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Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  763 ratings  ·  83 reviews
In today's lightning-fast technology world, good product management is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Yet, managing human beings and navigating complex product roadmaps is no easy task, and it's rare to find a product leader who can steward a digital product from concept to launch without a couple of major hiccups. Why do some product leaders succeed whil ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 3rd 2017 by O'Reilly Media
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Matt Henry
I was so excited for this book, but it turned out to be an absolute chore to read. The valuable insights were few and far between, the tone was lifeless, the structure was bizarre with lots of repetition, quotations from practitioners felt randomly thrown in.

I'm lucky to live near the Pluralsight headquarters and have heard Nate Walkingshaw and other Pluralsight PMs speak about their processes. I got so much more insight from a one hour talk than from this entire book. There also is a level of
...more
Teddy Zetterlund
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Product Leadership is the perfect companion to Marty Cagan's book Inspired (a PMs bible, read it if you haven't already). People new to product leadership will undoubtedly learn a lot from Product Leadership, and experienced product leaders will be inspired and learn a great deal as well.
Ethan
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book on product that leaves out the jargon and fine details of what that really matters in the longer run. It is more of a career companion code book that you go back to refer to again to ensure you're roughly on the right track.
Amrit
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2017
What inspired me to read this book was interviews with more than 100 product managers and how they built awesome products. Unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to my expectation. More details down below but first some pros of the book.

This book is good compilation of what product management is all about. It even takes it a step further to explain product leadership and share how it’s different from product management. If one is starting out in product management, this can be a good beginning
...more
Stefan Schmager
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I feel the title of this book is kind of misleading - it could also be called “Product Management 101” or something like this.

It covers a lot of ground and shares very valuable insights and practices which are not only useful for product leaders, but everyone working in a product-related environment. It’s fundamental and specific, tactical and strategic. It explains desired relationships and models for product teams, either within a startup, an emerging or enterprise organisation.

I wish this b
...more
Danial Kalbasi
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has many valuable notes and talks! It reviewed various teams and companies and interviewed with their leaders. Another part of the book is going through the basic of product management and partially UX.

However, this book can be much better and deeper. For instance, it covers the metrics that product managers need to use in their product performance evaluation, but the details are not deep enough to give you a practical ground. This gets annoying sometimes while you reading the chapter
...more
Kelly
Didn't finish.
Vince Nguyen
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book on product leadership and product management. Insightful, practical tips and guidelines drawn from industry leaders.

The book genuinely inspired me to learn more about PM and seek out challenges to take it to the next level - Product Leadership!
Stefan Ritter
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The ABC of product management.
Daniel
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good!

Recommended to all people doing product: managers, engineers and designers. Really easy to read and concise chapters with useful and clear concepts.
Ben
May 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not worth reading. Very high level and not very insightful if you've worked in product management before. The book has a tendency to state the obvious (things along the lines of "having a product strategy is critical") and the pulls quotes from people to support these rather obvious statements. Not sure I learned much from this book.
Justohidalgo
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essay-business
There are some bad reviews of this book. I understand some of the reasons, like the constant repetition of some concepts that are quite clear to understand. But the ones related to how these concepts can be already found in other places are not relevant to me. The main issue of this book is that the title and blurb generates some expectations that are not fully covered. Many of the chapters summarize what a product manager is. The ones that focus on actual product leadership are actually descrip ...more
Alex Watson
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
The mark of a successful career advice/strategy book is how many pages I've folded the corner of to come back to later and there's lots in this volume on running Digital Product teams. Wide range of interviews and examples, my only criticism would be (and this based on personal need) wanting more on working enterprise/traditional orgs.
Petr Augustin
Mar 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
For some reason, this book just didn't jived with me.
One is definitely the overall quality of the paperback, structure and these weird black and white low quality photos?? And other one is the quality of writing, mental models this book is trying to create and its substance. Compare to something like https://strategyzer.com/books/value-p..., which oozes character and thoughful content.

Half of Product Leadership is just absolutely basic observations on the industry, it seems more like a book for
...more
Akemi Egami
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lance Willett
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wonderful overview of what it means to build software products and teams.

First key point: the best product leaders tell a story about the product in the context of a customer’s success.

Second key point: "Product Leads" are leaders and not just managers.

Product Lead’s job is not to constantly manage or direct, but lead the team by clearly articulating the goals. They provide context (via customers, market landscape).


I ❤️ this! "Dream in years; plan in months; evaluate in weeks; ship daily." —DJ P
...more
Benjamin Eins
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately this book didn’t offer any interesting insights to me. The content is focused on the absolute basics of product management and general leadership. There’s a lot of repetition. Many of the quotes by product leaders aren’t very valuable, as they too are focused on the very basics of product leadership.

I didn’t find interesting real world examples and anecdotes that I had hoped for. The book describes product leadership in a very abstract way. That results in abstract and shallow rec
...more
Andrius Baranauskas
Good to start with, although raw around the edges — as the discipline itself

It is great to see one of the first, if not the first, books on Product Leadership! Being certainly useful and extensive, it also feels a bit raw and unprocessed, and quite a difficult read. It could benefit from more drive and positivity, better organisation and less repetition.
KC
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
In my efforts to grow into my professional role as Product Manager, I jump into some O’Reilley publications, which seem to be the contemporary textbook-like gold standard of the practice, at least in the tech world.

Product Management is described as sitting at the center of UX, tech, and business. Product managers need to lasso everything together to meet release targets, satisfy customers, and contribute to overall business objectives and revenue streams.

One of the most valuable sections was ab
...more
Charles
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Going to have to agree with the naysayers on this one.

I wanted to like this book a lot. Unfortunately, it exists solely as an exercise in confirmation bias. If you are a product manager, then most of this will or should seem like second nature to you. If you are not a product manager, then there is no discernible content to educate you on what being a product manager actually means.

Sound too harsh? Here's a passage I encountered while I was speed-reading to the end:

"Great product management 'is
...more
David Mytton
I find it annoying how some howto-style books spend a lot of time explaining what they're going to tell you in the next section and chapters. It feels like it's dumbing down the content to a) tell you what you're about to be told; b) tell you; c) summarise what they just told you. That might be fine in a speech or verbal talk but it's tedious and unnecessary in print. At least for me. Maybe it does work though because this is an O'Reilly book and they are a successful publisher of this kind of c ...more
Eduardo Xavier
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This book not only explain the role change from “project mangament” to “product managemnet” but also layouts the role of “product leadership”. It states that not every manager has the atributes of a leader, but all leaders has all atributes of a managers. From that view the authors extremly centers a focus on customer experience from end-to-end.

But in order to deal to the high throughput of ideas, teams should connect the product vision and goals with product roadmap, not only doing feature afte

...more
Ismail Elshareef
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, business
A good book that sums up what matters most in product leadership. Contrary to some beliefs, hard skills are not at the top of the list. The most critical attributes of a product leader are:

– Highly Collaborative: They know how to work effectively with others to move the company's missions forward. Their high level of empathy makes them great at understanding what motivates others and tapping into that to align everyone on the mission at hand.

Solid Communicator: Leaders, especially product lead
...more
Outdoors Nerd
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting but.... The insights from leaders in the field are great but not greatly detailed. The index of sources is amazing; a huge rabbit hole to lose yourself down. If you are an aspiring product person it is worth reading but if you want practical guidance there are other books eg "Inspired" by Marty Cagan I reviewed a few weeks ago.

Covers 3 main areas...

How to create sucessfull teams

How to guide your team from startup to enterprise

Strategies and tactics for working with everyone else outs
...more
Gedi Siuskus
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pm
The ode to product leadership or product management.

PROs+
+ book written by expert(s) in the field
+ with vast array of examples, quotes and book references
+ presents all the key ingredients of product leadership with answering all the WHY question

CONs
- this is philosophical book rather than practical how-to / method toolkit
- lots of generations and claims are presented as axioms, what does not need examples or explanations
- personally for me it seems that the book presents & answers the questio
...more
Yoric
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I identify myself about leadership not being "officially recognized as part of the job" but being necessary.

One idea jumps from the introduction:
Ultimately, the job of the manager or leader is to get results through other people.


I always felt somewhat uncomfortable in an organization, being either "a programmer" or "a lead developer" just because of that.
My mindset is people who do the hard work should deserve the reward, so why is that the "leader" position is higher than the "doer"?
I felt unco
...more
Cristian
I got this book thinking I was going to know more about how to build top-notch products, but instead I got an eye opener story about leadership, healthy work environments and how these elements create the foundation to deliver premium solutions. And that of course applies to every single department within a company, but here -when you have to influence without any power- recruitment, training and "attention to the person behind the employee" are critical to create cohesive, committed and passion ...more
Logan
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly, there are still not many books on the important no-longer-burgeoning field of Product Management. I’ve previously reviewed the popular Marty Cagan book “Inspired”, which is a decent “Product Management 101” introduction to the field. Product Leadership is a very solid “PM 201” level course, this time focusing much more on the “management” aspect than the tactics of product development. A lot of the content in this short book is interviews with product managers about their experienc ...more
Mike Siegel
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This book did a good job of identifying the balances one must seek as a Product Manager. The book incorporates a good chunk of real-world examples but I would have liked more examples and less theory.

The biggest takeaway for me was their lists of questions to ask in certain scenarios. The book did a good job defining the qualities to look for in a Product Leader with loads of practical advice on how to hire.
Kaspars Koo
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Waste of time.
An easy read, but at the end of the day did not feel that I took anything from this book. Also, the structure of the book did not make any sense and seemed like the author just tried to put together quotes of 100 PMs in one text without a clear narrative or goal what he wanted to achieve with the book.
However, if you are new to the discipline, you will probably find some useful information and maybe the book will even be enjoyable.
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“What is common in high-performance teams is that they are cross-functional, collocated, and autonomous.” 0 likes
“In order to set your team up for success as it scales, it’s important to consider what the core product and design principles for your organization are — and articulate them clearly so everyone in the team understands them and can apply them in their work.” 0 likes
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