Inspired Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Inspired taps into a popular subject, which is how to build successful products that sell, run a thriving business by avoiding common mistakes and traps along the way by motivating employees and setting a prime example through knowledge and skills, all while developing worthwhile products that are needed on the market.

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Inspired Summary

Whether you’re at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey or you’re an executive looking to expand their company’s line of products, Inspired  by Marty Cagan will help you build a successful array of software products that sell. How? It all starts from the top, which is, in fact, you. Building a set of distinguishable skills and a knowledge base so strong that you can spot patterns in cross-disciplinary topics. 

Then, it boils down to your team. Keeping your employees happy and your working team engaged is a key metric of any successful company. The product is one crucial part of a successful business. You’ll want to build products that sell, and use the profits to continue doing so. We’ll talk about how to pull this off when developing software.

For now, let’s explore my three favorite lessons from the book:

  1. A good team behind a product consists of an excellent product manager and a few key people.
  2. Poor teams overlook user experience, but winning products require this crucial step.
  3. A successful product must be feasible, usable, and valuable. 

In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a closer look at each lesson, and reveal some pretty interesting insights. Let’s start with the first one!

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Lesson 1: Coming up with a successful product implies having an A-team ready to go

Let’s start from the top. A great team has an excellent lead – the product manager. Employing a good executive comes with a lot of challenges. The ideal candidate has a strong technical knowledge base, but also great social skills that they can use to network and seize opportunities. In a way, they must be “bilingual”. They must also evaluate the market in such a way that they realize what problems need to be addressed. And then figure out a way to do so through their product. 

A well-developed team also needs a user experience designer that works closely with the product. So that they can create the interface according to the expectations of the product manager. The designers give the product a direction and help engineers with what they need to do. At this point, the product manager needs to be closely involved with them, so that the direction is properly set. 

Next, there’s the marketing person, whose job is to advertise the product before the launch and after. Here, the product manager must be equally involved. They both have to agree on the target audience and the customers they want to reach. They also must establish a common strategy to do so. Finally, everyone in the company feels as if they can deliver valuable insights and participate with their input, to ensure that the product will be successful and that errors are left out of the process.

Lesson 2: User experience, or UX, is one of the most important parts of the product development

The user experience is when the consumer interacts with the interface of the product, gets to discover its utility and efficiency, and decides whether they like it, or not. Any company aims to make this experience as user-friendly as possible, and leave the consumer satisfied with their product. However, to reach this objective, four essential roles need to be addressed in the creation process. 

The first one is the role of interaction designers. They have to understand what a user wants, then create the blueprint of the product based on their desires and needs. Once there’s a frame of work, visual designers create the actual interface based on it. Essentially, they create the user’s interface, which is one vital step that requires a trial-and-error phase.

The next step in this process is to appoint a person to create prototypes and try out the product. But the team should make sure not to spend too much time on them, as their sole purpose is to mimic the experience and help the team spot mistakes in the product. Lastly, a prototype needs a tester. The tester is the one to try out the product as if they were a consumer. They will try to find every possible error that the engineering team might’ve missed.

Lesson 3: Learn the three traits of a successful product, and assess them in all stages to create a winning product

Essentially, the product manager and their team aim to create a successful product, and while they’re following the above-mentioned steps, there’s one thing that they should keep in mind at all times: the validation of their product. At its final stage, it should be feasible, usable, and valuable for the consumer. For now, let’s see what these concepts imply. 

  • Feasible: it makes sense for the company to build it from a financial, social, lucrative point of view, and the engineers can do it.
  • Usable: The consumers can use it and it makes sense for them to implement it in their lives. 
  • Valuable: The product adds extra value to the life of the customers, a fact that makes them buy it. 

Now, as the team goes through the stages of development, their aim should always be to make the product tick all these boxes. The engineer, the UX interface designer, and the product manager should discuss these aspects before the start of the project, and assess the feasibility through a mini-prototype, just to see if the product is doable in time and it serves its purpose. 

If the idea goes through, the team can get to work. However, sometimes this stage saves the company additional resources when the product doesn’t prove to be feasible. Then, the manager can either drop the project or come up with a similar, yet better version of the product. Carefully going through all these stages will ensure the creation of a successful product that meets the market’s needs and wants.

Inspired Review

Inspired teaches product managers to create successful products by enabling winning teams and organizing roles accordingly. The book teaches its readers what are the characteristics of a feasible, usable, and valuable product, and how to make sure any team is successful at creating it by following a series of key steps and emphasizing different crucial stages of creation, like prototyping, communicating between team members, testing, and many more! Reading this book will help anyone create an organized and efficient team with clearly defined roles and create a great product that the consumers need and want.

Who would I recommend the Inspired summary to?

The 35-year-old product manager who wants to take on a new project at work, the 40-year-old management teacher who wants to expand their practical knowledge in the field, or the 25-year-old graduate who’s passionate about project management, product development, or any related fields.

Last Updated on October 5, 2022

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.