OpenTable’s product book club recently tackled Marty Cagan’s Inspired (which has a new edition out recently). My first week at OpenTable was a workshop for our product development organization led by Cagan, and re-reading the book was a great reminder of how significantly he’s defined my product management philosophy.

My take-aways for great product teams:

  • Product teams, with a focused mandate and appropriate staffing
  • Process matters enormously: Good process isn’t just a marginal competitive advantage
    • Good process involves launching and iterating fast with a dual-track discovery/development process
    • Good process gets the people building the product involved in figuring out what to build ASAP
    • Good process means delegating decision making authority down to individual PMs; decision makers who are close to the customer are a competitive advantage
  • Encapsulate business logic so that teams can own across the broader product