Book Review: Shipping Greatness [Practical lessons on building and launching outstanding software]

Product management is often misunderstood among startups. Some tend to think of it as a UI/UX and some think it’s project management (read: Jobs of a PM).

But in reality, it’s all about shipping shipping greatness, i.e. ship stuff that matters (not shipping products that you can).

The book is largely aimed at early stage product development teams (not just startups) and brings some of the experiences by the author Chris Vander Mey, former Google product manager and Amazon engineering manager.

The book not only looks at the high level view of shipping products, but also revisits some of the most unsaid conversations/myths in product teams. For instance:

  • You are not the boss—team leads are servants and exist to serve the engineering team.
  • Start with the user and work outward.
  • Build the simplest thing that can possibly work.
  • You ship the software you have, not the software you want.
  • <and more>

The book takes a practical approach to the entire B-school gyaan that we all know of, i.e. have a mission strategy (we all know this), but ensures that it fits on a t-shirt! Simple, isn’t it?

Importantly, the book does take discussions beyond ‘successful launch = successful product syndrome” and the significance of right metrics for product teams, but one just wishes that there was more dedicated to ‘beyond shipping’ as well.

Nevertheless, if you are a product manager or a startup building products , we strongly recommend you to get hold of this book (link). This is a must read.

Recommended Read:

» Also, do check out the Product Management channel on (it’s full of awesomeness).

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