INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love – 2nd Edition

How do today’s most successful tech companies—Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla—define, design and develop the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world?

Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than the vast majority of tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love—and that will work for your business.

With sections on assembling the right people and skills, discovering the right product, embracing an effective yet lightweight process, scaling the product organization, and creating a strong product culture, readers can take the information they learn and immediately leverage it within their own organizations—dramatically improving their own product efforts.

Whether you’re an early stage startup working to get to product/market fit, or a growth-stage company working to scale your organization, or a large, long-established company trying to regain your ability to consistently deliver new value for your customers, INSPIRED will take you and your product organization to a new level of customer engagement, consistent innovation, and business success.

Filled with the author’s own personal stories—and profiles of some of today’s most-successful product managers and technology-powered product companies, including Adobe, Apple, BBC, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix—INSPIRED will show you how to turn up the dial of your own product efforts, creating technology products your customers love.

The first edition of INSPIRED, published ten years ago, established itself as the primary reference for technology product managers, and can be found on the shelves of nearly every successful technology product company worldwide. This thoroughly updated second edition shares the same objective of being the most valuable resource for technology product managers, yet it is completely new—sharing the latest practices and techniques of today’s most-successful tech product companies, and the men and women behind every great product..

See what people are saying:

“It is rare to find someone like Marty who has impacted early founders, high-growth startups and multi-billion dollar companies over decades through his product leadership. So when he decides to distill his knowledge in a book, it becomes a must read!”

     — Avid Larizadeh Duggan, General Partner, GV (Google Ventures)

“If you only have one book on product management, this is the one.”

    — Chad Dickerson, Former CEO, Etsy

“This book was a catalyst for helping us transform how we organize and operate.  Marty gave us a compelling case for change, actionable steps, and the fundamental truths to keep us on course.”

    — Ann Yauger, AVP Product, CarMax

“When I was a product leader, I experienced a fair bit of accidental successes and puzzling failures. Marty’s writing has helped me understand how product managers and product organizations really should work. I wish I’d had this book years ago.”

    — Jeff Patton, Agile Product Leadership Coach

“I don’t know of any other person who has the breadth and depth of knowledge and insight in Product Management that Marty possesses.  This is not your typical business book where you skim it in 30 minutes and wonder why it was worth $14.99.  INSPIRED is a book you can study, discuss, use to teach, show to your management, and use as a force for change in your company or in your career.”

    — Kyrie Robinson, VP User Experience, Chegg

“INSPIRED was an invaluable resource to me and the Heroku team when we were scaling through the challenging 50-150 employee phase.  This book should be on the shelf of anyone in a product leadership position.”

    — Adam Wiggins, Co-Founder, Heroku

“The first edition of INSPIRED shaped my thinking as a young product manager, and I now assign it to my students to make sure they are making the right things in the right way.  INSPIRED teaches you to think like Silicon Valley’s smartest product managers.”

    — Christina Wodtke, Author, Professor, Startup Advisor

“Product Management is the art and science of creating the products that give each company it’s existence.  It’s the core of a business.  For the digital world, Marty Cagan helps you understand and master Product Management like no other.  This is essential reading to remain relevant tomorrow.”

    — Frerk-Malte Feller, Workplace by Facebook

“When asked what product is, and how companies can accelerate growth, I always start with ‘read INSPIRED and then we can talk.’”

    — Sarah Bernard, VP Product, Jet.com

“When Marty talks and writes about product, it becomes clear that his knowledge is based on walking the walk.  He knows the difference between great technology, and great products based on great technology.”

    — Bjorn Carlson, Engineering Team Lead, Google Cloud Platform

“INSPIRED is the authority on how to build a product that customers actually want. It’s not about hiring product managers – it’s about establishing a culture that puts the user first, and builds the organization and teams around that customer to ensure that you are building the best product possible. From CEOs to APMs, this is required reading.”

    — Amanda Richardson, Chief Data and Strategy Officer, HotelTonight

“We first started working with Marty when ImmobilienScout was entering growth-stage, and he helped us set the organization up to rapidly scale and grow to become one of the largest and most successful technology startups in Germany.  He remained a friend and advisor to the company for many years.  His book INSPIRED helped people from all across the company, and the new version is sure to help many more companies.”

    — Jürgen Böhm, Co-Founder, Immobilien Scout GmbH

“It does not matter if you are a seasoned product leader or a new product manager, INSPIRED will make you realise that you have the best job in the world and can have incredible impact – especially if you follow Marty Cagan’s words of wisdom.  His book has been the bible of our industry for the past decade, and it will no doubt continue to be so with this latest update containing the most exciting best-in-class product practices.

    — Tanya Cordrey, former Chief Digital Officer at Guardian News & Media

“Building a great product that nails Product/Market Fit is always a key first step to any successful start-up.  However, organizing the product and engineering teams, in ways that ensures scalability, speed, and quality is usually the next biggest challenge.  Marty’s insights and lessons learned can be applied to build highly productive teams to manage through dependencies, and build a culture that is positioned to scale. This applies whether your business is in need of a serious course correction, or on a rocket ship.”

    — Scott Sahadi, Founder and CEO, The Experience Engine

“Marty offers actionable advice on product management without being too prescriptive, making his wisdom applicable in many contexts. He draws from a wealth of experience, illustrating his advice with dozens of real-world stories. If you want to create digital products that people love, this book will get you started on the right path.”

    — Teresa Torres, Discovery Coach

“We have worked closely with Marty shaping product and building product management organisations in several of our portfolio companies. Marty’s insight and advice is leading-edge and world-class.”

    — Harry Nellis, Partner, Accel

“Early in my career in Product Management, I had the good fortune of meeting Marty Cagan. Since then, he has been an incredible mentor for me and the teams I’ve led.  I have seen, firsthand at multiple companies, how Marty transforms product teams and unlocks sustained innovation and growth. Marty literally and figuratively wrote the book on Product Management for today’s technology industry.”

    — Sarah Fried Rose, Product Leader and COO

“I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best product managers and product minds in the business.  In my experience Marty Cagan is hands down the absolute best product management mind alive today.  This book packs years of experience into 250 pages.”

    — Marty Abbott, CEO, AKF Partners, former CTO, eBay

“Great products delight customers. Marty Cagan has led and inspired countless product teams and in INSPIRED, you will learn how to build those products, both strategically and tactically.”

    — Shripriya Mahesh, Partner, Omidyar Network

“CEOs, Chief Product Officers, and anyone who cares about creating great products, must read this book. Your customers will love you for it.”

    — Phil Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, co-author, Customers Included

“Marty is not only a seasoned expert on all aspects of the often ambiguous discipline of product management, his book also provides inspiration, tools and techniques, and really practical help.”

    — Judy Gibbons, Startup Advisor and Board Member

“Building great products is hard. Marty gives great insight into best practices and skills that really can only be discovered after years of experience and study. Just about every product person I respect learned product management from INSPIRED.”

    — Jason Li, CEO and Founder, Boolan, Shanghai

“If you want your customers to love your products, INSPIRED is an ‘everyone in the company’ must read book.”

    — Jana Eggers, CEO, Nara Logic

“What I really love about working with Marty is that his techniques are applicable to building really great enterprise products – not just new consumer apps.  INSPIRED is our true north. Anytime I feel the organization moving sideways, it’s time to read it again!”

    — Jeff Trom, Founder and CTO, Workiva

“There are two reasons I can never get enough of Marty: First, he’s always learning, steeping himself in what makes teams successful (and not), because he’s deeply passionate about helping teams have a bigger impact on the world, so he always has something new to share. Second, he has a frank, genuine, deeply human approach that actually makes a difference in how you think about your users, your company, and yourself, that will change the way you work within 5 minutes of talking to him or opening his book. This is why I’ve bought Inspired by the case for 10 years to give to every Product Manager I work with.”

    — Audrey Crane, Partner, DesignMap

“Marty’s practical approach to building great products transformed the way we approached product development for the radical betterment of the Company and our customers.  Just as importantly, his methodology helped shape multiple people’s career trajectories both inside the Company and outside of it as they’ve gone on to drive product development in other organizations – from Fortune 500 companies to other VC backed high growth companies.  If you’re in a leadership role or on the product team at an organization trying to build products your target audience loves, this should be the next book you read.”

    — Shawn Boyer, Founder, Snagajob and goHappy

“When I needed to stand up a productive, scalable product management function at Etsy, I turned to Marty. His playbook for establishing product management as a distinct discipline is invaluable for any team working on products powered by software and made by engineers.”  Rarely is a business book so clearly written and packed full of concrete advice. We used it as our product management guide in scaling Etsy, and I’ve used it in every company since.”

    — Maria Thomas, Board Member and Investor

“The art of Product Management is the art of life itself. Surround yourselves by great people, focus on your mojo, build great stuff with integrity, hold strong opinions but lightly. And Marty is one of the best teachers of this art.”

    — Punit Soni, Founder and CEO, Robin, Former Google APM

“Marty was a coach and mentor for my early years in product management and the book INSPIRED became the go to guide whenever I needed some clarity on the product manager’s role, skill set or the daily challenges from product discovery to execution. And it still was a solid reference while stepping up to a product leadership role. Now, in my role as discovery coach, I recommend the book to every new client. It´s not a methodology book; this book helps product people to get the right mindset regardless of the frameworks and techniques they are using.”

    — Petra Wille, Discovery Coach

“Marty’s 2nd Edition builds on an amazing base of knowledge and experience, and provides even more insights, lessons, and frameworks that are imperative to every product-based company.”

    — Chuck Geiger, CTO/CPO Chegg

“Marty has a way of elegantly simplifying decades of experience leading and teaching product organizations to excel in value creation for their customers into one actionable, inspiring, quick read. From organizational assessments, tools for aligning teams against a real user need, to the nitty gritty of pulling off continuous product discovery & delivery, INSPIRED is my go-to reference and recommendation for any Product Leader looking to up their game for the sake of building winning products.”

    — Lisa Kavanaugh, Executive Coach

“There’s a reason why industry insiders consider Marty Cagan the high priest of Product Management, and have adopted Inspired as their bible.  His insights have stood the test of time to transcend generational cycles of thought and practice.  At a time where the screen has become the most important place in the world, Cagan’s wisdom is even more critical and relevant today than ever before.“

— Clark Valberg, CEO / Co-founder at InVision

“Marty is legendary among the best product leaders for cutting to the heart of where their teams need to improve.  His advice is practical, actionable and will excite you and your team to better address customer needs immediately.  Your engineers and customers will thank you for reading this book.”

    — Hope Gurion, Product Leader

“Marty is the go-to expert for how to build great products. He has personally trained and educated product managers from all over the world across every industry. Marty has coached and guided some of the most successful Internet companies of our time. This second edition shares even more from his vast expertise and knowledge about how the best companies in the world are able to build products that their customers love.”

    — Mike Fisher, CTO, Etsy

“Marty reminds us of the importance of why we build products. The product mindset and focusing on our customers, builds better entrepreneurs, companies and better solutions for all of us. This mindset is the foundation of building successful product companies at any stage.”

    — Erin Stadler, Discovery Coach, Boomtown Accelerator


About the Author:

MARTY CAGAN, widely recognized as the primary thought leader for technology product management, is the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG).  He served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay.

Ordering:

The book is published by John Wiley & Sons, and is available at major retailers:

The book is currently being translated to several other languages, so watch for announcements of availability in other regions of the world.

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