Watch a Demo

24 Expert Articles and Resources for Product Managers

| August 18, 2015
Sign up to get bi-weekly insights and best practices, and receive your free CX Industry Report.
Thank you!

Get ready for some great content coming to your inbox from the team at UserTesting!

If you’re a product manager, the pressure is on. Whether you’re working on an early product at a young startup or you’re in charge of a well-established product at a more mature company, it’s your job to satisfy the needs of both your business and your user.

To help you navigate the challenges of managing a product, we’ve rounded up 23 articles from industry-leading experts that you won’t want to miss. Enjoy!

Being an awesome PM

A Product Manager’s Job

The exact role of a PM can vary dramatically from one company to the next. In this article, Josh Elman, who’s managed products at Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, gives one clear definition with lots of helpful tips.

How to Spot the Five-Tool Superstar

As a PM, you can’t reach the next level by only doing one thing well. Here’s the CEO of LinkedIn’s guide to finding the Willie Mays of product people.

Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager

It’s easy to fall into day-to-day traps like constantly putting out fires, getting bogged down in the “how” of delivering a product, and giving weak or unclear direction. To be a good PM, commit these differences to memory.

What distinguishes the top 1% of product managers from the top 10%?  

We know what makes a good PM, but what makes a truly excellent PM? It’s a rare combination of big ideas, communication, prioritization, and more… and Ian McAllister of Amazon lays it out in this Quora article.

4 Mistakes New Product Managers Make

If you’re a newer PM, these four common mistakes can hold you back from taking your career (and your product) to the next level.

15 Expert Tips on the Skills and Mindset of a Successful Product Manager

In this roundup, 15 product management experts share their advice on the soft skills and hard skills that help a PM truly stand out.

Working with new products

How to Get Startup Ideas

The best product idea is the one that solves a problem that already exists. Check out Y Combinator Co-founder Paul Graham’s advice on living in the future and developing meaningful solutions.

Get One Thing Right

It’s not your company’s job to be everything to everyone. This article celebrates the value of developing one well-researched, precise product for the right market.

Guide to Product Planning: 3 Feature Buckets

Most of your feature requests will fall into one of these three categories. Knowing where a feature request fits can help you prioritize and plan your roadmap.

“Shipping Beats Perfection” Explained

It’s a tricky balance to deliver a product fast and right. In this article, find out what Khan Academy’s team is willing to be embarrassed by—and what they’re not.

Getting Your Product into the Habit Zone

Learn Hooked author Nir Eyal’s psychological tips for developing a product that becomes a habit for users.

So Long MVP. Hello Minimum Loveable Product

“It’s better to build something that a small number of users love, than a large number of users like,” says Sam Altman of Y Combinator. This article provides 10 tips to move your product from viable to loveable.

Reaching product/market fit

On Product/Market Fit for Startups

If you haven’t already read Marc Andreeson’s formative article defining product/market fit, stop everything you’re doing and read it now. We’ll wait.

The First Thing That Matters: Product/Market Fit

You may find that you have more questions than answers about reaching product/market fit. If that’s the case, this article is filled with actionable advice for you.

The Never Ending Road to Product Market Fit

In this essay, Brian Balfour argues that product/market fit isn’t one point you reach, but a line that’s always moving.

Handling scale and competition

Do Things That Don’t Scale

Often, it’s the things that don’t scale—but do attract new users, make customers happy, and resolve product issues—that can spell success for a startup.

Growth Principle One: Be the Best at Getting Better

To achieve maintainable growth, and to get ahead of the competition, it’s important to focus on constant improvement, rather than a wildly successful experiment.

15 Competitive Intelligence Questions Product Managers Need to Ask [SlideShare]

It’s not enough to focus on your own product, users, and business goals; the companies that get ahead are the ones that are constantly evaluating their competition.

Working with different teams

How to Work with Software Engineers

Your engineering team is crucial to your product’s success, but to get them to build the product you’ve envisioned, you need to communicate effectively with them. Take Google PM Ken Norton’s advice to get your engineers on board with your plans.

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule

Developers often work very differently than managers do. Understanding the differences can make you a more successful leader.

How to Work with Designers: A Cheat Sheet for Engineers and PMs

Julie Zhou, Product Design Director at Facebook, shares how to speak the language of designers and appeal to their strengths to get the best product designed.

The Art of Decision Making as a Product Manager

As PM, you have to make a lot of difficult decisions. These five best practices will make the decision making process easier.

5 Tips for When Your Release Is Running Late

No one likes running behind schedule, but sometimes it happens. These tips will help you navigate the situation realistically.

Product Strategy Means Saying No

One of the hardest parts of the job is saying “no”—especially to good ideas. But without delivering a thousand “no’s,” you’ll never end up with a cohesive product. This article highlights some common request scenarios and gives advice on how to turn down requests effectively.

What did we miss?

Have a favorite article other PMs would find useful? Share it with us on Twitter @usertesting.