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This book is about the art, science, and skill of product management. The world doesn’t need yet another textbook introducing a methodology or framework on the subject, so I haven’t written one. In fact, much of what you’ll read in the chapters that follow will provide you with helpful examples of what not to do. I will give you the inside track on avoiding all the product management pitfalls I’ve stumbled into over the years.

I’ve collected some of the most intriguing stories I could find to illustrate to you what product management is really all about, and to tell you from my own personal  experience not only how to be successful at it, but how to enjoy it. I’ll tell you how the role came into being, how it’s continuing to evolve, and why it’s such good news that there’s no prescribed route to becoming a product manager. While I’m at it, I’ll show you how to determine value with a half-empty bottle of water and how Maslow made me a safer motorcyclist.

This book is also about products, so we’ll delve into examples of the good, the bad, and the ill-advised to learn why they succeeded or failed. Navigating the fine line between product success and product failure is one of the trickiest parts of the job, and I’ll introduce the product manager’s set of navigational tools, including the nine most effective ways you can increase your product’s chances of success. We’ll look at how a Japanese professor devised a way to predict customer delight, the story of the hundred-million-dollar assumption, how a riddle from ancient Greece can bring your product greater success, and how woodworkers and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN can help you determine your target market. I’ll uncover how focus groups nearly caused the Reebok Pump to be stillborn and how difficult it can be to avoid testing bias in Rwanda. I’ll also clear away some common misunderstandings about Lean Startup theory and show you how Apple and Google create their minimum viable products (MVPs) the right way.

Copyrighted Material

You’re reading an extract from
The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management
by Jock Busuttil