Blogs to keep up with the product world

I love asking my colleagues in product management what they read to keep working on their craft, and I get asked this question fairly often too. I’ve regurgitated the same answer on various forums so I figured I would document it for everyone.

My general advice on this is that less is more. I’ve succumbed to FOMO in the past and subscribed to every newsletter under the sun and found myself with hundreds of unread emails. So do yourself a favor and don’t overload your inbox with more than you can read. Pick a reasonable number that works for you and stick to it.

Anyway here’s the list -

  • Stratechery: Ben Thompson is somewhat of a legend now in Silicon Valley and the reason for that is his consistent, far-sighted, and opinionated view of the tech industry. The depth of his strategical analyses and the wealth of information I get every time this email hits my inbox is unparalleled. It’s not product management specific, but it’s hard to be a product manager in tech without understanding the industry dynamics at play.
  • First Round Review: This one isn’t particularly focused on product management but they regularly interview subject matter experts from every functional area across product, design, marketing, leadership, and management. The format of First Round’s articles is hinged on providing real frameworks and actionable advice.
  • Ken Norton: An oldie but a goodie, focused on product management! Ken was an early product manager at Google and his advice feels hard-won and therefore, more reliable. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to write regularly any more but there’s a wealth of material on his blog, and his writing is a pleasure to read. Some of his classics include “How to Hire a Product Manager” and “What to Do in Your First 30 Days as PM“.
  • Inside Intercom: Intercom is one of those companies that rose to the forefront because of the quality content they produced under the guise of content marketing. I read this more religiously when I was a consumer PM and less so now but I absolutely love their deep dives into building great product teams and sustaining a good product culture. From what I can tell, they’re leaning heavily into podcasts now, which might work better for some people!
  • TechRepublic: This is the least glamorous of the bunch but there’s so much happening in the enterprise tech space, right from new product launches, changes in leadership and strategy to acquisitions that it’s hard to keep up. TechRepublic helps me stay in the loop. The best part of TechRepublic is that you can subscribe to subject areas that are relevant to you, so I only get news and articles relevant to “Data Center Trends” and “Cloud and Everything as a Service”. Scintillating, I know.

I hope you find this useful!

1 Like

I love this! Can we do a blog/Substack/RSS feed exchange?

+1 for Inside Intercom- some of the plainest-English, most coherent, and high-level Product thinking I’ve ever seen given away for free. I recommend their podcast because 1) you can hear their thought process (as opposed to just the final written output) and 2) you can get their calming Irish lilt

Here are some of my faves:

  • - Bill Gurley does great high-level strategy. It’s great for exercising that high-level, SrPM+ “rank” strategy function. Works real well when taken with Stratechery
  • - Casey Winters has done Product Leadership all around town, and he’s got some great articles
  • - Will Larson is highly technical—CTO/Eng Management at Digg / Calm / Stripe / Uber. But his writing is A+ and I really like it from an “understanding and being able to better converse with my Eng counterparts”
  • - Julian Lehr does really good Product Strategy writing. Basically everything Julian writes is aces. Signaling As a Service and this Superhuman teardown are so so so great

Oh man, this list is gold. Thanks for sharing. I used to read Bill Gurley several years ago but fell off the wagon. Your comment also reminded me of a few other blogs/newsletters I read religiously when I was more involved in the startup/VC world

  • Benedict Evans: I like his long-form essays more than his newsletters, but very similar to Bill and Ben.
  • Fred Wilson (AVC): He’s a VC dude (USV) so there’s a lot about funding, crypto and random thoughts about the world with a healthy amount of tech sprinkled in
  • Mark Suster (Both Sides of the Table): He invests in a lot of consumer D2C tech and is himself a successful entrepreneur, so I really enjoy his takes from “both sides of the table”. Less strategic but more practical
  • Sachin Rekhi: After I wrote this post, someone actually recommended this guy, and I quickly ran through some of his stuff, and I really like it! It’s VERY product focused
  • Eugene Wei: Another recommendation I got today, at first glance looks a bit esoteric and cerebral, but kinda feels like tech with a dash of The New Yorker
1 Like

Nice, those sound good, thanks for the descriptions! I am going to try out the TechRepublic one.

My newsletter stack is divided into news and Product + entrepreneurship, and I find it worthwhile to combine Product and entrepreneurship before they seem related to me w.r.t problem-solving + understanding customer-needs + sufficient level of autonomy and responsibility.

My PMfeed contains newsletters in these categories:

A) Newsletters on specific topics

  1. Adam Silver - Good Design: Newsletter shares 1 topic at a time about good / bad / confusing UI design. I like to learn about design in bite-sized pieces via this newsletter.
  2. Inside Intercom: . I like their take on all product / company topics!
  3. Marty Cagan - SVPG Newsletter: By the author of ‘Inspired’. I read the article and ignore rest of the newsletter. Usually the articles are derivations of the book, so helps reinforce the information.

B) Newsletters that collate news

  1. Product Hunt Daily: Collection of updates from Product Hunt, usually curated as per a theme each time. I like to hear the PH community’s latest obsessions as they are often pretty ahead of the status, IMO.
  2. Tech Crunch Week in Review: I moved from daily to weekly because the daily wasn’t great to read through email as most of the snippets were incomplete sentences necessitating jump to articles. The week in review is complete in itself.
  3. Tech Crunch Startups Weekly: Apart from the VC news, which I don’t find useful right now, getting to know what kind of startups are moving ahead and why is helpful.

C) Newsletters with analysis or opinions on news

  1. Ben Thomson - Stratechery: . I would just clarify that I am on the free version, I don’t know if the high cost and the high amount of content at premium tier would make a difference to my career.
  2. Benedict Evans: . I like his perspectives and so many gems in the links.

D) Newsletters that collate tips

  1. Department of Product - I like their thorough take on latest developments. Often they have news that I don’t hear from other sources.
  2. Product Manager HQ: This is a somewhat less powerful version of Department of Product + SVPG newsletter
  3. Lenny Rachitsky: Love his deep dive into topics and collection of insights from “inside” (sorta) successful companies. This is something I might consider paying for since each update has a lot of insights to help jog one’s mind.

… thats my list. I use TTS software on my laptop and phone to get through them, otherwise it gets way too time consuming and eyesore to read through several newsletters!

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