I’m happy to announce the results of my big project over the past year, which was to produce and release the second edition of INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love. The book could just as easily been characterized as “Volume 2” because it is not so much an update, but rather completely new.
This new edition is being published by John Wiley & Sons, and they are already working on an Audible version, and the translation to Simplified Chinese for China.
The book will launch in the US and UK in December. You can pre-order the book from your favorite retailers:
YOU ARE INVITED TO THE LAUNCH PARTY
My friends at DesignMap have kindly offered to host a launch party of the book, and if you are going to be anywhere near San Francisco on Monday evening, Jan 22, I hope you’ll join us.
There is a $50/person ticket fee, but the fee in its entirety will be going to help the victims of the recent Northern California fires. And your ticket also gets you your own copy of the new edition, signed if you like.
I’ll be giving a talk as well, addressing many of the toughest questions in product I’ve had thrown my way over the past year.
The capacity of the DesignMap offices, while large, is limited, so you’ll want to secure your seat soon if you’d like to attend. You can sign up at: http://inspired-launch.eventbrite.com
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION
When I first considered publishing an update to the first edition of my book INSPIRED, I estimated that maybe I would modify something like 10-20 percent of the content. That’s because there was very little of the first edition that I wished I could change.
However, once I got started, I quickly realized that this second edition would require a complete rewrite. Not because I regretted what I had written, but because I believe I have much better ways of explaining these topics now.
I had no idea that the first edition would be as successful as it has. Thanks to the book, I have made friends all over the globe. The book has been translated into several languages, and despite being nearly ten years old as of this writing, the sales continues to grow. It has all been word of mouth and reviews.
So, if you have read the first edition, I thank you, and hope you enjoy the second edition even more. If you are new to INSPIRED, I am hoping this new edition accomplishes its objective even better.
When I wrote the first edition, it was before Agile was well established in product companies, and before Customer Development and Lean Startup nomenclature became popularized. Today, most teams have been using these techniques for several years, and are more interested in what’s beyond Lean and Agile, which is what I focus on in the new edition.
I have kept the basic structure of the book intact, but the techniques I describe have improved significantly over the past decade.
Beyond changing how I explain the topics and updating the techniques, the other major change to the book is that I now go into detail on what I refer to in the book as Product @ Scale.
In the first edition, I focused more on startups. In this edition, however, I wanted to expand the scope to look at the challenges of growth-stage companies, and also how product can be done well at large, enterprise companies.
There’s no question that scale introduces serious challenges, and over the past decade much of my time has been coaching companies through rapid growth. Sometimes we call that “surviving success,” if that gives you an indication of how hard it can sometimes be.
I’ve received a lot of great feedback from readers of the first edition, and there are a couple of important things I’ve learned that I would like to address here.
First, there really is a critical need to focus on the specific job of the product manager. In the first edition, I talked a lot about product management, but I tried to speak to product teams more broadly. Today, there are many excellent resources for product designers and engineers, but precious little available specifically for product managers who are responsible for technology-powered products. So, in this edition I decided to concentrate on the job of the technology product manager. If you are a product manager at a technology company, or if you aspire to be one, I am hoping this will become your go-to resource.
Second, there are many people looking for a recipe for product success—a prescriptive guide or framework to how to create products customers love. While I understand the desire, and I know I’d likely sell many more copies if I positioned this book that way, the unfortunate truth is that’s just not how great products are created. It is much more about creating the right product culture for success, and understanding the array of product discovery and delivery techniques so that you can use the right tool for the specific issue you are facing. And, yes, this means that the job of the product manager is not in any sense easy, and truth be told, not everyone is equipped to succeed in this job.
All that said, the tech product management job is today one of the most desired jobs in our industry, and is the leading source—the proving ground—of startup CEOs. So, if you’ve got the desire and are willing to put in the effort, I’d like nothing better than to help you succeed.
Finally, a big sincere thank you to everyone that read the first edition of INSPIRED, and especially to all of the people that have shared what it has meant to them.