Found in 17 comments on Hacker News
crazygringo · 2018-03-04 · Original thread
My $0.02, having been a PM for many years:

Read Cracking the PM Interview [1] (for an overview of the job, not the actual interview tips) and The Lean Startup [2] (for general philosophy).

35 is a great age for a PM, especially since PM's often start elsewhere -- maturity is a plus here. I'd say there are 3 main ways into it -- as an engineer, who starts to do PM-type stuff on a team where there's no PM. As a designer, who starts to do PM-type stuff on a team where there's no PM. Or as an MBA who has a good sense for engineering and design. Certifications generally don't mean anything -- communication and leadership skills, good judgment, experience and a proven track record are what matter. But all those things can be demonstrated in previous non-PM roles, in order to make the initial switch.

Also, if you want to be a PM then you'd better enjoy meetings, slides, people, and communicating & convincing all day long, day-in day-out. If those make you say an enthusiastic "yes that's me!" then jump right in. If not... you're gonna have a bad time...



skittleson · 2018-02-13 · Original thread
"a rather unique conversation with our investors about organically growing the business with it’s own cashflow and we structured a deal that accommodates that. So we’re not in a position where there is tremendous and urgent pressure to become very big very quickly or risk the board firing us."

Setting milestones for cashflow seems like main concern for any startup. It appears a lot of startups blow through cash without the ability to see the burn rate. This problem-solution is defined here Lean Start-Up .

I love the fact that was talked out with the investors before the money was taken. Shows forward thinking which must feel good at the end of the payback period.

orasis · 2016-03-07 · Original thread
Forget about raising money right now. Build shit fast. Ship ship ship ship ship ship ship.

Read "The Lean Startup":

kabouseng · 2015-12-17 · Original thread
Well I don't have a MBA :D, but I do have a masters degree of a similar orientation (Masters in engineering management). I can only recommend the ones I have read and found of value:

[1] Crossing the chasm (Marketing related)

[2] Peopleware (HR related)

[3] How to win friends and influence people (HR related)

[4] The Goal (Business related)

[5] Critical chain (Project management related)

[6] Who moved my cheese (Change management related)

and any of the lean / agile businessy books for ex.

[7] The lean startup

These might not be viewed as traditional MBA material, but my course featured some of these along with more traditional academic books on subjects like financial management, people management, operations etc. I can provide these textbooks to you as well if you like.

*Amazon links just for convenience, no affiliation.








It sort of depends on what you're asking for.

If it's around the business model, the easy answer is to point them to a book like There are great techniques in there for how to do customer development -- at this point it seems like required reading for business/product folks.

If you're looking for more mockups, something like Balsamiq is a good starting point.

Is there something else you're looking for?

zupa-hu · 2014-02-03 · Original thread
If you haven't red the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, run, don't walk to get it. He was basically writing the book to you.

If you care at all about this stuff, do yourself a favor and read "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses". [1] Eric Ries shines a light on vanity metrics, tells you what you should be tracking, and ways to track it. [2] He goes into detail about how companies, big and small (himself included), often track the wrong metrics, which in turn give wrong indicators, he helps you turn that around.



When you have some ideas, before you start, spend the first couple hours reading "The Lean Startup" [1] by Eric Ries. This book will give you a measuring stick to see if these ideas work.


vamonos · 2013-03-18 · Original thread
I could say pretty much the same thing as you did - I'm 40, always wanted to do something great, but its just never happened.

I'm still working on it one brick at a time, and have a couple of pieces of software out there, but no-one really using them as far as I know. Haven't even had any feedback.

I like the LEAN movement, whereby you validate your market first, do the minimal amount of work possible, and launch ASAP - then respond to feedback. They say, if you aren't embarrassed by your first release, you did too much!

See: Start small, Stay small The Lean Startup

This podcast is brilliant too for many reasons, one of which is that you don't have to do the programming yourself! See

But: Don't get distracted Validate you have a market before you start building Figure out how to market it so people find it START

(All easier said than done).

Good luck, and all the best!

chanced · 2013-02-01 · Original thread
I suggest the following books:

- The Lean Startup []

- Rework []

- Art of the Start []

vibrunazo · 2012-09-13 · Original thread
You should read up on The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Google's strategy to release everything in pre-alpha stage, then slowly improve it from user feedback -- might not be the optimal marketing strategy that Apple perfected. But it's the optimal strategy to build an actual great product.

mullr · 2012-02-07 · Original thread
As was I. But in the meantime, I've been reading the three books that Steve Blank has recommended in various interviews (citation needed):




I'd still love to know what was planned for the class, but these volumes have been valuable to me.

tptacek · 2011-12-10 · Original thread
Just bought a (physical) Kindle; it has:

_Wolf Hall_ (

_Tree of Smoke_ (

(I'm about halfway through both; I'm trying to get better about reading fiction).

_The Lean Startup_ (

(Having trouble getting myself propelled into this one)

_Imbibe!_ (

(Probably the best book on booze ever written, my favorite thing I've read all year)

_Bitters_ (

(The Atlantic liked this book, but I found it slight --- although we're going to make bitters from this book in our office, so maybe I'll appreciate it more later)

Finally, I didn't read this "recently", but I'll take the opportunity to STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE:

_Ideas in Food_ (

This book blew my freaking head off. The authors are modernist ("molecular", gag) consultant/chefs with a very popular blog; the book adapts the stuff on their blog to home and professional cooking.

What's amazing about it is that they did such a great job translating modernist techniques not just to home kitchens but to home cooking, so that the same concepts that give you wanking spherification and foam dishes in restaurants give you hands-free bulletproof risotto at home. I could go on and on about this thing. It is simultaneously the geekiest and most useful food book I've ever bought. Own it immediately.

(Do audiobooks count? If so, add to the list _Thinking Fast And Slow_ by Daniel Kahneman, _Blood, Bones & Butter_ by Gabrielle Hamilton, and Caro's _Power Broker_).

thesash · 2011-12-01 · Original thread
This is exactly the problem that makes the Lean Startup so interesting and radical. Everything we think we know about business has ingrained in us a sense of change equating to failure. We build up inflated expectations for our non-existant products and business models to employees, to investors, to friends and family, all the while ignoring the fact that all the assumptions on which we've based our businesses are just that, guesses. Then, when one or more of the assumptions is invalidated, we're so embarrassed about being wrong that we try to persevere even when we know we're on the wrong track, and then run full speed into the wall instead of changing course.

Eric Ries has some really insightful ideas about how to turn these problems around, and if you haven't already read The Lean startup I highly recommend it.

vga15 · 2011-10-04 · Original thread
I've been at this exact same place. The best way you can prep for a 'web startup' is to leverage the skills you've got (javascript, java, html), and take action RIGHT NOW. [I've a feeling you know enough to get hacking on an idea, and learn along the way.]

We've no clue what the world would look like 2 years down the line. One thing we'd be certain of -- insane amounts of competition. The most important thing you'll learn right now is 'STARTING' with limited information. If you can couple that with an insane drive to 'COMPLETE', you'd be prepped & ready.


Since you mentioned 'web apps',

Get into action, the 'lean startup' way: []

- list a few target markets/niches you'd like to work with

- research them online/offline (forums, meetup groups etc.) & dig out their pain points

- build landing pages ( around your MAGIC SOLUTION to their problem

- get enough folks to sign up for your landing page (might cost you about 100$ worth of adspend)

- the inspiration you get from having actual folks that need your Magic Pain Solver would drive you to complete your product

- you'll relieve them of their pains by forcing yourself to build this ASAP, or you'd hire someone

- you'll have learned a ton about the essence of entrepreneurship through this experience


Basically, you're connecting a pain-point for an small-enough group of people, that communicates amongst themselves regularly (the market), to a transaction (business model).

And please, start Right Away.

ChuckFrank · 2011-06-07 · Original thread
Thank you for that suggestion.

Here are the two books from that link..

Lean Startups by Eric Ries out mid-september


Little Bets by Peter Sims

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