Product management is an increasingly important and complicated discipline. In 2015, many influencers helped to establish best practices and enlighten the industry.
Below, we focus on 40 thought leaders along with their top contributions from (roughly) the past year. This list is in no particular order.
Ellen is the Director of Product Management and Design at Lola Travel. She has taught product management at General Assembly and Olin College and shares her expertise on her blog.
- Evolution of the Product Manager
- The most mind-blowing things I learned in my first year at Harvard Business School
Scott is a columnist at the Boston Globe and the Editor and Co-founder of Innovation Leader. His newest venture is an information service for innovation labs and senior executives who are responsible for innovation and new ventures.
- Innovation Benchmarking Report 2015
- Unicorns may get all the attention, but grasshoppers show the benefits of focusing on customers
- Old economy and new trying to catch the holiday spirits
Ben is the “Horowitz” of the well known Andreessen Horowitz VC firm. He generously shares his countless experiences on his blog.
- One Management Concept
- How to ruin your company with one bad process
- 2 Techniques to Minimize Company Politics
Mike is an expert and author at Alpha. He is best known for being the host of the industry-leading podcast, “This is Product Management.” Each episode features him interviewing an expert from a department or discipline with which product teams interface on a daily basis.
- A Day In the Life of a Product Manager
- 4 steps to make experimentation a repeatable process in your business
- What Product Managers Need to Know About Rapid Prototyping
Sam is the president of the SF-based startup accelerator, Y Combinator, and hopes to eventually fund 1,000 new companies per year. He was named one of Forbes’ “Top Investors Under 30”. If you’re interested in advice for startups, check out his epic Startup Playbook.
Ken is a partner at Google Ventures where he provides product and engineering support to various companies. He is also the product manager for GV’s quantitative research and data science team. Read his classic and oft-referenced post: How to Hire a Product Manager.
Brandon is the Director of Product at Shopify. Drawing from his experiences having been a product manager at multiple companies, Brandon writes about existential questions (and answers) all product managers face.
- The Black Box of Product Management
- 7 Heuristics for Being a Product Director
- Product Managers Are Forged in the Crucibles of Launches
Alan was most recently the Vice President of Product at Target where he helped the company transition from traditional enterprise development cycles to smaller agile product teams.
- What Makes Products Sell
- Risky Business- What Target and Other Big Companies Can Learn From Startups
- How important is it for a Product Manager to truly believe in the product?
Cindy is the Director of UX at Yammer, a Microsoft company, and the author of Lean Customer Development. She is an expert on validating product concepts through customer development, often answering related questions on Quora.
Richard is the CEO of Fresh Tilled Soil, a user interface design company. He is soon releasing his second book, Design Leadership, in which he shares what he learned after interviewing more than 100 design leaders.
Tom is the Chief Product Officer of Google’s famous X Factory where he innovates around the clock. He strongly believes in the importance of rapid prototyping, often evangelizing the methodology at tech talks and conferences.
Brant is the founder of Moves the Needle, a foundation that helps organizations jump-start their innovation capabilities. He is also the New York Times best-selling author of The Lean Entrepreneur, and has previously written the popular article 5 Ways to be a Better Mentor.
Benedict is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm. He writes regularly about product, tech, marketing, and more on his blog and in his newsletter. He is also a regular voice on Andreessen Horowitz’s podcast, a16z.
Julie is the Product Design Director at Facebook, where she manages design and research teams. She writes on a biweekly basis for Medium, and has published a “Cheat Sheet” breaking down best practices for working with product managers, designers, and engineers.
Brian is the Founder and CEO of the 280 group, a product management company that provides consulting, training and certification in product management. He has defined, launched, and marketed over 50 successful products for various companies in his career.
- Overcoming Challenges is Product Management
- The Product Management Maturity Scale
- 5 Ways to Make Product Management Improvements Stick
Mona is the CEO at Motivate Design, a user experience-led innovation company. She is also the CEO at UX Hires where she helps professionals find their ideal UX jobs. Mona is the author of Reframe: Shift the Way you Work, Innovate, and Think.
- Tough Love Performance Reviews in 10
- The 6 Excuses Preventing You From Designing a Better World
- Pivoting is Product Management
Andy is the CEO of Bonobos, a technology-driven apparel company. He was named one of Crain’s NY Business “40 Under 40” in 2013 for his outstanding accomplishments. He posts frequently to Medium, including perhaps his most popular article a few years ago, Get One Thing Right.
Paul is the VP of Product at Intercom. He contributes to the Intercom blog sharing things he’s learned from working on product at Facebook, Google, and Dyson.
- Where Do Product Roadmaps Come From?
- The Blind Product Manager
- Lessons Learned From Scaling a Product Team
Tristan is a lean startup coach at TriKro where he helps innovation teams improve their product and business models. He has worked with teams all over the world and regularly shares his advice based on his experiences on his blog.
Steven is the CEO of Validately, a platform that helps organizations test features before writing a single line of code. He writes often on the benefits of split testing and rapid prototyping.
- Death to the Minimum Viable Product
- How Split Testing Validates New Product Concepts Without Code
- Take Insights in Stride: Using iterative experiments in product development
- Demand Validation is Product Management
Matt is the cofounder of Constellate Data and helps develop curriculum for General Assembly. What makes Matt especially unique is his passion for music. He was the senior product manager at Songza and regularly contributes record reviews, artist interviews and more to Pitchfork Media.
Jeremy, aka The Product Guy, has built an enormous product management community. He is the founder of The Product Mentor program, The Product Group Meetup, and creator of the product management course at General Assembly.
Steve teaches at NYU, UC Berkeley, Columbia, and Stanford. He is a serial entrepreneur and one of the forefathers of the lean product management movement. His books are required reading for anyone in the industry.
- Innovation Outposts and the Evolution of Corporate R&D
- Why Build, Measure, Learn- isn’t just throwing things against the wall to see if they work- The MVP
Eric is the author of the well known New York Times bestseller, "The Lean Startup". He has reached countless companies with his lean approach to help organizations learn what works and what doesn’t faster.
- The Minimum Viable Product: A Primer
- MVP’s and Excellence
- Getting Feedback From Customers When Security is an Issue
Steven is the CEO and founder of Sequent Learning Networks, a training and organizational advisory services firm where he helps executives organize more effectively and produce great products.
Kevin is the founder of Product Manager HQ, an organization that helps the product management community learn more about breaking into the field. He also works on product at the AltSchool with the mission to provide exceptional education to every child.
- Has Quora actually changed anybody’s life?
- What are good ways to answer questions like “Design an elevator” in a product manager interview?
- Product Manager HQ
Chad is the founder of Product Innovation Educators, an organization dedicated to helping companies build stronger foundations that encourage creativity and innovation. He is also the host of The Everyday Innovator podcast.
- Understand What Customers Need Before Developing a Product
- The 2015 Challenges in Product Management Findings
- Podcasting is Product Management
Daniel is the product manager at Premium Minds. His blog, Folding Burritos, is full of articles and resources for anyone who wants to improve their daily product work.
- 20 Product Prioritization Techniques
- Deadlines are evil. Deadlines are our friends.
- How to Deal With Unresponsive Stakeholders
Martin is the founder of Mind the Product, a blog, conference, and community for product managers to share and learn best practices. He regularly tackles major industry questions in his blog posts.
- The History and Evolution of Product Management
- Product Management is a Team Sport
- What is a Project Manager?
Marty is a partner at the Silicon Valley Product Group, where he helps companies develop better product strategy, product design, user experience, and more. He is a regular contributor to the SVPG blog, and speaker at the Mind The Product conference.
Sarah is an experienced UX designer and has helped countless organizations create unique brand identities and engaging experiences. She writes regularly about UX and more on her blog and for UX Magazine.
- User Experience is Product Management
- 3 Ways Storytelling Can Improve Your Product Development Process
- 4 Reasons Why Your Wireframes Should Have Real Content
Nir Eyal is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products, a guide for product managers, designers, and marketers to create products with which users continually engage. He’s also an active investor in many other startups that have created products that he believes improve our lives.
- People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want Something Familiar Done Differently
- Hooking Users In 3 Steps: An Intro to Habit Testing
- User Engagement is Product Management
Ryan is the founder of Product Hunt, a website that features the best new products, games, books, and podcasts, every day. He was also a contributing writer to "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" by Nir Eyal.
- The Wolf Den Podcast: Ryan Hoover
- Talking about building community, transparency in building a product and more at Startup Grind
Noah is the Senior Vice President of Product Management at Foursquare. Hired from Google, he was said to be one of their “fastest rising” product managers.
- Manage Your Time Like Google Invests Its Resources: 70/20/10
- 71 Articles and Books That Will Make You a Great PM
- Roadmaps Without the Drudgery
Josh is currently a partner at Greylock, a venture capital and private equity firm where he looks for and invests in entrepreneurs building market-transforming companies. He has also been a part of several significant companies including Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Medium.
- Let’s Talk About Product Management