January 31, 2022

Visual guide to the most influential product leaders

Visual guide to the most influential product leaders
Althea Espejo
Althea Espejo
Product Manager
6 min read

There's been many lists made on who the best product leaders are, and where to follow them. But we wanted to create a visual guide (similar to our visual guide over the best books on Product Management) that you can use for quickly identifying interesting people and areas you want to follow.

Visual guide to the most influential product leaders

Being a Product Manager can sometimes feel lonely and when you get that feeling of being the only one who understands, then it can be great to connect with similar minded people. Give the folks below a follow and get ready to learn a lot from these amazing product thinkers!

Strategy & Product Leadership

Strategy and product leadership are key components in product management and can make or break both a company, or your individual career. Here are some of the absolute leaders in the field.

Melissa Perri

Melissa Perri @lissijean

  • CEO of Produx Labs, a Product Management training organization, and the author of “Escaping the Build Trap.” In 2019, she was appointed to the faculty of Harvard Business School to teach Product Management in the MBA program.
  • In her words "The key to build great products is to grow great product leaders" So follow her if you want to become one.
Marty Cagan

Marty Cagan @cagan

  • Founder and partner at Silicon Valley Product Group, former product leader at eBay, Netscape and HP.  Author of the ones of me most product books read INSPIRED and EMPOWERED.
  • He has managed almost every role that you can think of in the industry and on his blog there is not only tips on how to be better but also reflections that question the main pillars so we continue to move forward
Jason Fried

Jason Fried @jasonfried

  • Founder and CEO of Basecamp. On his newsletter he shares key decisions and inner workings at Basecamp and what has made it so successfull. Is a great source of inspiration and good practices!

John Cutler

John Cutler @johncutlefish

  • Product Evangelist/Coach at Amplitude. You can find his content at his newsletter and in Twitter where he is very active. You can learn on from how to create healthy teams, current trends in the PM world and how to best apply frameworks to your situation not as a size fits all, to how to manage uncertainty and use data tools to inform your decisions.

Discovery

Discovery is that key part of the process that we all love to do more of, but it's hard to know where to start and do it continuously (if ever there was someone to teach us to do continuous discovery 😏). With the help of the following leaders you will know how to set your path!

Teresa Torres

Teresa Torres @ttorres

  • Anyone who is up to date with modern product management has heard about Teresa Torres and her latest book Continuous discovery habits, where she teaches a structured and sustainable approach to continuous discovery that helps product teams infuse their daily product decisions with customer input.
Holly Hester-Reilly

Holly Hester-Reilly @H2RProductSci

  • Founder and CEO of H2R Product Science and former research scientist at Columbia Unversity. On her podcast you can learn from successes and failures from founders and product leaders.

Ryan Hoover

Ryan Hoover @rrhoover

  • Founder of Product Hunt and investor. If you want to be up to date with the product sphere follow him and check PH everyday, where all the new and latest products or features are launched.

Refinement

Based on an recent survey Refinement is the area of the product process that Product Managers spent most of their time and the one less liked also. With the tips from Nils and Jeff you can count yourself out if this group!

Jeff Patton

Jeff Patton @jeffpatton

  • Author of User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product which describes a simple holistic approach to using stories and user story maps in Agile development without losing sight of the big picture.

Nils Janse

Nils Janse @NilsJanse

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Knowledge Management

Being able to discover, process and manage knowledge so it can be used is a monumental (and very interesting) part of being a product person. Knowledge management, digital gardens and productivity tips will help you get the most out of the avalanche of ideas a data points.

Maggie Appleton

Maggie Appleton @Mappletons

  • Designer, anthropologist, illustrator, and mediocre developer ( in her own words). She shares amazing content on twitter but the real jewels are her illustrated essays, where she simplify complex concepts in a visual a fun way. Follow her journey also on her public digital garden

Tiago Forte

Tiago Forte @fortelabs

  • Tiago Forte is one of the world’s foremost experts on productivity, his course (now also a book) Building a second brain has shaped the minds of many digital makers. He draws on his experience in academic  disciplines such as information science, user experience design, and his work with top organizations and leaders in Silicon Valley.
  • You can also follow him on his blog Praxis

UX

Without users products can't succeed you should always have in mind their needs, pains and wants, so let's learn from the best.

Don Norman

Don Norman @jnd1er

  • Author of Design of Everyday Things, and cocounder of the Nielsen Norman Group, Don Norman has been rethinking and shaping design and design education for many years. Although now retired to focus on https://www.futureofdesigneducation.org/ you can still read his essays on his blog
Steve Krug

Steve Krug @skrug

  • Author of Don't Make Me Think, this book is a great intro to understand what UX is about. Althoug the first edition was more focused on websites, the recent editions have been brought up to date to the new digital standars.

Irene Au

Irene Au @ireneau

  • Former head of design at Google and Yahoo, Irene Au builds high performing teams, establish design practices, mentor and grow the next generation of great designers,  design interfaces and experiences. So you better keep and eye on her feed!

Patrick Neeman

Patrick Neeman @usabilitycounts

  • Sr. Director of User Experience at Knowable on his blog usability counts he gives tips for people that are new in the UX field as a profession

Laura Klein

Laura Klein @lauraklein

  • Author of Build Better Products and UX for Lean Startups Laura Klein also is host of the podcast What is wrong with UX. She will answer all your questions about how to approach UX work in every situation with a witty and real approach.

Product Ops

Product Operations? is this new? It is, and it is not. But you could say is the new hot topic and a whole new area to explore. A lot of people are joining and writing about processes and how to pm in the most efficient and impactful way.

Gerisha Nadaraju

Gerisha Nadaraju @gerisha_n

  • Founder and Host @productopspod The podcast for all things Product Ops. Listen to diverse voices across this emerging function. Product Ops is set to be the backbone of product led growth within organisations yet there is still much to be learnt and shared in this space.

Melissa Perri

Melissa Perri @lissijean

  • Super prolific Melissa Perri is writing a book with Denise Tilles on Product Ops coming up this year. You can sign up here to get notified when is live https://www.productoperations.com/

Denise Tilles

Denise Tilles @dtilles

  • Product consultant, coach and mentor in Built by Girls with more than a decade of wisdom behind her. She is an expert in Product Strategy, Org Design and Product Operations in enterprise and SaaS businesses, pricing/packaging, org design, and P&L management. LinkedIn

Hugo Froes

Hugo Froes @thehugofroes

  • Leading Product Operations at OLX Motors Europe, he is an active speaker and is sharing his thoughts on this emerging area on his newsletter as twitter

Joshua McLaughlin

Joshua McLaughlin @joshmcla

  • Product Ops at fullscriptHQ. He writes on twitter and medium about his experience setting up the position in a new company and explaining what is Product Ops even about.

Product Life

Lenny Rachitsky

Lenny Rachitsky @lennysan

  • Investor, writer, teacher and former product manager at AirBnB.Lenny Rachitsky is sharing everything product, growth, startup and tech world in his newsletter.

Shreyas Doshi

Shreyas Doshi @shreyas

  • Former PM at Stripe is now consultant for the biggest tech companies. He shares what his thoughts on how to grow as a pm and thing to keep and eye out on your day to day

Jackie Bavaro

Jackie Bavaro @jackiebo

  • Author of Cracking the PM interview and Cracking the PM career was Previously Head of Product Management at Asana,  and at PM Google & Microsoft. She can tell you everything you need to know to enter in the field and much more. Also on Medium

Diana Kimball Berlin

Diana Kimball Berlin @dianakimball

  • Coming from a history degree and ending up as a early-stage VC, Diana Berlin has moved through product in USA and EU  shaping her own path in companies like Salesforce. There is much that we can learn form her in her blog

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