Pete Vejanurug's Reviews > INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

INSPIRED by Marty Cagan
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it was amazing

If you've read the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries, this book goes into another dimension of the same concept around MVP's and validating your hypotheses early in order to mitigate the wasted efforts, time, and dollars spent on delivering a product that is not a great fit.

The author served as the VP of product for ebay and came from a software engineer at HP Enterprise. The credentials are strong.

To summarize the golden nuggets from this highly insightful book about Product Discovery I'll offer 3 key points:

1. Great products are built on a continuous discovery process where changes are delivered incrementally and validated with reference customers over time. A product should not simply be a result of a feature list that are gathered from asking a customer what they want. It should be incremental insights gathered from proper product discovery techniques with a set of real and unbiased 'reference customers' interacting with the high-fidelity prototype rather than a consumer survey. This is simply because we need to observe the user "in the wild", as opposed to letting them shift into "critique mode" and tell you what they like or don't like.

2. There are 4 main risks that new products face:
1) Value Risk - "Will the customer be willing to buy/use the product?"
2) Usability Risk - "Will the customer be able to use the product?"
3) Feasibility Risk - "Do we have the right technology to deliver the product?"
4) Business Viability Risk - "Does the product make sense for our business?"
The most important Risk to tackle and arguably the one that cause the highest number of failures is Value Risk. The best way to mitigate Value Risk is to prove your MVP with a set of Reference Customers early on and iterate it until they love the product. The act of them loving the product can be measured by them agreeing to recommend the product to their friends, colleagues, family members; or to hand over their credit card to pre-purchase the product; or to sign a contract to purchase the product when it's available.

3. To make a product that sells involve delivering a solution that solves an existing problem for a group of customers an order of magnitude better than an incumbent product such that the pain of uprooting from the existing product is overcompensated by the added value of the new product. A great example would be Facebook advertising over TV commercials. Companies always had a hard time measuring the impact of TV commercials because there is no way to know how many of those tho watched the commercials converted to purchases. On top of that, the TV approach is about casting the net wide and spending millions of dollars while not knowing how many of the audience is in your target customer segment. Facebook Ads allow you to target the exact demographic of your customers and you can measure results from views, clicks, purchases, and make sense of the Return on Investment of your marketing investment.

Overall it's a great insight if you're currently in the Product Management world or you are aspiring to move into it. Highly recommend!
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Reading Progress

August 31, 2018 – Started Reading
August 31, 2018 – Shelved
September 16, 2018 – Finished Reading

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