Escaping the Build Trap

by Melissa Perri

Posted by Anton Katunin on 8 June 2024
Tags: books, audiobook, 3 stars

This book is a great introduction to product management. It touches on many aspects and is quite comprehensive. It reminds me of Modern Software Engineering book but for a product. My main takeaway: talk to your customers. I see how many company issues are coming from lack of information. All employees want clear company direction so they know what to prioritise, but the CEO can set the vision without good information, hence flaky direction. Product managers can only prove or disprove ideas with customers and other stakeholders. I like how the book describes the role: product managers are not who come up with ideas, but who stop bad ideas.

I love how the book is written and structured. It's easy to follow, has plenty of examples and the content of the book is explained with one fictional example through the book.

While I feel the book comes from experience, the book itself is only partially practical. It's a good overview. While a high level mindset is important, it's a different task to apply it in practice. There are many cultural, people, and organisational challenges that prevent good product management.

I highly recommend this book to all product managers, senior leadership and entrepreneurs. Like the book highlights, product culture spans to the whole organisation.