Which research shows keeps me focused on the tasks at hand

It’s easy to let your desk become the dumping ground for a whole host of non-essential things.

The collection of coffee cups and biscuits. Notepads galore and wires everywhere. Screens covered in post-it notes, and old magazines acting as mouse mats.

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Photo by Daria Obymaha from Pexels

But research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute has shown, through the use of fMRI scans, that our brains like to be ordered, and that constant visual reminders of disorganization strain our brain and reduce our ability to focus.

They also found that when participants cleared their work space, they were better able to focus and process information, and their productivity increased. …


6 books all about how to lead from leaders and experts

The words and advice from people who are experts in their field will help you develop confidence and mental fortitude. You’re able to build the mindset you need to lead people through critical times, having learned from the experiences of the best in the business.

Here are six books that give real insight into how to lead an organization, and you can find more in the Business Leaders section on the Getting Started in Product bookstore.

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Handbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell

Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle

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Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep relationships with Silicon Valley visionaries, including Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt. …


6 books all about how to get your organization working in a common method

The culture at your organization sets expectations for how people behave and work together, and how well they function as a team.

In this way, culture can break down the boundaries between siloed teams, guide decision-making, and improve workflow overall.

Here are six books that give real insight into what you need to consider and how to go about it, and you can find more in the Company Culture section on the Getting Started in Product bookstore.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

Simon Sinek

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A classic book of its kind, in which Simon Sinek looks at not what organizations do, but why they do it. By understanding the why, you soon discover how some organizations are more successful and inventive than others. …


6 books to help you get the role of your dreams

Getting a career in product management requires all the common areas of attention (CV writing, interview preparation, and career planning) and then domain specific knowledge to prepare for the role and the transition into them.

Product managers are prepared, organised, and know the goals they need to achieve, which is all perfect preparation for interviewing for your dream role.

Here are six books that give real insight into what you need to consider and how to go about it, and you can find more in the Careers section on the Getting Started in Product bookstore.

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein

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Malcolm Gladwell stated that “‘Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours.”, which implies that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice. …


And it’s not moaning, it’s just reality

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  1. There are too many ideas to keep track of, but you’re expected to keep them all safe for when you need them
  2. There aren’t enough good ideas to hit the goal you need to hit, only ideas for things that won’t affect the KPI you need to affect
  3. There isn’t enough time in the current sprint to finish all the work, every sprint
  4. There isn’t enough time to plan the next sprint, because you’re too busy with the current sprint
  5. One stakeholder wants it to work likes this but another wants it to work like that and you’re expected to make them both…


6 books about understanding the problems you need to solve

Data analysis is important in business to understand problems facing an organisation, and to explore data in meaningful ways.

Data in itself is merely facts and figures. Data analysis organizes, interprets, structures and presents the data into useful information that provides context for the data.

Here are six books that support product managers understand analytics and make it less of a threatening subject for those worried about their ‘maths’ skills, and you can find more in the Data & Analytics section on the Getting Started in Product bookstore.

Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth

John Doerr

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Measure What Matters was one of the most read books in a Fintech startup that I was part of the founding team of. It looks at OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and define what we seek to achieve and key results are how those top priority goals will be attained. …


6 books to help you discover what customers want

Why is product discovery important?

It helps teams build products that are vital to their customers, not simply nice to have.

A necessary product is one that solves such a deep and genuine need for the customer that they feel unable to live without it.

And it’s a lot harder to understand the genuine need than you think.

Here are six books that give real insight into what you need to consider and how to go about it, and you can find more in the Product Discovery section on the Getting Started in Product bookstore.

The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win

Steve Blank

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The book offers the practical and proven four-step Customer Development process for search and offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Rather than blindly execute a plan, The Four Steps helps uncover flaws in product and business plans and correct them before they become costly. Rapid iteration, customer feedback, testing your assumptions are all explained in this book. …


Getting the product brief right is key to success

As product people our role is to understand the needs of our customers, and then translate these needs into actionable features that can be delivered by our teams. Easy right?

However, we all know that the reality is never easy, and the famous tree swing cartoon below shows what we all can experience at one time or another when things get lost in translation.

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Lots of these problems come down to how the needs are communicated, and as product teams, it is our responsibility to undertake lots of this communication.

We need to:

  • Understand how the customer explained it, but also understand what they really…


Why you should become dispensable in your organization

I’ve worked for quite a few organizations over the years, and I don’t think I ever left thinking ‘they won’t survive without me’.

And that’s the way I like it. It’s also the situation that I think every person leaving a business should strive to achieve.

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Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash

When it comes to any role within the organization, if you’ve got into the situation where you are the only person that knows how to do something, how something works, or where something is, then you’ve failed spectacularly.

Organizations are on the whole not just one person. They are groups of people, in teams or departments, who are all working together towards a common goal. …


From podcasts and videos, to Twitter and Medium

With our day jobs and our other commitments, there is a limit to the amount of time that we all have to improve our skills, so it’s important to get as much bang for your buck out of the content you spend your time on.

It doesn’t matter if you like audio, video or the written word, there content out there that can help improve your product skills.

I’ve included some of the best below, but if you’ve got some of your own favorites, then please do add a response to this story and share it with others.

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Podcasts

This is Product Management, by Feedback Loop — Product interviews from the customer feedback…

About

Robert Drury

Product person at Watchfinder, Founder at gettingstartedinproduct.com

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