I've had the extremely good fortune to be able to work with many of the best technology product teams in the world—the people creating the products you use and love every day, teams that are literally changing the world.
I've also been brought in to try to help with companies that are not doing so well. Startups racing to get some traction before the money runs out. Larger companies struggling to replicate their early innovation. Teams failing to continuously add value to their business. Leaders frustrated with how long it takes to go from idea to reality. Engineers exasperated with their product managers.
What I've learned is that there is a profound difference between how the very best product companies create technology products and all the rest. And I don't mean minor differences. Everything from how the leaders behave to the level of empowerment of teams to how the organization thinks about funding, staffing, and producing products, down to how product, design, and engineering collaborate to discover effective solutions for their customers.
With a grateful nod to Ben Horowitz's classic post “Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager,” for those that have not yet had the opportunity to participate in or observe a strong product team up close, in this chapter I provide you with a glimpse into some of the important ...