Mark’s Reading Corner – The Top 8 Articles of February

So why do you love being a product manager? There can be hundreds of answers to this one simple question. My main reason is that this field is constantly reinventing itself. No matter how good I think I get, I need to keep learning in order to do even better. A new product that I unfortunately may not have thought of springs up and changes the game.

In order to keep up to date with the latest trends and product I constantly skim headlines, Twitter, ScoopIt, LinkedIn, you name it I’m there. I’ve compiled a list of the best articles and blogs I came across this month that I believe can enrich you. Enjoy!

1. 3 Ways Product Managers Survive a Black Hole Backlog

Danny Archer hit such a realistic issue here that I had to share it. Backlogs, work you’ll “get to later”, quickly turns into a black hole you’re scared to start nipping at, kind of like going back to the gym after a few months off. Here’s a few tips on how to climb out of there.


2. The Problem That Product Managers Have With “New”

The reason I love product management is more or less summed up in this one article. Dr. Jim Anderson does such an excellent job explaining why “new” is so scary and exciting at the same time. While new can be awesome because it causes a lot of commotion and speculation, it can also cause quite the backfire, which is proven with products like Google Glass.

 Discover even better ways to make your product even more simple to use. 


3. What Huge Mistakes Are Companies Making in Product Management?

Take a look at this very interesting conversation between AJ Agrawal and Phil Tadros of Doejo about what mistakes companies make with their product managers. My favorite quote was “I think that too many product managers fail to solicit feedback from both their team and customers early enough in the development process.” This is so true on so many different levels. There are also many more insights regarding product management that can be found in this conversation.

4. 7 Tools Every Product Management Team Needs

Brian de Haaf is one of those guys that seems to somehow always have his ear to the ground. He knows the new trends and what ideas you can use to better improve your product. In this article he shares 7 tools that product manager need in order to gain better control of their product.

5. The Myths of Product Management

I love articles like these. Trying to explain to people what exactly it is product managers do is one of the toughest parts of my job. In addition there’s also explaining away the myths regarding our profession. Christina Wodtke does an exemplary job with this article.


6. Great Products Solve Problems

What makes a great product? Why should I create and invest in a new product anyway? As you can guess by the title, Anna Miedzianowska discusses in her article that great products solve problems. People are more likely to use products that solve a specific issue rather than a product that adds another thing.


7. What Makes Someone a Great Product Manager at Google?

In order to be the best I highly recommend learning from the best. Edward Ho gives us some insight in regards to how product management works at Google. His #1 tip of taking responsibility is the most important one. If you don’t have time to read the article at least read the first tip.

8. Ellen DeGeneres: the Product Legend

I have a confession to make. I love Ellen. I think she’s highly entertaining, fun and is what I need to tune out for a little bit. She is also one of the greatest product managers out there. Keeping a product relevant for over 20 years is hard to do, but to make it more relevant and popular is nigh impossible.


Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.