Each week, I read dozens of blogs, countless articles from my Twitter stream, and one or two books. In Weekend Reading, I highlight the best, as it applies to developing great products.
The $100,000 Experiment | Brad Feld in The Wall Street Journal
“A long time ago, I realized that every successful business was a continuous process of small experiments that operated in the context of a long-term vision. When an experiment worked, you did more of it. When it didn’t, you ended it and moved on.”
Brad makes an often overlooked point that I think is critical to experimenting. Your experiments need to be in the context of a long-term vision. If you just throw spaghetti at the wall, you can experiment until the end of time and get nowhere. The key is to use your long-term vision to narrow the scope of the types of experiments you will run.
It’s a great read. And it’s short. So go read it.
Happy New Year – Pick Up a New Skill | Gary Marcus in The New Yorker
This is a great take on resolutions. What new product management skills do you want to develop in 2013?
What is Deliberate Practice? | Farnam Street
Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, most of us are familiar with the 10,000 hour rule. But what often gets overlooked, is that those 10,000 hours need to be deliberate practice.
Farnam Street does a great job of explaining the concept of deliberate practice and this is a good thing to keep in mind when putting together your plans to develop those new product management skills.
How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read| Andrew Shaffer in Mental Floss
Beyond being a fascinating read, this historical account of the transition from hardbacks to paperbacks is a great example of opening new markets, the power of distribution, and the reluctance of publishers to change their ways. There is a lot we can learn from this, as we see the same thing happening over and over again in so many industries.
Jeff Bezos on Competition | Shared on Instagram by evanish
It’s just one quote, but it packs a strong message. Very similar to what I write in Ignore the Competition, Pay Attention to Your Customers Instead.
Product Management Then and Now | Marty Cagan at SVPG
A year later, this post still has several nuggets of wisdom. If you want to know what you should stop doing and what you should start doing in 2013, this post is a great place to start.
Entrepreneurs Learn New Rules for Real Influence | Martin Zwilling in Forbes
In my end-of-year survey, one of the most common questions that came up was how to influence when you don’t have authority. This is a common problem for product managers, as much of our work is cross-functional and we rarely manage the engineers who build our products.
Zwilling writes about influence through listening and relationship-building. It’s a great read for those of you who struggle with getting buy-in.
To Sell Is Human | Daniel Pink
And on that note, Daniel Pink just released a new book that argues that we are all in sales. This is particularly true for product management. This is a great read and is not your typical sales books. it’s all about influence and moving people – a critical skill in any product manager’s arsenal.
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