The difference between the best product companies and the rest is pretty stark. And you don’t have to wait until the end of the fiscal quarter to figure which is which. Those lagging indicators will tell you only what happened. Past tense. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in what will happen, begin by examining the level of empowerment within those companies.
In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean and Paul sit down with Marty Cagan, product thought leader, mentor, and founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG), to discuss the power of empowerment. The job to be done by empowered teams, Marty says, is to solve the hard problems. Sounds simple, but the implications are enormous.
So take heed, product people. Whether you’re new to the field or a seasoned product veteran, there’s something for you in our no-holds-barred conversation with Marty Cagan. What to listen for:
- Feature Teams, Product Teams, Delivery Teams (06:47). The differences between them and empowered teams are real, and significant.
- Empowered Teams (08:33). Like start-ups, they need to figure out the products customers are willing to buy (value) and whether those products can sustain a business (viability).
- Innovation (11:25). Solutions to hard problems that add value for our customers and our business.
- Role of the Product Manager (13:13). They have to go figure out something worth building. So they have a bigger responsibility on an empowered team.
- For New & Up-and-Coming Product Managers (16:32). What hiring managers are looking for is much more about how you think about solving problems, coming at it with a different perspective.
- The Best Single Source of Innovation (21:56). Marty’s comments may surprise you…though maybe not.
- Value of Developers (25:00). If you’re just using your developers to code, you’re only getting about half their value.
Marty’s Recommended Reading
What You Do is Who You Are: How To Create Your Business Culture, by Ben Horowitz.
Inspired: How to Create Tech Product Customers Love, 2nd, by Marty Cagan.
Coming Soon: Empowered, by Marty Cagan.
Marty Cagan is the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG). Before founding SVPG to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, coaching and advising, Marty was senior vice president of product and design for eBay. At eBay, he was responsible for defining products and services for the company’s global e-commerce trading site.
Marty is a guest speaker at conferences and major tech companies around the globe, and he is the author of INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love.