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INSPIRED, 2nd Edition by Marty Cagan

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CHAPTER 36Customer Letter Technique

For smaller and more typically sized efforts, the opportunity assessment is usually sufficient. But when embarking on a somewhat larger effort, there may in fact be multiple reasons, several customer problems to be solved, or business objectives to be tackled. To communicate the value effectively, it may take more than the four questions listed in the previous chapter.

A typical example of an effort of this size would be a redesign. There are likely several objectives in the redesign, and maybe it is intended to both improve the experience for current customers and perform better for new customers.

One of my favorite technology‐powered product companies is Amazon. They have consistently innovated—including several truly disruptive innovations—and have shown they can continue to do this at scale. In my view, there are many reasons for this ongoing product success, from leadership, to talent, to culture, and especially to their sincere passion for taking care of customers. But there are a few techniques that are central to how Amazon builds product, and one of them is referred to as the working backward process, where you start the effort with a pretend press release.

The idea is that the product manager frames the work ahead of the team by writing an imagined press release of what ...

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