Are email newsletters making a comeback? If my inbox is any indication: yes! Over the past year, some clever product people have launched non-spammy, well-curated newsletters offering hand-picked links and insights on product management, product design, UX and more. If you’re a newsletter nerd (a term we definitely just made up), you probably already subscribe to industry favourites like Prioritised, Product Manager HQ and Under10 Consulting. But there are also some newer, more grassroots newsletters written by working PMs that offer sharp nuggets of wisdom alongside handy product management resources. Here are are our 5 top picks.
1. Bringing the Donuts
This past January, Google Ventures partner Ken Norton launched Bringing the Donuts, a weekly newsletter offering a sweet (yet surprisingly filling!) dose of product management thought leadership. (Note: Norton coined the phrase “bringing the donuts” for a now-famous slide deck on cross-functional leadership back in 2005.) Seriously respected in his field, Norton’s newsletter covers the “big” questions in snack-sized bites. When should startups hire their first PM? What is the role of empathy in product management? And how can PMs and CEOs enter a Vulcan Mind Meld?
I’ve started sending out a semi-regular newsletter about product management called Bringing the Donuts. Subscribe! https://t.co/YoSqgpZodk
— Ken Norton (@kennethn) February 3, 2016
2. Product Buff
If you’re going to devote a full 4 minutes to reading an article, you better know it’s going to be good. Pedram Daraeizadeh, an organizer at Product Hunt Montreal and ProductTank, helps his subscribers pick the right reads by explaining exactly WHY each link deserves their eyeballs. Organized by category (managing products, marketing products), Product Buff doesn’t just spotlight quality links. Instead, he follows each link with a quick “READ it because” blurb, offering a concise summary of the article’s value. Very handy for those with limited time and an over-padded Twitter feed.
— Pedram Daraeizadeh (@pedram92d) December 19, 2015
When Dutch product manager Rick Pastoor kicked off DailyPM in early 2016, he didn’t attempt the same old thing. Instead of publishing on a weekly or biweekly schedule, he aimed for a more frequent (and ambitious) clip: daily. Each morning, subscribers receive a brief, thought-provoking message. Pastoor’s focus is productivity and self-improvement—but that doesn’t mean his ideas aren’t actionable. Recent missives include an overview of OKRs (what they are, how to put them into action) and simple (but practical) tips for following through on your daily goals. “Want to make enormous progress on your projects?” Pastoor ask, “Find someone that keeps you in check.”
I’m publishing a daily newsletter about product management and productivity. Sign up with a single click. https://t.co/c5bBHWcMgq
— Rick Pastoor (@rickpastoor) January 30, 2016
4. Weekly Thoughts of Tim Herbig
Last spring, Hamburg-based product manager and self-proclaimed coffee snob Tim Herbig began curating a weekly compendium of his own blog posts, articles, resources and stray thoughts. Herbig writes regularly and thoughtfully on a pretty wide range of topics: from getting started as a product manager, to holding effective 30-minute meetings, to his favourite apps. But the newsletter isn’t just links Herbig’s own website. Subscribers to also get access to quick, savvy musings on whatever topic happens to cross his mind that week.
The 1st edition of my Product Management Weekly newsletter just was sent out – Check it out! https://t.co/rFneYSzFyO
— Tim Herbig (@herbigt) May 8, 2015
Design-minded product managers (which, uh, should be all product managers) will enjoy Ray Sensenbach’s weekly dispatches from the field. What stands out here is Sensenbach’s strong point of view. Although his project just kicked off last month, he’s already going in-depth on his subject matter, presenting highly opinionated perspectives on his industry. In his first edition, Sensenbach explained why product designers are professionals—not service providers. He also advocated for total transparency of process. And after a trip to Tahoe, he offered career lessons from his first snowboarding expedition. 🏂
What makes a product designer? – Edition No.1 🚀 – https://t.co/b5cipirZih
— Ray Sensenbach (@ll_coolray) February 17, 2016
What other product management newsletters are you reading these days? Send us your recommendations on Twitter!