My Weekly Reading Recommendation

I think that it’s become impossible to be a top rated product manager unless you read what’s going on in the greater world. I’m constantly reading, trying to find out the biggest and best ideas, what’s coming up and what’s new in the tech world, and gladly share my findings with you. Anyone who says that technology isn’t influenced by others is lying to you. Everyone is constantly trying to find out what the latest trend is, and in turn, how to enhance the customer experience.

Below are what I think is important for you to know about what’s going on in the world of technology, but more importantly for product managers.

Product Management Face-Off – Universal Studios vs. Disneyland

Disneyland has become less and less popular recently and one of the main reasons for this is that Universal Studios Theme Park has become a main attraction for tourists and Southern California residents. This is due to Universal’s genius product management and marketing. Universal stopped trying to be like the other and started embracing itself, which I think is what every company should do. I have a cousin in the skateboarding business and I always ask him if he’s worried about his competitors, and always tells me “Nah, they’re my friends. Why can’t we succeed together?” This thought has drastically changed my perception of my product and I’ve come to realize that I need to embrace my products uniqueness and not try and one up my competition.

Google’s Sundar Pichai Is the Most Powerful Man in Mobile

This is far from my usual read but with everything happening at Google, or should I call it Alphabet?, I think it comes to show you just how important a product manger really is. Many times I read that product managers aren’t very useful, that it would be better to invest your money in another IT employee, or a better office. Sundar Pichai comes to show you just how important it is to have a product manager and what an asset it can be. Here you also learn his fascinating personal story, and a little bit about Google too.

4 Design Skills Every Product Manager Should Have

More and more I’m seeing how product managers need to start becoming designers as well. When I started designers worked on the design and product managers were the team leaders with the vision. But vision and design can be easily intertwined and are very similar so I understand the need for PM’s to understand basic design as well. An overall great article by Harish Venkatesan, and a nice short read I thoroughly enjoyed and I’m sure you will too.

Five Lessons for a Small Team Product Manager

Yes. That about sums up how I felt about this article. Dan Pitrwiski is on point here about how to integrate your product management style into a new team. I especially liked the section regarding your “batman utility belt.” I don’t know if you guys watch Silicon Valley, but there’s an episode where Jared, or Donald as he’s actually called, tries to introduce a new way of tackling issues with SWOT. Sometimes your idea as product manager will work. Other times it won’t, but what’s important is that you don’t force it down people’s throat.

How Can A Product Manager Make Something Old New Again?

One of the hardest things to do as human beings in general is to really think outside of the box. Many times I’ll find myself thinking “D’oh! Why didn’t I think of this sooner?” and most of the times its because I grew accustomed to thinking a certain way, which for product managers can be very dangerous. Here Dr. Jim Anderson takes the lowly pencil and reinvents the product and the way you think about it in very few words. Definitely worth your time.








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.