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Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love Paperback – 1 January 2008
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This book, while great, is based around a simple idea: to write good software, you have to approach it logically. Obviously, if you decide to make a product--it will likely end up failing (in a variety of areas) unless you:
- Identify what problem you're trying to solve.
- Talk with users who experience this problem, and watch what they do.
- Design a solution that will help these users.
- Prototype this design.
- Allow your users to test this design, and look at how they interact with it.
- Build your product.
There are many stages to product development--but at its core, it is really about analyzing what you're trying to do, and then doing it.
This is a great book because it carefully explains each step of the product development process. Sometimes, especially if you're just starting something new, the temptation to just start building software can become overwhelming, and people (like me) often give in. This book is really written to combat that temptation, and remind you of the proper steps to building great software.
The only thing I really disliked about this book was that it goes into great depth discussing company roles. It seems that this book is geared primarily towards middle managers in large organizations, which I find unfortunate, because it could be easily simplified and usable by a much wider audience if that were not the case.
Overall, however, this was a great book.
If you're thinking about starting work on a new piece of software sometime soon, you should seriously consider giving this a read--if for no other reason than to reinforce your motivation and keep you on track.
I'd highly recommend this book, especially to CEOs, new product managers, or anyone who's frustrated with their current product and/or engineering processes.