How to Build A Curious Team That Drives Growth
Working in tech, especially in product and product analytics, is an exciting place to be. People are always learning, sharing, and developing better perspectives on how to build and analyze products.
It's no surprise, then, that the web is absolutely stuffed with blogs and websites that offer insight into the world of product. Whether you're looking to make a career change, get to the upper levels of product management or analytics, start a company or just want a little something to spice up your workday, we've compiled 27 blogs for you to peruse.
From founders to investors to CEOs, here's all you need to get started with one heck of a product reading list, no matter what you want to get out of your extracurricular reading.
You might know Segment as an analytics API that packs a serious punch. And it sure is — but its blog is more than just product plugs and fluff pieces. Their engineering-focused blog is readable and gives actionable advice without a deluge of meaningless jargon.
The Segment blog is also good at giving advice even when they're showcasing their own product. Instead of pushing their tool, they explain the philosophy behind why things work so you can take away something from every post.
You'll love it if: You want a clear explanation of product topics with real-world experience baked in.
Stratechery is a long-form content blog run by Ben Thompson. Having previously worked at Apple, Microsoft, and Automattic, Thompson writes clearly about everything from the future of tech giants to the infrastructure of web content.
Thompson's blog and Daily Updates for subscribers represent some of the best tech writing on the web. He always ties his thoughts and narratives to examples, and his update builds on itself, so the longer you read, the more you're able to get out of it.
Check out: Playing on Hard Mode
You'll love it if: You've got both feet in tech, want to have an edge on all things tech giants and enjoy kicking your day off with an engaging read with your cup of coffee every morning.
Luu, who has worked at Microsoft and Google, blogs about programming and the programming industry. His no-frills approach to blog aesthetics carries over to his posts, where he gets straight to the point and right into the good stuff every time.
While his posting cadence has slowed recently, Luu's posts are so thorough that it's worth the wait. Luu understands the need for explaining technical concepts in a clear and logical way that renders them accessible to programmers who are looking to broaden or deepen their own understandings.
Check out: A simple way to get more value from metrics
You'll love it if: You are familiar with programming and interested in getting an expert perspective, with specific play-by-play documentation, to give you a leg up.
You would probably be hard-pressed to find a product or growth person who hasn't heard of Brian Balfour, CEO/Founder of Reforge and previously VP of Growth HubSpot. Though he only adds essays to his website periodically, browsing through his archives will give you incredible perspective, like this nugget from a 2014 essay:
"What you can control is yourself and your team. You control how effective your team is, how well you know your channels and customer, and the rate at which you are improving. Focus on what you can control, being the best at getting better."
From posts that act as a one-stop guide to beginning your growth, customer acquisition, and retention to no-nonsense advice for those in the thick of spearheading growth, Balfour writes with clarity, making it easy to put his advice straight to use.
Check out: Growth Benchmarks Are (Mostly) Useless
You'll love it if: You're on the ground floor for product or growth and you want real, no BS advice.
Hiten Shah, founder of four startups -- both bootstrapped and VC funded -- writes about SaaS businesses and building products.
Shah has an approachable tone that welcomes readers and never alienates, even if you're new to SaaS, product growth or tech startups. His posts often contain a narrative element from his own personal experience, which helps connect readers to the concepts he discusses.
You'll love it if: You want to build up your knowledge of SaaS, product, and growth while skipping any confusion and ego.
Distill's online space brings together smart people to talk about machine learning. With a premise of fostering high-quality work, Distill is managed by academics, Googlers, and professionals with enormous depth of expertise, Distill presents works like no other.
All articles on Distill are peer reviewed, and it operates like an academic journal, but without the limitations that come with the static PDF-format and paywall. Another publication that doesn't crank out posts regularly, Distill focuses on research that speaks to the future of machine learning.
Check out: Exploring Bayesian Optimization
You'll love it if: You want to read in-depth research on machine learning that's presented in a comprehensible, straightforward way — and you don't want a notification every day about a new thing to read.
Kaggle is obviously a hub for learning, creating and sharing — and their blog is no different. With a huge breadth of topics covered, Kaggle's blog discusses everything from machine learning to data science certification programs.
There's no one thing that you're going to find on the Kaggle blog, and that's a good thing if you're a data science junkie. You can also read about challenge winners' work and be inspired by what people around the globe are creating.
Check out: I trained a model. What is next?
You'll love it if: You are constantly on the lookout for what can be done with programming, analytics and machine learning.
Formerly the Head of Video at Oculus, Wei has experience in product and startups, but doesn't limit his blog to the purely technical. With writing that is gripping, Wei writes well for any subject, from the learning curves of companies to asking whether the thermodynamic theory of evolution may apply to business.
While this blog doesn't have the same hard-line focus on product or analytics, as some others on this list, it's surely worth adding to your rotation for the sheer quality.
Check out: TikTok and the Sorting Hat
You'll love it if: You enjoy sharing what you've read with all your colleagues to spark a conversation.
Spoiler alert: the Unofficial Google Data Science Blog is exactly what it sounds like — and it's awesome. Data scientists at Google run this site to make available topics of interest from across Google. Packed with long-form, in depth content without constant updates, the Unofficial Google Data Science Blog brings out the best of the best in online content.
You'll love it if: You want to get into the nitty gritty of data science and peek under the hood at topics like causality in machine learning and using random effects models in prediction programs.
Ken Norton is a Google Ventures Partner and Product Manager with experience in product engineering and support for portfolio companies. His blog distills all that expertise into manageable posts that are packed with advice on product management.
Norton ties in a narrative approach to many of his topics as well, keeping interest high, but doesn't fall prey to cliche or overworked metaphor. His writing is refreshing and direct, and his posts are all of easily readable lengths.
Check out: Please Make Yourself Uncomfortable
You'll love it if: You want an expert perspective that doesn't rely on clichés to make a point.
Rich Mironov, a startup veteran and tech consultant, writes about everything from choosing tools for program management to understanding your customers to product management. His blog is a wealth of information that will help anyone deeply understand how to run product, but is especially helpful for those working in the startup space.
With a conversational style, much of his writing feels like you're talking to a friend or a mentor, not picking through a stiff piece of writing about product.
Check out: Motivating Development Teams
You'll love it if: You'd like a mentor to give you a monthly pep-talk, but on your own time, whenever you feel like it.
We've already talked about a handful of blogs that are easy to read and conversational, but the Silicon Valley Product Group's insights blog might just take the cake. Posts are casual and uncomplicated without losing any rigor of thought, logic or argument.
The Silicon Valley Product Group is filled with industry veterans that all have executive experience, and they use lessons learned to guide readers through post after post.
Check out: Product Leadership is Hard
You'll love it if: You want to know what it takes to provide strong product leadership in a product organization built on empowered product teams.
Teresa Torres, a product discovery coach with years at early-stage internet companies under her belt, brings you her blog as part of a mission to make product decisions easy. From processing customer research to nailing down your product discovery to actually running experiments that get results, she gets it done.
One thing that differentiates Torres from others on this list is that she's really focused on talking about actionable solutions for the workplace — so each post really drives home a concept instead of just discussing theories.
You'll love it if: You are a busy go-getter who wants proven solutions to product problems.
High Scalability is exactly what it says on the tin: a website about scaling on the web. It is part blog and part community, and the technical posts are varied but all in-depth.
But it's not all about scaling and product — High Scalability also takes some of those well-loved blog traditions, like roundups of quotes, links and job openings, that keep everything feeling approachable and keep the content varied. So, whether you want to read about how Twitter scales or you’re interested in technical strategy, you'll find it here.
You'll love it if: You are interested in all things web.
We all know Airbnb from the consumer side — but did you know they also welcome us all to the table on their very own data blog?
The data science section is a mix of posts, most of which center on the incorporation of data into product, and plenty of them let you get a peek at how Airbnb thinks about data.
"The overarching goal is to democratize data and empower Airbnb employees to be data informed by aiding with data exploration, discovery, and trust."
Not all of it is heavily technical, so even the not-so-adept can pick up a post or two that will give them something to think about, whether that be infographics or more generally thinking about company-wide data accessibility.
And if you're also interested in AI, backend, infrastructure, or native, they've got sections on that, too.
Check out: Data Quality at Airbnb Part 1 — Rebuilding at Scale (and, part 2 for that matter)
You'll love it if: You like to mix it up in terms of content and are interested in seeing how tech companies really operate data.
CB Insights analyzes millions of data points to get its customers where they need to go, so it stands to reason that they know a thing or two about data.
With real-world applications and pieces segmented by category, you can gain perspective on an absolutely huge number of fields, from auto tech to AI. With topical posts that dig deep into how today's events are going to shape the future, the CB Insights blog follows right in the footsteps of its company.
You'll love it if: You want the satisfaction of knowing you're getting smarter while having fun.
John Egan, Head of Growth Engineering at Pinterest and longtime growth engineer, writes on product, growth, and analytics in a clear and concise manner. Each post has a narrow scope and is just long enough to say what needs to be said.
Whether you're looking to read about your own bias or learn how to improve your experiments in one post, Egan gets into the nooks and crannies of building products with ease.
You'll love it if: You're interested in building products with any level of experience in that 20 minutes after lunch when you're trying to kick your brain back into gear.
ProductPlan is a SaaS company for a product road mapping tool, and their blog is packed with all things product. Whether they're interviewing product leaders or talking about the relationship between engineering and product, it's a good read.
And while you will find the occasional post focusing on road mapping, the range of topics veers heavily towards product and product management. A good mix of panel recaps, interviews, discussion on startup and product management trends, they also occasionally throw in pieces that are a little easier to digest — like what Game of Thrones can teach you about product management — to keep it light.
You'll love it if: You want focused advice and inspiration on product management that's easy to get through on your afternoon break.
ProductCoalition is a community and a platform for smart minds from all over tech to convene, read, post, and discuss.
The blog has posts about leadership, UI, data, product — you name it. There's no one thing you'll find on this blog, and there's no one writer for it. So if you're looking for a grab-bag of goodies about all things tech business, it's the place to go.
You'll love it if: You are interested in all parts of the life of a company and want to be surprised about what topics you might see up next.
Love the Problem deals with all sorts of startup problems and business trends in a fresh, engaging way. Focused on more of a lean approach, Love the Problem is great for anyone interested in thinking about the challenges that startups face — especially if you're in the thick of them.
Check out: The Customer Factory Manifesto
You'll love it if: You have a Medium account and you want to inject your recommendations with smart, engaged writing on startups.
You'd probably be hard-pressed to find someone in the tech world you didn't know about Intercom, but you might be surprised to learn how great their blog is. Growth, startups, interviews, design, onboarding, writing great emails — it's all there.
We love this nugget, "How do you go from simply plugging your numbers into cookie cutter formulas to answering key questions about your product and business? And are you even asking the right questions in the first place?"
You'll love it if: You want to read voraciously about all parts of what it takes to build a company and love exclusive interviews.
Startup Lessons Learned isn’t a super active blog, still we couldn't help but put it on this list. The product of Eric Ries, founder, author and entrepreneur, this blog is an absolute treasure trove of all things startup.
There are interviews, there are discussions on how the government affects entrepreneurship, and, of course, there are a ton of posts about figuring out exactly how to make that startup thing work. Best of all, you can dive into the archive and find relevant, forward thinking pieces that still ring true today.
Check out: Ries' writing on why diversity matters in business from 2010 — if penned today, it would hold just as true. There's a rigor and a timelessness to posts like this that really separate Ries from the pack.
You'll love it if: When you find a blog you like, you just can't stop reading it.
Nir Eyal's blog is a little different than others on this list because it tackles technology and business from a more psychological perspective. Eyal, a veteran of the video game and advertising industries, is interested in what motivates users and how companies can tap into that motivation.
But he also takes the consumer side, asking what companies should do to users, and what users can do to be more savvy about how they consume products. Yet, despite the obvious temptation of his subject matter, Eyal is never sensational, preferring fact-based, well-crafted arguments over scare tactics or hyperbolic statements.
Check out: His ‘best articles’ here.
You'll love it if: You're interested in the intersection of technology and psychology.
First Round is another company you know of, even though you're probably missing out on their blog. Known for providing capital for early stage companies, First Round has fantastic perspective on how to build companies from the ground up:
"We believe that there is powerful, untapped knowledge out there that can transform the way people build technology."
The Review is absolutely packed with articles on everything from engineering to product to management and has a lot of content that gives you a unique perspective from the most successful people in their field.
You'll love it if: You want a curated library of posts that will get you anywhere you need to go.
O'Reilly is a company that provides knowledge and insight to companies to help them succeed in business, and that carries right over to their blog. Discussions, posts, and podcasts range from AI, self-driving cars, microservices, databases, to cloud applications, management, and predictive analytics.
And while there's no one, consistent voice writing every post, the clarity and insight remain the same no matter what article you'll choose to read.
Check out: Reclaiming the stories that algorithms tell
You'll love it if: You want to feel immersed in a platform that throws more information at you than you can handle — but makes you want to read, watch and listen to it all, anyway.
From startups to leadership to the past and future of tech, Ben Horowitz's blog/podcast has it all. As the cofounder and partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, and former CEO of Opsware, Horowitz brings intelligence and experience to everything he writes, every person he talks to, and every podcast episode he records.
While Horowitz' blog may be a little beyond those new to the business or tech space, from video to podcast to post, he brings punch and rigor to his work in a way that builds a trust in his argument. Horowitz is a master at driving home exactly what you need to know on whatever topic he is writing about.
Check out: 16 Questions for Selling in COVID-19
You'll love it if: You want to spice up your commute with an intelligent podcast and follow it up with a weekend read that will knock your socks off — and make you better at your job.
Folding Burritos is the creation of Daniel Zacarias, a product management consultant from Lisbon. While it's not currently active, there's so much to learn from his guides, we couldn't leave it off.
The posts mostly address human-computer interaction through various product frameworks. For example, in one, he applies a Japanese researcher named Noriaki Kano's model of customer satisfaction to the process of building a product roadmap—the result is a several-thousands-of-words-long epic on product development.
With long-form content and in-depth guides, Zacarias' evergreen content is sure to impress. While the blog doesn't have an extensive archive, his PDF guides will keep you occupied for longer than dozens of mediocre blog posts, guaranteed.
Check out: The Complete Guide to the Kano Model to see just how good content can be.
You'll love it if: You want a couple of good, long reads.
If you've gotten this far, you've gotten an eyeful of some of the web's greatest tech hits. From the future of tech to concepts to data to product, we've packed in a bunch of stuff that represents great writing from every corner of the greater tech community.
Tony Ayaz | Chief Revenue Officer28-01-2021
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