This article is written by Taylor Wescoatt, Expert in Residence at Seedcamp. Taylor’s background spans 20 years of Product and UX having held key positions at successful startups like Seatwave and CitySearch, and larger brands like eBay and Time Out.
I started my Product career as a UX designer from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. We had some great teachers, including Lynda Weinman and a number from the MIT Media Lab building our Interface Design program. Graphic Design, Psychology, Technology.
I continue to believe strongly that at its core, Product is about managing the end-to-end experience of your user. Leaving aside the significant functional responsibilities of Product Management, which tend to arise in large organisations, I’ll suggest a few things that inspire me at the ‘art’ level of creating great products;
1. Hooked, by Nir Eyal beautifully explores the alluring goal of forming a “habit” with your product, the holy grail of consumer facing businesses.
2. Marty Cagan addresses with gravitas the myriad of challenges you’re likely to encounter in your Product role.
3. Lean UX, by Jeff Gothelf is a to-the-point toolset for looking at the the strong overlap between UX and Product. The Assumptions graphing alone is fantastic.
4. Nathalie Nahai gives some super entertaining presentations and deep and inspiring exploration of decision-making, always backed up with compelling and concrete applications.
5. When it comes to figuring out WHAT to be doing, The Google Design Sprint is a helpful resource to look at. There’s no formula for creating delight, but doing everything you can to foster creativity from your best people is really important.
6. UXPin (useful app) also provides a bunch of great short resources, like Lean B2B, on their knowledge page.
7. User Research is of course critical, and I’ve enjoyed what I have seen of Tomer Sharon and Laura Klein.
8. The Mom Test, by Rob Fitzpatrick is also a helpful way to make sure every conversation you have drives learning.
9. As an always updated resource to keep visiting, I’m a big fan of what Martin, Simon, and Janna have built with MindTheProduct
Recognising the early-stage reality that your Product is your Business, these books are must-reads for any Product person that wants to be credible;
10. Startup Owner’s Manual (the follow up to Four Steps to The Epiphany)
11. The Lean Startup, without which no reference list is complete
This is a constantly updated collection of books suggested by panelists at Mini Seedcamps and Seedcamp Week…
M ADLER – Behind The Cloud
D SENOR – Start-up Nation
J COLLINS – Built To Last
S G BLANK – The Four Steps to the Epiphany
S JOHNSON – Where Good Ideas Come From
Productivity and Management:
D ALLEN – Getting Things Done
K BLANCHARD – The One Minute Manager
K BLANCHARD – Whale Done
S R COVEY – The 8th Habit
J S HAMMOND – Smart Choices
L BOSSIDY – Execution
K CATLIN – Leading At The Speed Of Growth
Sales and Marketing:
N RACKHAM – SPIN Selling
G A MOORE – Crossing The Chasm
E M GOLDRATT – The Goal
J JARVIS – What Would Google Do?
E K ZALESNE – Microtrends
J FREID – Getting Real
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