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Publisher's Summary

To stay competitive in today's market, organizations need to adopt a culture of customer-centric practices that focus on outcomes rather than outputs. Companies that live and die by outputs often fall into the "build trap", cranking out features to meet their schedule rather than the customer's needs.

In this book, Melissa Perri explains how laying the foundation for great product management can help companies solve real customer problems while achieving business goals. By understanding how to communicate and collaborate within a company structure, you can create a product culture that benefits both the business and the customer. You'll learn product management principles that can be applied to any organization, big or small.

In five parts, this book explores:

  • Why organizations ship features rather than cultivate the value those features represent
  • How to set up a product organization that scales
  • How product strategy connects a company's vision and economic outcomes back to the product activities
  • How to identify and pursue the right opportunities for producing value through an iterative product framework
  • How to build a culture focused on successful outcomes over outputs 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Melissa Perri (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Escaping the Build Trap

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Distractingly soft narration

The narrator's voice is suited to bedtime stories for children, not business advice. I had a hard time focusing on the content of the book her voice was so soft and saccharine. I just couldn't take the book seriously.

3 people found this helpful

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Why so condescending?

I loved the content and it made a lot of sense. Why were the male characters portrayed as stupid with the condescending voice-over? Likewise, the female characters were unfairly portrayed as weak. Not sure if that was the books intent but the reading was bad in my opinion.

2 people found this helpful

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Good insights, inappropriate delivery

The story is well crafted but I was much distracted by over acting of the reader making it not sound like a business book but fiction.

2 people found this helpful

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Please have a different voice over

The content itself is great but the voice is really really bad. I had a hard to finish, this is not a bedtime story. I ended up buying the book itself to read.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narration

Great content. The worst and most annoying narrator for a non fiction book. You don’t need to change your voice for every piece of dialogue.

1 person found this helpful

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Odd narration practice

I am enjoying the content of this book and it seems to be valuable and on point. However the narrator’s practice of altering her voice to sound deeper and gruffer when quoting men is really distracting. Imagine if a male narrator put on a higher pitched voice to indicate he was quoting a woman…he’d be labelled sexist! It detracts from the quotes themselves.

1 person found this helpful

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A comprehensive tour to being a tech product manager

Tech products are complex beasts invented by humans. They require an operating system that can react quickly and nimbly and yet remain focused on a strategic vision.
As such, a product manager (or product owner in an agile development setting) is one of the hardest and most important roles to succeed as a product led organization.
This book provides a comprehensive guided tour for the PM role, from understanding what is a product led organization, how to enable product teams turn a product vision and strategy into viable options, through how to shape a product led organization in a structure set up for success. By structure I mean not only org structure but also roles, artifacts, flow and emergence of knowledge and more.
The book, imho, falls short on two aspects:
- the linkage between organizational agility and a product led organization. There are some examples of how poor agile practices hinder a mindset of a product led organization. But not how real agility is key to turning concept to cash quickly and effectively.
- the description of required meetings and procedures in the third part feels over prescriptive. Maybe Perri meant them as an example. I understood them as how it should work.
To me it feels that the excellent explanations and examples for utilizing experimentation in the product management concepts are missing on these aspects of a product led organization.
That being said, the book gets an easy 5 star rating from me as one of the best books on PM I have read/listened to.

1 person found this helpful

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Hope for those of us still stuck in the trap

This is a must-read for anyone currently undergoing organizational transformation to the product model including; product managers, designers, engineers, and senior leadership. This perfectly illustrates the big picture vision while outlining steps needed to achieve the shift in product mindset within your organization. I’m recommending for my whole team.

1 person found this helpful

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Starts off very basic, but ramps up and adds value

I almost gave up on this book after the first couple of chapters. As a seasoned PM executive with over 20 years in ProductManagement, I found the beginning far too basic to keep my interest. A colleague convinced me to stay with it, it picks up. I'm glad I did! Lots of great value and insights here.

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Business novel writing + romance novel narration

The insight is strong, especially in the first 10 or so chapters, but then starts to drone on in the typical business half-novel sort of way. Any time you hear the fake "Marketly" company name, skip ahead 15-30 seconds. That's if you're lucky. If there's a lot of Marketly fictional character dialogue, then you're about to dive into 60+ seconds of the narrator's romance novel voices.

Even the standard reading of the non-fictional portions are read like a low-quality fiction book.

I'll just say this. I went out and bought the regular book anyway, partially to skip the fluff, but mostly because the narration was that bad.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-20

Solid content for starter Product Managers

Excellent foundation for early PMs. Narrator's attempt to mimic characters unnecessary and cringey. Would recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David Avis
  • 05-03-21

Excellent book really unusual voice over

The voice over on this is really distracting. Unusual enunciation, strange deeper and lighter tones - very distracting to the content and found myself wondering off on that / tuning out because of it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fredrik Wendt
  • 10-03-21

Awesome and dangerous

The vast majority of this book is excellent in short: everything product wise. However there are some leadership/organizational design ideas which will stifle exactly what the book wants to foster/create. The upside is that this is only a small part of the book, and mostly not connected to or impacting the great content.

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  • KJ
  • 09-08-21

mind-blowing product reality for any PM

Insightful for any PM at any stage. it gives you insight into the mind of leading worldclass PM and problems faced at organizations and how to navigate them.

absolutely loved it and will buy a hard copy.

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  • Bruno
  • 04-04-21

Great read for product managers at any level

Melissa uses a fictional company to illustrate how a company can scape de "build trap" (build a list of features instead of solving problems, output Vs outcomes), via a product Kata (continuous improvements via experiments), becoming a product-led organisation. A book to read and revisit many times.

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  • Richard
  • 07-16-20

Great content. Great narrator. Highly recommended

Very likely my favourite product management book so far — it really lives up to the hype! It's relatable, practical and I just couldn't put it down.

Special shout out to the narrator too. She did a fantastic job!