Inspired Book Summary - Inspired Book explained in key points
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Inspired summary

Marty Cagan

How To Create Products Customers Love

4.4 (524 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Inspired by Marty Cagan is a guide for product managers and teams focusing on creating successful digital products. It offers insights and techniques for aligning teams, identifying customer needs and delivering value.

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    Great product managers are intelligent, focused and “bilingual” in technology and business.

    Nine out of ten product releases are failures: they fail to meet their objectives. Mostly this is because the product manager’s role has been poorly defined or the person is incapable of filling that role. Hence, many CEOs wonder what characteristics to look for when hiring product managers.

    In fact, a wide array of attributes and skills is needed. Essentially, product managers solve customers’ problems, and this requires them to understand their customers and empathize with their problems as well as be intelligent and insightful enough to come up with solutions.

    Product managers must also be engaging and versatile communicators. They must interact with lots of different stakeholder groups from engineers to executives, and hence need to be “bilingual” in the sense that they understand both the technology and business sides of the product.

    Finally, product managers bear full responsibility for delivering products as promised. They face long hours at work and a constant overload of tasks, so they need to have a strong work ethic and good time-management skills. Above all else, they must know how to prioritize. Their mantra is: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

    So where can you find such people?

    A great and obvious source is within your own company, where it is easier to find and assess candidates just by asking around. Look everywhere: Great future product managers can be waiting in virtually any department, from engineering to customer service to marketing. Typically, they will have already expressed some interest in playing a stronger role in the product. Once you find them, train and mentor them to fill the role successfully.

    Great product managers are intelligent, focused and “bilingual” in technology and business.

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    What is Inspired about?

    Inspired describes the best practices of creating successful software products and explains the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them. The lessons are applicable in a range of product environments, from fledgling start-ups to large corporations.

    Inspired Review

    Inspired (2017) by Marty Cagan is a must-read for anyone interested in product management and innovation. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical tips and techniques, it equips readers with the tools they need to build innovative and successful products.
    • By combining industry insights, case studies, and personal experiences, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the product development process.
    • Through its engaging storytelling and relatable examples, it keeps readers captivated and ensures that the subject matter never becomes boring.

    Who should read Inspired?

    • Anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes view of how great software products are created
    • Anyone working or wishing to work in software product management
    • Anyone hoping to build innovative software products

    About the Author

    Marty Cagan has been involved in defining and building some of the most successful products of our time at eBay, AOL and Netscape Communications. He is a founding partner at Silicon Valley Product Group, where he helps companies develop their product organizations and strategies to create great products.

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    Inspired FAQs 

    What is the main message of Inspired?

    The main message of Inspired is to create successful and innovative products by focusing on customer needs and effective teamwork.

    How long does it take to read Inspired?

    The reading time for Inspired varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Inspired a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Inspired is a valuable read for product managers and anyone interested in product development. It offers practical insights and strategies for building successful products.

    Who is the author of Inspired?

    Marty Cagan is the author of Inspired.

    What to read after Inspired?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Inspired, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Empowered by Marty Cagan with Chris Jones
    • F.I.R.E. by Dan Ward
    • Hooked by Nir Eyal
    • The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management by Zachary Wong
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • Measure What Matters by John Doerr
    • Radical Product Thinking by R. Dutt
    • Start at the End by Matt Wallaert