Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

I recently finished Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (Marty Cagan with Chris Jones, 2020, 432 pages), and I love virtually everything about this book.

In a way, it represents a continuation of the book Inspired, and a deepening into different aspects of Product Discovery. But the details and examples are so numerous, and so relevant, that it’s like I could still use several more of these books.

Actually, I was a bit sad while approaching the end, because I feel that reading this book gives me some inspiration to pursue continue showing its concepts to people around me, and moving towards a way of working that is simply better than my current model.

When I reflect about the software industry, and my (limited and personal) experience with it, it is easy to see that the way many of us worked since about 10+ years ago and until now, cannot deliver the results we need today.

The reason for it is simple. Creating great software products is like solving a big puzzle. No one has all the answers. Therefore, it only makes sense to adapt our way of working, so that we use realistic tools to learn about what works and what does not work for our target user groups.

Producing features just because some stakeholders really believe in them is not a guarantee of success. It doesn’t matter if the stakeholder is an early adopter or the company’s CEO. And this has always been like that. But the techniques available today, many of each being discussed in Empowered, really can enable a product team to realistic access and develop product opportunities.

Still, these techniques cannot and do not promise success either. This way of working, however, guarantee that we either can come to the conclusion that this product is not a good idea after all, or it can allow for innumerous small changes that brings the product, step-by-step, closer to a state in which possible buyers can actually make that final buying decision.

So, reading a book like Empowered, as well as other books in this same modern field of Product Discovery is almost mandatory, I do believe, for someone really interested in organizing a company in a way that can allow engineers, product manager, and designers, to really discover amazing products.

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