Never judge a (product) book by its cover

Lot of great books on product thinking and product management continue to come out of the US, especially Silicon Valley.

They paint a picture of highly evolved product teams and companies.

Capabilities and intent are high and it’s easy to get inspired by the world described in them.

Unfortunately for people building products in evolving economies, the benefits are akin to that of reading a fairy tale.

Fun to read, great to dream about, but far removed from reality.

Similar to how fairy tales and fables teach ideas like “honesty is the best policy” – mostly true, they also teach you things that are not true.

In fairy tales – almost always “good wins against bad” – “princess meets the prince”, “product meets revenue” 🙂

In practice, this is only true half the time or even less.

When I move to India and started working with products and teams here, it was a rude awakening.

To be honest, even when I worked in the US and Silicon Valley, the product teams and companies were far from perfect.

I wonder if there is an opportunity to write and talk about “real world” product building.

It may not be rosy and could be filled with dysfunction and ways of dealing with it. (Yes, lot of the time is spent in managing petty fights and egos and not enough is spent actually building great products.)

But such a book could actually be practical and useful — and something people could relate to.

Can you relate to the “perfect world” in product and business books?

What does your world look like?