The software development process is long and arduous, so you need to make the most of it. That means priming it appropriately and ensuring that the product of your hard work is deployed with optimal efficacy and efficiency, and that’s all covered by product management.
Product management, of course, is the process of handling everything from the development of new products to the promotion of a product approaching the end of its market appeal. Poor product management can lead to development projects drying up, hampering your output — or it can lose you money through failing to properly position a valuable asset.
In short, it can make all the difference, so you need to make a commitment to getting it right. That means carrying out research and learning as much as you can. To make that easier, we’re going to look at some useful product management resources. Let’s get to them.
This site has a lot to offer. In addition to maintaining a popular and informative blog (albeit with a use of GIFs that you might find excessive), it sets out virtual workshops, a free tactics ebook, and even a virtual conference along with talks and interviews with product leaders. That said, I’ve elected to link to the Tips page specifically because it allows you to choose the specific issue you’re researching and find some directly-applicable blog post recommendations.
Some informational sites fight hard to discourage visitors from leaving: after all, they want to keep them around to recoup some value by selling to them somehow. Not so with this site. The focus is on giving out as much value as possible, and that makes it deserving of the first spot.
You’re no doubt already familiar with Shopify, as it’s a giant of the ecommerce world, but it’s invested heavily in educational resources since its inception. You could always see that from its active blog, but now you can see it from its Compass program, a range of tutorials, workshops, and courses. Notably, everything is free. Given that it launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that may not have previously been the plan, but it was decided regardless — and online entrepreneurs would be wise to take advantage.
Now, while Compass encompasses (excuse the pun) a large variety of training materials, it’s of value to product managers through its print-on-demand and dropshipping courses (taking you through two of the most popular fulfilment models for online retail). It’s keenly important to choose the right products when using one of those two options, so there’s a lot of value there.
Written by David J. Bland (founder of Precoil) and Alexander Osterwalder (co-founder of Strategyzer), this book offers a vast swathe of practical tips for systematically testing business ideas — hence the title. The fundamental contention is that entrepreneurs habitually fail to test their ideas properly before running with them, leading to countless failed startups that should never have been attempted at all.
If you want to get better at validating your product ideas before you action them, then, this might well be the book for you. Give it a shot.
This product-development community is another resource that brings a lot to the table. If you don’t want to sign up to anything, you can simply enjoy the huge blog (and even go through the list of product-related jobs if you want to give your career a boost) — but if you want to get more from the site, you can sign up to one of the membership tiers.
Free membership allows you to join a Slack community and attend ProductTank meetups in over 200 cities. Go for one of the paid tiers and you’ll get a curated newsletter, additional in-depth content, video library access, roundtable discussions, and even online AMAs with notable figures from the product management world.
Who doesn’t love a great podcast? It’s incredibly convenient to find a podcast relevant to your interests because it allows you to absorb information while doing other things. You can learn about the latest trends in product research while cleaning your house, for instance: and this podcast in particular is a great choice because each episode features a special guest talking about their area of expertise in the product management field.
With an established archive of over 250 episodes (and each episode running to around 20 minutes or more), there’s plenty for you to enjoy — and you can subscribe through Overcast, iTunes, Stitcher, or even SoundCloud.
Safi Bahcall is a physicist and technologist, granting him a lot of insight into the deeper complexities of the business world — insight that he brings to bear in this bestseller with recommendations from notable figures including Bill Gates and Susan Cain. Looking into the science of phase transitions in the corporate world (those momentous periods during which groups become radically open to — or closed off from — innovating thinking), he explains how understanding what prompts these transitions can allow us to change how we operate.
If you’re feeling creatively bankrupt, then this book could well be precisely what you need to help you get out of your rut and back into the world of innovation.
Product management is a complicated area, and there’s always more to learn. Talent can only get you so far. In the end, it’s the work you put into your craft that will make the difference — and the resources we’ve set out here can help you hone your skills.