Inspired: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Inspired containing key details about the book.

What is Inspired About?

Inspired will show you how to turn up the dial of your own product efforts, creating technology products your customers love. It is filled with the author's own personal stories - and profiles of some of today's most successful product managers and technology-powered product companies, including Adobe, Apple, BBC, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix. This book will take you and your product organization to a new level of customer engagement, consistent innovation, and business success.

Who is the author of Inspired?

Marty Cagan is a Silicon Valley-based product executive with more than 20 years of experience with industry leaders including eBay, AOL, Netscape Communications and Hewlett-Packard. Marty is the author of the book “Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love” which presents techniques for creating winning products.

How long is Inspired?

  • Print length: 349 pages

What genre is Inspired?

Business, Nonfiction, Design

What are good quotes from Inspired?

“Along the vertical dimension, we have a progressive level of detail. As we flesh out each major activity into sets of user tasks, we add stories for each of those tasks. The critical tasks are higher vertically than the optional tasks.”

“Will the product actually work? Is the product a whole product? How will customers actually think about and buy the product? Is it consistent with how we plan to sell it? Are the product’s strengths consistent with what’s important to our customers? Are we positioning these strengths as aggressively as possible? Is the product worth money? How much money? Why? Can customers get it cheaper elsewhere? Do I understand what the rest of the product team thinks is good about the product? Is it consistent with my own view?”

“People are always searching for a silver bullet to create products, and there is always a willing industry—ready and waiting to serve with books, coaching, training, and consulting. But there is no silver bullet, and inevitably people figure this out.”

“The purpose of product discovery is to quickly separate the good ideas from the bad. The output of product discovery is a validated product backlog. Specifically, this means getting answers to four critical questions: Will the user buy this (or choose to use it)? Can the user figure out how to use this? Can our engineers build this? Can our stakeholders support this?”

“As product people, we’re essentially in the idea business. It’s our job to come up with great ideas and then make them a reality.”

“The Group Product Manager Role There's a role in larger product organizations that I find especially effective. The role is titled group product manager, usually referred to as GPM. The GPM is a hybrid role. Part individual contributor and part first‐level people manager. The idea is that the GPM is already a proven product manager (usually coming from a senior product manager title), and now the person is ready for more responsibility. There are generally two career paths for product managers. One is to stay as an individual contributor, which, if you're strong enough, can go all the way up to a principal product manager—a person who's an individual contributor but a rock‐star performer and willing and able to tackle the toughest product work. This is a very highly regarded role and generally compensated like a director or even VP. The other path is to move into functional management of the product managers (the most common title is director”

“The Group Product Manager Role There's a role in larger product organizations that I find especially effective. The role is titled group product manager, usually referred to as GPM. The GPM is a hybrid role. Part individual contributor and part first‐level people manager. The idea is that the GPM is already a proven product manager (usually coming from a senior product manager title), and now the person is ready for more responsibility. There are generally two career paths for product managers. One is to stay as an individual contributor, which, if you're strong enough, can go all the way up to a principal product manager—a person who's an individual contributor but a rock‐star performer and willing and able to tackle the toughest product work. This is a very highly regarded role and generally compensated like a director or even VP. The other path is to move into functional management of the product managers (the most common title is director of product management) where some number of product managers (usually somewhere between 3 and 10) report directly to you. The director of product management is really responsible for two things. The first is ensuring his or her product managers are all strong and capable. The second is product vision and strategy and connecting the dots between the product work of the many teams. This is also referred to as holistic view of product. But lots of strong senior product managers are not sure about their preferred career path at this stage, and the GPM role is a great way to get a taste of both worlds. The GPM is the actual product manager for one product team, but in addition, she is responsible for the development and coaching of a small number of additional product managers (typically, one to three others). While the director of product management may have product managers who work across many different areas, the GPM model is designed to facilitate tightly coupled product teams.”

“Risks are tackled up front, rather than at the end.”

“Products are defined and designed collaboratively, rather than sequentially.”

“A’s hiring A’s, and B’s hiring C’s.”

“Risks are tackled up front, rather than at the end. In modern teams, we tackle these risks prior to deciding to build anything. These risks include value risk (whether customers will buy it), usability risk (whether users can figure out how to use it), feasibility risk (whether our engineers can build what we need with the time, skills, and technology we have), and business viability risk (whether this solution also works for the various aspects of our business—sales, marketing, finance, legal, etc.). Products are defined and designed collaboratively, rather than sequentially. They have finally moved beyond the old model in which a product manager defines requirements, a designer designs a solution that delivers on those requirements, and then engineering implements those requirements, with each person living with the constraints and decisions of the ones that preceded. In strong teams, product, design, and engineering work side by side, in a give‐and‐take way, to come up with technology‐powered solutions that our customers love and that work for our business.”

“They have finally moved beyond the old model in which a product manager defines requirements, a designer designs a solution that delivers on those requirements, and then engineering implements those requirements, with each person living with the constraints and decisions of the ones that preceded. In strong teams, product, design, and engineering work side by side, in a give‐and‐take way, to come up with technology‐powered solutions that our customers love and that work for our business.”

― Marty Cagan, Inspired
 

What are the chapters in Inspired?

Chapter 1: Behind Every Great Product
Chapter 2: Technology-Powered Products and Services
Chapter 3: Startups: Getting to Product/Market Fit
Chapter 4: Growth-Stage Comapnies: Scaling to Success
Chapter 5: Enterprise Companies: Consistent Product Innovation
Chapter 6: The Root Causes of Failed Product Efforts
Chapter 7: Beyond Lean and Agile
Chapter 8: Key Concepts
Chapter 9: Principles of Strong Product Teams
Chapter 10: The Product Manager
Chapter 11: The Product Designer
Chapter 12: The Engineers
Chapter 13: Product Marketing Managers
Chapter 14: The Supporting Roles
Chapter 15: Profile: Jane Manning of Google
Chapter 16: The Role of Leadership
Chapter 17: The Head of Product Role
Chapter 18: The Head of Technology Role
Chapter 19: The Delivery Manager Role
Chapter 20: Principles of Structuring Product Teams
Chapter 21: Profile: Lea Hickman of Adobe
Chapter 22: The Problems with Product Roadmaps
Chapter 23: The Alternative to Roadmaps
Chapter 24: Product Vision and Product Strategy
Chapter 25: Principles of Product Vision
Chapter 26: Principles of Product Stategy
Chapter 27: Product Principles
Chapter 28: The OKR Technique
Chapter 29: Product Team Objectives
Chapter 30: Products Objectives @ Scale
Chapter 31: Product Evangelism
Chapter 32: Profile: Alex Pressland of the BBC
Chapter 33: Principles of Product Discovery
Chapter 34: Discovery Techniques Overview
Chapter 35: Opportunity Assessment Technique
Chapter 36: Customer Letter Technique
Chapter 37: Startup Canvas Technique
Chapter 38: Story Map Technique
Chapter 39: Customer Discovery Program Technique
Chapter 40: Profile: Martina Lauchengco of Microsoft
Chapter 41: Customer Interviews
Chapter 42: Concierge Test Technique
Chapter 43: The Power of Customer Misbehavior
Chapter 44: Hack Days
Chapter 45: Principles of Prototypes
Chapter 46: Feasibility Prototype Technique
Chapter 47: User Prototype Techniques
Chapter 48: Live-Data Prototype Techniques
Chapter 49: Hybrid Prototype Technique
Chapter 50: Testing Usability
Chapter 51: Testing Value
Chapter 52: Demand Testing Techniques
Chapter 53: Qualitative Value Testing Techniques
Chapter 54: Quantitative Value Testing Techniques
Chapter 55: Testing Feasibility
Chapter 56: Testing Business Viability
Chapter 57: Profile: Kate Arnold of Netflix
Chapter 58: Discovey Sprint Technique
Chapter 59: Pilot Team Technique
Chapter 60: Weaning on Organization Off Roadmaps
Chapter 61: Managing Stakeholders
Chapter 62: Communicationg Product Learnings
Chapter 63: Profile: Camille Hearst of Apple
Chapter 64: Good Product Team/Bad Product Team
Chapter 65: Top Reason for Loss of Innovation
Chapter 66: Top Reasons for Loss of Velocity
Chapter 67: Establishing a Strong Product Culture

* The summary points above have been sourced and summarized from the book, Amazon, and other online publishers. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain the accuracy and completeness of any information, including the quotes, chapters, insights, lessons, and key takeaways.

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an impact-driven entrepreneur, author, and investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has led him to found Elevate Society.

 
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