How Top Product Leaders Launch Great Products and Build Successful Teams

Leadership in a new craft

In today’s fast moving world good product management is quickly becoming critical to maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage. We are fascinated by the unique challenges that product leaders face - from start-ups to enterprises - and interviewed over 75 of the world's top product managers to uncover and share their insights into how launch great products and build successful product teams.

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When you’re a product manager, you’re usually not the boss of anyone. And if you are the boss, it’s probably of other product managers. You don’t have formal authority, so you need to gain leadership by way of your actions and not by way of your title. And that’s just one of the unique challenges for product leaders.
— Ken Norton, Product Partner, GV

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We are very much a product company, rooted in building products and rooted solving real problems that people have, so the company is very dependent on product and the product team. Sales and marketing strategies stem from the product strategy, so the other leadership roles are dependent on us and as a result support us.
— Paul Adams, VP Product Intercom

See us speak about Product Leadership



O'Reilly Design Conference  |  San Francisco, CA

Sensory  |  Boston, MA


ProductTank | Bristol, England


Business Rocks  |  Manchester, England

Product Heroes by The Family  |  Berlin, Germany

UXLx  |  Lisbon, Portugal


Mind the Product  |  San Francisco, CA


ProductTank  |  London, England


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One of the really fantastic things about product leadership, but also one of the real stresses of it, is that it is a very broad role. You have to be able to be really good at strategy, be inspirational and understand the long-term picture. At the same time, you have to be really good at the operational side and making things happen.
— Tanya Cordrey, former CDO Guardian Media Group

The authors


Nate started his first company in 2004 where he revolutionized medical evacuation with Paraslyde. Stryker Medical acquired Paramed in 2009 and Nate led global R&D at their emergency services division.

In 2011, Nate left Stryker to build Brightface, a product development company that focused on mobile and web applications. Cycleface was one of those products and was acquired by Strava, the #1 fitness app for endurance athletes.

Nate then became the Chief of Research and Innovation at Tanner Labs, where he built OC Tanner's first human-centered product development team.

In 2015 Nate was named the Chief Product Officer for Pluralsight,  the largest provider of online technology learning, where he built a user centered product team and in 2016 Nate’s role expanded to Chief Experience Office to also oversee Development, Content, and Product Marketing. 


Martin started his career as a web designer and developer, decided he didn’t have enough talent at either but did have a real knack for translating it all for the business people. After working at several start ups in his native Stockholm, he has led product teams at Monster, the Financial Times, Huddle, and Covestor in London and Boston.

Martin founded ProductTank in 2010, now the world's largest product management community with over 50,000 members across meetups in 99+ cities.

Martin co-founded Mind the Product in 2011 where he now works as the Curator for the world's largest product management conferences and Editor of the blog and newsletter. He also serves as a consulting Chief Product Officer, advising startups and enterprises on how to build successful product teams.


Richard is the CEO and co-founder of Fresh Tilled Soil. Before that he co-founded Acceleration, an international advertising technology business headquartered in London (now owned by advertising giant WPP).

Richard has delivered product design, business strategy, global marketing campaigns, and workshops to clients in the US, UK, Europe, and Africa. His colorful life experience includes being an army officer and a dive master on the Comoros, where he learned the survival skills he uses daily in the fast paced tech world. Richard is a mentor at several incubators and accelerators as well as Advisor and lecturer at the Startup Institute.

Richard recently published two books - Design Leadership and Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products, which he coauthored with CTodd Lombardo and Trace Wax (both also published by O'Reilly).