods are consistent with the principals I've applied at my previous roles ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
What this book essentially does, is taking Ries' lean startup methodology and applying it to NPD, in an extremely practical manner (going into details like booking rooms for user testing). It touches briefly, and again very practically, some related topics such as agile development. All in all, a good book for novice Product Owners and startup founders. ...more
Ryan Mcconville
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read on product management and marketing. Olsen writes clearly and concisely, providing lots of helpful frameworks and a couple illuminating case studies. Highly recommend as intro or refresher.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very nice framework that is not applied on software products development but in many aspects of business. I recommend this highly to whom willing to engage in new business wither startups or who are willing to renovate their existing business.
Sinan Tecer
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you already in project management, business analysis, and UX design It could give you information that you already know, however, It's the essence of everything on design, UX, project and product management. ...more
Ryan Willging
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A good overview for new product managers but quite 101 for experienced PM's who do a lot of reading about the craft of product management. May be better served going to Mind the Product or something similar and reading the blog posts. ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
It's the ultimate toolbox for product design and a encoclypedia about how to apply them. However, I sometimes miss depth in the respective mindset. If you're new to product design, start with Marty Cagan's "Inspired" and use the Lean Product Playbook as your box full of toys. ...more
Henry Suryawirawan
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Great book if you want to learn on how to create successful product. I really enjoyed reading it and would love to apply the playbook building a product.
Mahmoud Ghoz
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you are new to lean or product management this book is definitely for you
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: agile, tech
This book provides very practical steps in how businesses and teams can apply Lean Startup principles so that they can build a product that has good "product market fit".

product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market - Marc Andreessen

The advice and practices described in this playbook are centered around the product market fit pyramid, which lays out 5 concrete steps that build on each other.

Starting with the lowest and most foundational these are:
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biz, reviewed, kindle
This is the manual for product manager in a modern day start-up, presenting the thinking which mostly successful PMs are likely already practicing, and offering learnings for the aspects they may not yet be. It’s a great book to have on your shelf and refer to, as you move from one phase of product development to another.

The underlying model is the Product-Market Fit Pyramid, which consist of (from the top):
* UX
* Feature Set
* Value Proposition
* Underserved Needs
* Target Customers

The top three la
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
In an effort to increase my professional development In the product management space, I picked up this book to try to understand what good product management is, and what makes products succeed.

I was immediately impressed by the organization of the book. The text is broken down by core concept, starting with the area of the product incubation process, then moving on to product development and optimization. Some parts were more relevant than other parts, as much of it was specific to website-ori
Igor Đukić
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: accf-7-business
Nice book and very simple in essence.

And a few parts that resonated with me the most:

“In a nutshell: qualitative learnings helps you define your product and quantitative helps you optimize your product. You need both ... to create a successful product.”

“The size of your current business becomes less relevant; instead, how quickly you can learn from customers and iterate becomes the basis of competition. Speed is a weapon.”

“My definition of product-market fit is that you have built a product that
Keelan Cosgrove
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m a software engineer at a big tech company who’s trying to learn more about the product management space. Several of the concepts Dan introduced were already familiar to me from work, and are likely familiar to others considering the year of publication. I started this book soon after finishing Inspired by Marty Cagan.

The Lean Product Playbook is heavy on general processes but light on details. For example, Olsen spends several pages describing the interaction between importance and satisfact
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of the lean product development methodology

The author covered topics such as defining the targeted market segment, identifying underserved needs, determining the value propositions, developing and testing the MVP, identifying key metrics, and product optimization.

I especially enjoyed reading the sections about 1) differentiating the problem space and the solution space and 2) writing down the business formula and breaking it down to define the most important metric to work o
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Dan Olsen is an entrepreneur, consultant, and Lean product expert. He is also the author of The Lean Product Playbook, the missing manual on how to apply Lean Startup to build products that customers love. Learn more at

Dan earned a BS in electrical engineering from Northwestern and an MBA from Stanford. He also earned a master's degree in industrial engineering fr

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