It’s been a stellar year for folks involved in product management, UX/design thinking, Lean, Agile, and shipping great software that users care enough to pay for. Here are just a few of the folks whose 2015 work I appreciate:
- Long-time bloggers/thought leaders like Steve Johnson, April Dunford and the ever-inspiring Ken Norton, mixed with Intercom and lean-UX-experimentalists including Tristan Kromer, Teresa Torres and Dan Olsen. Plus Jeff Lash. And Ellen Chisa’s evolution from startups to HBS and back. Finally, Ron Lichty’s “Managing the Unmanageable.”
- Events and Meetups. Silicon Valley Product Management Association had its 15th anniversary, and The Business of Software rocks on, with newer events bringing lots of star power to the stage. Mind The Product brought together SF and London technorati, and Products That Count added a product design conference. New Product Camps popped up worldwide including in Halifax, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. Plus dozens of informal gatherings like Lean Startup Circle.
- Podcasts. Cindy Solomon’s Global Product Management Talk was joined by Ready Product Radio, Yours Productly, All The Responsibility, and the Everyday Innovator.
- Product-managed-focused tools. My April list of purpose-built product management software (Aha!, ProdPad, etc.) needs expanding to include Product Board, Receptive, Conteneo and more.
Finally, there was a flurry of product management courses and get-your-first-product-job classes. All great, and a chance to expand our ranks. Quoting Scott Sehlhorst though, with a nod to gray beards of both sexes, “a weekend at the dude ranch doesn’t make you a cowboy.” Newly trained product folks will still need some mentoring and not-for-the-faint-of-heart product experience to handle unruly organizations led by vision-of-the-hour executives.
Hoping that 2016 will bring more voices, more stages, more participation, and some strong differences of opinion.