Those of you who have been reading my blog over time have likely seen me mention Marty Cagan from Silicon Valley Product Group. He and Chris Jones have relatively recently come out with a fabulous book I would highly recommend entitled Empowered (you can find it here among other places). Both practical and inspiring, this book discusses what it takes for a product development team to move from simply developing features that serve the needs of the business to creating real value that serves clients in ways that help the business. As I move on from my current product role after 15 years with one company and head into a new role with a different firm, I am both excited for the ways that company I’m leaving has begun to embrace some of the ideas in Empowered and thrilled that the firm I will be joining has already embraced these notions. I could make this a long post detailing many of the valuable insights I gleaned from this book (about coaching, partnership with designers and developers, evangelism for the product vision, and collaboration across the organization instead of simple “stakeholder management”) but will instead simply encourage you to read this book if you’ve liked the kinds of approaches I have discussed here. Cagan and Jones offer some wonderful ideas that any product team can learn from, though the book won’t solve all your problems since in truth, it’s not that simple.