We’ve been diving into product management for the last few years. First, we needed to learn how to do our own product management (and that continues to be a steep learning curve).
Then we realised that product managers were using our product to track ideas and feedback from customers and their own teams. So we got to know product managers as customers as well.
So we’ve learnt a lot about product management in a short amount of time.
Here’s our list of the top 8 product management blogs (and often newsletters) that we find accessible, entertaining and useful. In no particular order.
Elezea is a blog and newsletter by Rian van der Merwe. He’s a product manager with a background in user experience design. He also wrote Making It Right: Product Management For A Startup World.
Van der Merwe’s newsletter is both personal and thoughtful, with succinct article descriptions. Selected articles are either about product management, or broader tech issues.
Van der Merwe sometimes goes off piste in the section ‘Final Thoughts’ to tell us about his thoughts on jazz and summer reading, which is nice and makes him feel a bit like a friend.
- Owned by: Rian van der Merwe
- Also interesting: He runs The world’s smallest product management community
2. Julie Zhuo
Julie Zhuo is product design VP at Facebook and author of The Making of a Manager. She’s particularly strong on improving relationships with other people (and with yourself). For example, articles include: ‘The meta-conversation: A technique to get your most frustrating conversations unstuck’ and ‘How to talk about yourself in the best possible way’.
Zhou has an easy conversational style, as well as being strong on actionable insights.
Got the negative-vibes team? Try this: “Hey, does anyone else feel like we always end our discussions on a bummer note? We’ll start talking about problems, but instead of brainstorming solutions or getting excited about the changes we could make, we devolve into why everything sucks.”
- Owned by: Julie Zhuo
- Also interesting: Zhou runs The Looking Glass mailing list for talking about “the hard stuff”
The Product Manager HQ newsletter collects together articles by 5 different authors on useful aspects of product management.
We usually read 1 or 2 articles per week, so they’re a good bet for novice product managers. Topics covered include: soft skills, ux, career growth, retention, product, product management.
They also have a resource section on their website where you can download the Product Manager Template Kit and Product Manager Tool Guide.
- Owned by: Kevin Lee
- Also interesting: they host a PMHQ Slack community
This blog is by Brandon Chu, product manager at Shopify. He is strong on tackling complex topics in a clear, logical and accessible manner, mixing copy with neat illustrations (and sometimes funny gifs).
Pro-tip: double the effort and halve the impact of any estimates, and you’ll be much closer to reality.
His posts are divided into two categories: product management theory and stories from shipping. Posts from the first category include ‘Making good decisions as a product manager’ and ‘Product management mental models for everyone’. Posts from the latter include ‘A bad product decision’, which makes for interesting and quite scary reading (it would be so easy to make the decision Chu did).
- Owned by: Brandon Chu
Mind the Product started as a product management meetup group in a London pub. It’s now a huge global community with over 150,000 members across meetups in 175+ cities around the world.
As you’d expect, their blog is substantial. For that reason, it can take a while to navigate although you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something on the topic you need.
Top categories include: What is Product Management? Product Roadmap, Product Management Process, User Experience (UX), Digital Transformation, Product Launch, Product Leadership, Product Management Skills, Product Marketing and Product Strategy.
They also run a newsletter.
- Owned by: Mind the Product
- Also interesting: they host a Mind the Product Slack community
Intercom puts a substantial amount of resources into their blog, and usually write fairly helpful, detailed articles. Although their blog has quite a broad remit, you can narrow down relevant articles by looking at the ‘growth’ or ‘product and design’ categories.
Two articles we bookmarked recently include: ‘Understanding your “aha” moments and putting them to work’ and ‘Product managers should not build the roadmap. The product team should’.
- Owned by: Intercom
7. Ken Norton
Norton is a Senior Operating Partner at Google Ventures where he provides product and engineering support to more than 300 portfolio companies. So he’s pretty experienced. He wrote the essay on ‘How to hire a product manager’.
His blog covers an interesting range of topics from ‘How to Work With Software Engineers’ to ‘Please Make Yourself Uncomfortable: What product managers can learn from jazz musicians’.
- Owned by Ken Norton
- Also interesting: He runs a newsletter called Bringing the Donuts
This blog is a little unusual, in that it shows detailed answers to various product manager interview questions. It’s obviously great if you’re job hunting, but even if you’re not (like us) it’s a fascinating resource. You can test your skills, see theory in practice – always a great way to learn – and broaden your general product management knowledge.
Questions include: ‘How would you prioritize new product features for Facebook?’ and ‘How would you design a wedding registry?’.
- Owned by: Stellar Peers
We're definitely not going to list our blog as a must-read for 2019! We're a small company and we write articles when we can, often about something we've just learnt (although we're pretty hot on feature tracking and idea management).
Our most popular articles include: Best Slack Apps & Integrations for Product Managers, Does your software product need new features? and How to say no to a feature request.