If you are a Product Manager and/or a startup founder, you undoubtedly have solid instincts about your target market. But, if you are like myself, you have probably experienced times where it is unclear exactly what to do next.

To that end, I have found the following resources helpful over the years:

  • Everything on http://pragmaticmarketing.com. But, the following are especially worth checking out:
    • The Strategic Role of Product Management – The focus of the free eBook is “how a market-driven focus leads companies to build products people want to buy“. The chart on page 3 provides a great checklist of strategic and tactical tasks to help achieve this objective. More broadly, the four keys areas are:
      • Defining the strategy with a business case and product roadmap
      • Enabling the technology team with a requirements document
      • Enabling marketing communications with a positioning statement
      • Enabling the Salesforce with a sales strategy
    • Archived Webinars
  • The Product Manager’s Handbook, especially Chapter 7 that talks about the New Product Project. It lists specific techniques applicable to both the strategic and technology product management areas.
  • The McKinsey Way, especially Chapter 1 that talks about the “Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive” method of enumerating all potential solutions to a problem. This technique is useful across all four of the product management areas.
  • A positioning expert who, as an unbiased third-party, can walk you through a process towards identifying:
    • What are the highest value scenarios to your target market?
    • Are these scenarios ones that your users need to accomplish right now?
    • Have you identified scenarios where your product is the only, first, best, and/or most used way to accomplish something?
  • A weekly post-mortem or case study, preferably with a group! My favorites: