It is one thing to write down your thoughts in a private journal. It is quite another to publish those thoughts for everyone to read. You need to have a strong conviction to share what you have learned. That is why I started writing on the Aha! blog — to share my views about building great products and companies with others who are trying to do the same.
The reality is that the best product managers are curious about many things, not just building products and the organizations that support them. So I write about what piques my interest — leadership and skill building, as well as weightier subjects such as finding purpose in life and the value of hard work.
The response from Aha! blog readers has been gratifying, thoughtful, and even surprising at times. I have learned a lot from the feedback.
But I am just one voice. I am glad to know that our Customer Success team, who are all former product managers, are voracious readers. So, I asked them what they read. They follow a variety of blogs to keep sharp, gain other perspectives, and challenge their thinking.
Without further ado and presented in no particular order, here is the Aha! team’s list of blogs for innovators and product managers:
“The Download” from MIT Technology Review — “It’s essential to stay plugged into what is happening around you, especially if you work in the fast-moving technology industry. This daily roundup of articles curated by editors from MIT’s Technology Review magazine pulls together news and interesting stories about current events and trends in emerging tech.” — Austin Merritt
MoneyBeat — “MoneyBeat is a blog from The Wall Street Journal. You get a selection of breaking news and in-depth analysis of all the factors that shape global economies —as well as the companies and products that are affected. It is a helpful resource for product managers who want to stay on the pulse.” — Melissa Hopkins
Significant Digits by FiveThirtyEight — “We live in a data-driven world and this blog offers some insight into the numbers in the daily news. And product managers need to align all of the pieces, both business and technical. It is a fun read and touches on lots of different business and cultural areas.”— Karen Maslowski
Recode — “You can find everything from analysis of executive-level thinking to current events in the technology space to in-depth podcast interviews. The writers at Recode remain fairly unbiased in their coverage of breaking news, while also balancing this with strong opinion columns. The ‘Trending’ section is worth bookmarking for product managers who want to quickly catch up on the latest tech news across industries.” — Scott Goldblatt
Zen Habits — “This blog shared advice and techniques for finding simplicity and mindfulness in the daily chaos of our lives. It is about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what is important, create something amazing, find happiness. This is all essential to the work of a product manager who is continuously revalidating that the product delivers against the strategy, the business case, and customer expectations.” — Justin Woods
TechCrunch — “I enjoy reading TechCrunch for two reasons: skimming news headlines and reading about startups. It delivers a solid mix of industry announcements, major and quirky launches (a 3D printed mask that reveals your emotions?), and cultural or political events that affect the technology sector. The ‘Popular’ tab gives you an insight into what people are talking about most. Plus, the video reviews of new products are pretty great.” — Randy Ayers
Seth Godin’s blog — “I like his approach to valuing the customer. The blog is short and sweet, which makes it easily digestible. Even the busiest product managers can find a few moments to read one of Seth Godin’s short posts. And while short, his posts are very thought provoking.” — Jessica Groff
The Science of Us — “It’s helpful for product managers to consider how social science plays into our interactions and to learn how we can get better at empathizing and understanding each other. This blog pulls together scientific studies on human behavior and productivity, offering insight into what makes us tick. Most of the articles delve into how people think, react, or are perceived. But it is not all hard science. Many of the posts are funny, topical, and offbeat, sometimes all at once! ” — Nicole Wosje
Engadget — “In today’s connected life, the steady stream of new products and releases can make it tough to stay in the know. Engadget is a great resource for the latest. There are reviews on electronics and gear, everything from VR headsets to laptop and music players. For product managers, no matter what type of company you work for, it is important to stay up on tech trends. But it is also interesting to see how these new products are received by consumers and covered by the media.” — Ron Yang
Beautiful Pixels — “I am a long-time follower of this blog. There is value in seeing trends, especially if you are a product manager. It is also interesting because major updates to specific applications are re-marketed pretty frequently. It is cool to see how product managers/marketers are showcasing their new versions and seeing how often they are shipping new features.” — Dru Clegg
Read as much as you can. Challenge your own ideas and apply what you learn.
I challenge you to follow your curiosity down the different paths it wants to take you. The more you push your own boundaries, the more well-rounded you can become as a product manager.
Now it is your turn — what are the blogs that inspire you?