Not only is this book based on other people’s hard-won experience, but it also would have been impossible to write without them giving up their precious time. Each product leader interviewed has shared their insights and opinions, but possibly more invaluably, their mistakes and failures too. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude for sharing their hard-earned lessons with us, and with you.
Book writing is something that takes over all aspects of your life. Without the support of friends and family, it’s simply not possible to get it done. The support and understanding of my wife, Kristy, is especially welcome and appreciated, considering that she’s been raising our new baby, James, while I’ve been working on this book. She makes it look easy, even when it’s not. Thank you, baby. I love you. I’d also like to acknowledge the support of my amazing team at Fresh Tilled Soil. They’ve played defense and held the fort while I was holed up writing or traveling for interviews. You guys rock. No creative work is done in a vacuum. Book writing doesn’t happen without the support of a village. I’d like to thank all the wonderful leaders that have guided me through the years with their advice, encouragement, and ass kicking. There are far too many to mention, but I’m grateful for you all.
It truly does take a village to write a book. First and foremost, thank you to Analisa for her unwavering support and belief in me. Your strength, encouragement, and love make me aspire to ever-greater things—and believe I can achieve them. And to my friends and colleagues at Mind the Product, thanks for believing in our crazy dream and giving me the time and space to work on this book alongside it. I’d also like to thank all the great leaders I’ve met, worked with, and had the chance to learn from—but especially John Bainbridge, who first showed me what true leadership meant and who to this day inspires me to be a better leader. I’d also like to thank the global product community I’m fortunate enough to be a part of; your camaraderie and constant endeavor in improving this craft of ours is an inspiration. Last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank my mom and dad for literally everything else.
First and foremost, thank you to my wonderful wife, Sarah, and my four sons, Aven, Eli, Myles, and Ryder, for giving me the opportunity to work on this book plus keep up on my day job and all my fatherly responsibilities. You are my inspiration and motivation and the sole reason for any of my success. Second, Mom and Dad, thank you for the wonderful examples you have been in my life—modeling a learner’s mindset, servant leadership, and a willingness to find inspiration in any place possible. To my closest friends—Gilbert, Kenji, Al, Bryan, Cliff, and Chris—thanks for always supporting me and being a sounding board on so many occasions. Finally, thank you to my mentor Mike Krieger, and a huge shout-out to the product, user experience, and engineering community in Utah. I love all that we are becoming and how inspiring you have been.
Last but not least, we would all like to thank our tireless editor, Angela Rufino at O’Reilly, for making this process feel easier than it really is. This is Richard’s third time working with Angela on a book, and we couldn’t imagine a better partner. Thank you so much.