Our Favorite ProductCraft Posts of 2019

Published Dec 20, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, we’ve decided to look back at some of our favorite posts from the year. We’ve had some awesome contributors join our community in 2019. And they’ve given us some thought-provoking perspectives on working in product and shared their best practices with our audience

Below are just a few of the fantastic posts that appeared on ProductCraft this year. Thank you to everyone who contributed, and to all of our readers.

What Product Can Learn From Growth Teams by Hiten Shah

Product teams are more data-driven than ever, but there’s one metric they still tend to ignore — retention. In fact, Hiten’s team at Use FYI did the research to prove it. They analyzed 51 job postings for product managers from companies of all sizes, from small startups with a few employees to companies like Uber, Visa, and Amazon.

The word “retention” didn’t show up. Not even once. In this thoughtful post, Hiten examines why this might be, and why it should change.

Want to hear more from Hiten? He’ll be presenting at our upcoming event ProductCraft Conference: San Francisco on February 25.

A Product Manager Is No Longer a “Luxury Hire” by Greg Bayer

It might be hard to believe now, but there was a time when a product manager was only a “nice to have.” During the dot-com boom, only large, established tech companies like Sun, Oracle, or Microsoft hired specifically for roles with the title “product manager.”

However, many tech startups soon realized that the PM role served a real need within the organization. Over time, the value of product management as a discipline became more and more apparent. In this article, Greg Bayer of Nielsen shares his own experience moving into the product management field and why he thinks PMs should be among a company’s very first hires.

The Six Best Product Management Podcasts by Kristen Miller

If you’re looking for something new to listen to over the holiday break, we recommend checking out this list. Some of our favorite product management podcasts include Rocketship FM (especially their “We F*cked Up: Product Mistakes” episode), How I Built This (hosted by former ProductCraft Conference keynote speaker Guy Raz), and Roadmunk’s Product to Product (among others).

And of course, we tooted our own horn a bit by including Product Love. Next month, we plan to publish an updated version of this list, so stay tuned for our 2020 product podcast recommendations.

A Brief Guide to Product Management Certification and Training by John Peltier

If you’re considering continuing your education as a PM, you probably have a lot of questions about your options. In this guide, John Peltier takes you through the various educational resources that are out there, from Master’s degrees in product management to certification programs to product conferences and must-read books. He also discusses some “less traditional” ways to gain a PM education, such as meetup groups and mentorship.

Can Product Work Be Done Remotely? by Marie Prokopets

Approximately one million think pieces have declared that remote work is the way of the future. But can product work be done remotely? Imagine what a product person looks like at work. Sticky notes carefully arranged and rearranged on a wall. Whiteboarding sessions. Cross-functional meetings discussing customer feedback. Presentations to senior stakeholders. Creative eureka moments shared with others in the room.

Can this kind of work be done from home? Should it? In this article, Marie Prokopets of Use FYI discusses the pros and cons of remote product work and explains how PMs who do work remotely can ensure they remain successful in the role.

The Hippocratic Oath of Product Leadership by Radhika Dutt

Product managers identify a problem and create a product or feature to solve it. A medical doctor does something remarkably similar: diagnose the root cause of the patient’s condition and treat it. In fact, we even experiment on users as clinical researchers might. While the medical field is bound by the Hippocratic oath, the product world isn’t really bound by any formal “guiding principle.” According to Radhika Dutt, that needs to change.

If you’d like to hear more from Radhika, she’ll be running a workshop session (“How to Iterate Less and Build More”) at ProductCraft Conference: San Francisco on February 25.

Product Ops: Why Now? by Christine Itwaru

Operations functions are having a moment right now. Finally, they’re getting the recognition long reserved for revenue-focused departments like sales and marketing. Over the past few months, we’ve seen more and more attention directed at the “ops” arm of product management. While product ops is a relatively new role, it’s already starting to show the value it can provide to the product org. In this article, our Pendo colleague Christine Itwaru explains why product ops is on the rise, where it fits within the company, and how your own team can embrace a product ops mindset.

We hope you enjoy these reads over a nice cup of cocoa or eggnog. Have a great holiday season and a happy new year.