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Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  11,441 ratings  ·  685 reviews
The basic premise of Inspired is that the best tech companies create products in a manner very different from how most companies create products. The goal of the book is to share the techniques of the best companies. This book is aimed primarily at Product Managers working on technology-powered products. That includes the hundreds of "tech companies" like Google, Facebook, ...more
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published December 4th 2017 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Adam Wiggins
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Chris Kang
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
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Adam Zabell
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Maria Lasprilla
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: strategy
It wouldn't be so sexy or approved by the marketing department, but a more accurate name for this book would be "Product Management 101". Recommended.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly one of very few books actually written all about Product Management, and it's a good one. I love how it starts with a bunch of things that people think are Product Management but which aren't. I also like the simple framework and definition of PM around valuable+useable+feasible, and how he builds up detail on achieving those qualities through the book. Got a bit dry as it came towards the end, but was a good length. Highly recommend for anyone in or thinking of moving into PM.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in a while. It got me thinking about a lot of stuff that’s going on in our industry and it also helped me bridge the gap in my transition from a company oriented on providing services to clients to a company owning their own product and oriented towards keeping their customers happy and improving their product. Although I am not a Product Manager (which is the main intended audience), I would say that I am at the best point in my career to have read this book an ...more
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book on Product Management I've ever read. Not only you get a depth and years of experience and wisdom in your hand, but it's also so incredibly well structured! Definitely will come back to this book again and again. Must read for a PM.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The information in the book was good and useful to learn how things work or should work on a product team, but the delivery was a little slow and dry.

Petar Ivanov
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: startups, product
Really great book! It presents what's to be a Product Manager/Owner and how to do it well. It describes the whole puzzle in a product company, starting from the VPs, going through the engineers and designers and finishing with the product manager(s), marketing and sales departments.

There are several key points but the most vital one is to create a high-fidelity prototype, defining your customer personas and start talking and interviewing your customers/early-adopters.
It's important to mention h
Leonardo Andreucci
A must read for anyone involved in building digital products, not only Product Managers but also software engineers, tech leads, team leaders, engineering managers and so on. For every reading session I had lots of insights to share with our team!
Peter Gfader
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don't know but the content seems to be dated.


>> Once you've validated a product and delivered the specifications to engineering, you must make a fundamental mindset shift from product discovery to execution.
>> There should be no further changes to the product specifications after this.

1. This clear distinction between discovery and delivery seems very old thinking to me.
2. When do we write the specification?
3. No further changes to the product spec after this?
4. Lots of dedicated r
Stefan Kanev
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has been a wake up call.

It presents a unified philosophy of what the job of a product manager is and how to do it well. It covers who the people should be, how the product should be built, what the process should be and what is the right culture. The book is structured into 67 short chapters and can be consumed in small bites or long binges. The style is concise and to the point.

I can't overstate how eye-opening it was. The role of the product management has always been slightly weird
Nilesh Patil
I wish it could have added more information about how to build the products. This book basically (most of the pages) talk about how to build teams, hire right people and other backoffice related information rather than focusing much on customer mindset, product life cycle, discovery, applying market research etc.
Philip Joubert
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm frustrated with myself that I didn't read this many moons ago. This is the book for you if you are:
- An aspiring product manager
- Work with product managers (e.g. you're a software engineer or designer)
- You're building out a product team
- You are interested in how modern tech teams structure themselves
Raphael Donaire
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author shared a lot of good examples and practices in product management. If you don't have experience with the subject, the book will be useful. The content doesn't have a logical structure, and sometimes, you could feel lost.

The main highlights I would share at this review are:

1. Outcomes are better than outputs. In a transition of project mindset for a product one, the orgazination should stop seeking deadlines and roadmap deliverables beside that it should look for business models innova
Timon Ruban
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the last few weeks I kept asking other product leaders what book they thought I should read to learn about product management. If I were to make a histogram of the responses, you’d need a magnifying glass to see what the other books than this one were.

Inspired is an easy read with lots of valuable advice. Cagan is a big fan of spelling out lists (here are the X things you need to consider for Y). I am an engineer who likes to put thoughts into boxes and order and reorder them until they fit,
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very useful, textbook-like rundown of tech product management. With principles distilled from industry leaders, nearly every facet of product management is covered here.

Unlike some other similar books, this one is not anecdotal or autobiographical but rather focuses on the process, the responsibilities, and the skills and sensibilities required to succeed in the product space.

I took many notes from the book and worked them into training and material for my current job, and expect to re
Veronica Moss
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-business
A friend recommended this book to me, and I'm glad she did - it was an informative read about product management at a software company. As someone with a background in psychology, sociology and business, I walked away learning many new things about innovation and product development process. Recommended if you are working in tech, particularly if you are a business person @ a tech company.
Vanderlei Alves
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, technology
A straightforward, quality guide to product management, or how to create a structure that can effectively and sustainably develop products with value.
Տիգրան Ղաբուզյան
A bible for product managers.
Abhïshék Ghosh
1. Golden rules for product managers: half our product ideas don't work because of problems with
o Value: customers aren't as excited and choose not to pay for it or buy it
o Usability: too complicated to use and is more trouble than it is worth
o Feasibility: the organization simply can't afford the cost and time to deliver the product
o Business viability: legal, financial or business constraints that block the solution from launch

2. How do you discover new ideas: Opportunity Assessment Technique
Abhinav Krishna
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Some useful bits. But mostly a disconnected collection of best PM practices.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A pretty speedy read, but a great introduction to Product Management and the breadth of skills and responsibilities of the role. What Cagan says makes a huge amount of sense, and you’ll be very quick to recognise the things your own employer is getting right (or, more likely, wrong) when it comes to discovering and building its products.

There’s a tonne of actionable advice here, although lots of it is probably best done with further tactical materials, which will be readily available online.

My o
Alex Watson
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first edition and read it often during the early phases of my product career. I’m further along in my work now, and so is the field of product management in the UK, and so I felt like I got less from the second edition - there are over sixty chapters and so some end up being short and fairly superficial - the ones on ethics, agile at scale in particular - and it seems the whole idea of encompassing all of product management in one book is too big of an ask. It desperately needs new e ...more
Dmitry Martsinkevich
When i started the book it was a bit irritating to read that just every person in a product team is like a totally vital part. But it turned that Inspired is more like a Bible for product managers. It is full of good practices and clear methodologies. Not many i could use in our very small team but still picked some to be used as common practices. You can open almost any page and find a new thing to implement in your team. Most of the simple ideas are written in short without long argumentation ...more
Sten Tamkivi
Fantastic, compact summary of principles successful tech companies use breaking their work between small, focused product teams. We were striving towards this at Skype as we grew, I've tried to build early Teleport as a crisp product team; and now we are heading that way again with Topia, after merging 3 development teams and cultures over last 18 months.

Marty speaks from personal experience from Netscape to eBay, but also from his advice work running Silicon Valley Product Group. Must read for
Mohammad Hussein Tavakoli Bina
This book is an encyclopedia of product management.

You find many terms and concepts in the product world in this book defined, and the definition is clear and meaningful. The book doesn't coin existing practices and introduces techniques in a way that includes other coined techniques.

But unfortunately, if you are looking for a manual to be guided in a specific area of product management, this book is not for you. Covered subjects are shallow and don't provide much detail.

Still, I recommend the b
Arunthep Sangvareethip
Not just a product book, this is an ultimate book for building great culture that happen to deliver the best possible product

I fell in love with the first version. This version is going above and beyond what I had in mind when buying. I just told my team of Product Manager Team that if there is a book for 2018 that worth every second to read, this is the one!
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