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Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  29 reviews
What is it about the top tech product companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Netflix and Tesla that enables their record of consistent innovation?

Most people think it's because these companies are somehow able to find and attract a level of talent that makes this innovation possible. But the real advantage these companies have is not so much who they hire, but rather ho
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published December 3rd 2020 by Wiley
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Daniil Lanovyi
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Empowered" is the best science fiction book of 2020.

Reading "Empowered" I caught myself having a strange feeling - like I was reading a good science fiction book. Everything described made perfect sense, it is smart and believable. And yet the world Marty describes feels not totally real to me. Like a utopia we all are trying to reach but still miles away from being there.
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business-books
While the 'Inspired' book focused on product development techniques, Empowered focused on people and organisation. I had a couple of epiphany moments while reading it, as I felt that words were finally put on some of the challenges I observe. Complete book on how to shape a great organisation, including a detailed case study. It's definitely a book to put in the hands of people managing tech/ux/data/product teams. ...more
Sebastian Gebski
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Direct continuation of "Inspired" - it picks it up where "I" has left it, so a reader doesn't have to go through the basic terminology, but "stacks up" more upon the foundations.

The form is equally good - clear, concise, to-the-point. It's not really based on facts and anecdotes - more like a synthesis of highly opinionated thoughts. But in my case I wasn't eager to question anything - my observation and experiences match the learnings Cagan brings to the table.

What are the concepts this book is
Mark Jansen
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
EMPOWERED is essential reading for the product leaders of companies building technology products, which includes the CEO, Head of Product and Product/Design/Engineering Leads. It describes how most tech companies today use feature teams, whereas the most successful tech companies use the empowered team model, and it provides the reader with a manual of how to transform from feature- to empowered teams. Aspiring product managers, designers and engineers and those looking to start their own compan ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for any professional who is managing or working with product teams. The book describes a lot of practices which are at core common sense, but which are not applicable in today’s organizations. I love the idea of empowered product teams, who have the autonomy to solve problems, and who are not “feature machines”. In order to get there a mindset shift needs to happen in organizations and leadership plays a key role in it.
Rian Merwe
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent companion book to INSPIRED. A must-read for product managers, product designers, and engineers alike. Key quote: "Great teams are made up of ordinary people who are inspired and empowered." ...more
Krishna Vempati
I found the insights shared in this book to be quite practical and useful. Too many organizations calling themselves product-led are anything but that. I was able to relate many of the anti-patterns highlighted in this book to my own experiences at previous workplaces.
Dawid Steenkamp
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've never agreed with everything Marty says.

Not now, not while reading Inspired , nor in all probability will I in any future releases from SVPG. And that's OK! The insights and reasoning behind his product strategy are so well defined and clearly based on years of real-world experience with the best in the industry that you'll find value in them eventually, even if you can't use it today.

Empowered follows up on Inspired taking a more practicable approach. Targetting those of us who
Gerard Chiva
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
With all due respect. Nothing new but great advice condensed in one book.

If you want to know what a modern product organization looks like, this book is for you.
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The best product company management book I read so far.

The book concentrates on how to run and structure a modern (digital) product company. A lot of turf is covered. From team structures to team topology. From team roles to leadership roles. From company vision to team objectives. That also means the authors expect the reader to already understand the heart of agile & lean product creation.

The key principles are around leadership and coaching.

The book is more or less an opinionated manifest ab
Jason Knight
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous book and a worthy successor to Marty Cagan's previous book "Inspired". Covers a LOT of ground, and should be required reading for any companies aiming to make high quality products, or companies aiming to transform into a product company. I don't think I've used the highlight function more than I have in this book! Recommended. ...more
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great companion to Inspired, previously published by the same author from SVPG. It explains, teaches and shows the benefits and components of empowered product teams. You will learn the role each empowered team member plays, the role of management in empowered teams, and the interplay between leadership and the empowered team to determine the correct objectives and key results for each team to pursue, in order to satisfy team and company objectives.
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read! I'm a big fan of Marty Cagan's views and suggestions for Product processes and this book is an amazing follow-up to the product discovery overview provided in "Inspired". This covers more on the organizational and manager/director view for product teams which is incredible for where I'm at currently as a Group PM. ...more
Viktor Lototskyi
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Thankfully, my fears that there will be some major overlaps with an INSPIRED were false.
Authors put together a very solid and up-to-date foundation for the success of product-driven companies, relevant for anyone in IT.
Moreover, there're many great references to books and materials that cover in-depth various relevant topics.
Nacho Bassino
An incredible book, covering the hardest topics of product leadership. A must read.
Jamie Mercer
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional Book... My new go to book for developing empowered product teams
Tõnu Vahtra
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing". This book as a whole was not as epic as INSPIRED, I definitely did get new ideas and made quite a few notes but while some parts were extremely interesting then for others I felt it was common sense or covered better in some other books.
Most interesting for me were the parts about business strategy where Marty is illustrating a situation of too many companies that try to do everything in parallel while strategy is actually focusing on t
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
Having read 2/3s of it, I consider this book really flat vs the expectation I built up from others’ fascination and it seems more like a hype to me. I started reading in in anticipation of learning more about successful product management. What I got, however, was a superficial collection of topics to lead product teams structured along 81 chapters.

That’s actually where my first criticism starts: a large number of chapters have very few pages. Often, it seems more like the authors brush over som
Alexandra Craciun
Feb 03, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021-list
If you work in developing Tech products, then this is probably a good book to read...However if you already read Marty’s first book Inspired, then you can definitely skip it. I was slightly dissappointed to see that he has re-rewritten Inspired + a study case at the end on how you can apply some of the principles in the books.
I do like Marty Cagan, but he could have done better with this book, especially since it’s coming with a high price tag.
Simon Hohenadl
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good extension to Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love. Not much new for me, but a comprehensive and well-written body of knowledge on product leadership. ...more
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a read! This is definitely going to become a staple in my collection. It will be a book I will come back to again and again over the years. Reading this reinforced in me the type of product leader I soon hope to be and made me feel like the type of leader I want to have for myself is possible. A must read!
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Truly inspiring and candid experience from some of the most successful product leaders in the world. A must read for all product managers & CEO’s for technology companies. How to structure, organize and empower your product companies to succeed.
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone in Product.

Helpful tips, advice, and strategies, abound, I think some of Empowered's real strength also comes from bringing clarity to several roles for orgs trying to build on top of Agile.

Funny to read so many passages and think "crap, that was me/us".
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great book for self-assesment. Must read for product leaders staffing a team.
Samantha Yeh
i borrowed this from a friend and found it so valuable i'm buying my own. as good as a book about product development could be? ...more
Levi Nelson
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Cagan continues to provide the best handbooks in the business for "product people" as he calls them. A must-read for anybody leading engineering, product, or design. ...more
Julio Lopes
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A must for any product leader or aspiring product leader.
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After 23 Years building software products with teams I felt seen. Especially the nod to those with a background in theatre. Great insights in this book and much of it actionable.
Dec 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just okay. Much of what's covered in the book he covers in his blog posts. Very little net-new information. ...more
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