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Book review: Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres

08 June 2023 •

By: Pieter Reviews

Discovering the secrets to creating successful products is like embarking on a thrilling expedition into the unknown. In her groundbreaking book, "Continuous Discovery Habits," author Torres serves as our trusted guide, unveiling a treasure trove of invaluable insights and strategies.

Pieter highly recommends this book, and here’s why.

1. What attracted you to this book?

Product and feature discovery is part of my everyday work, so the title, Continuous Discovery Habits, seemed to promise a way to make that easier. It was also recommended to me by someone, whom I later learned had not even read it themselves! When I finally cracked open the cover and started reading, I found the tone conversational and the content not too heavy on academic or technical jargon.

2. What is the basic storyline?

Teresa Torres is an internationally acclaimed consultant, speaker and (obviously) author. She had spent many years coaching teams in a diverse variety of organisations on product discovery, particularly on how to diffuse their product decisions with customer input.

This book ‌distils these ideas into a roadmap for product discovery, balancing the needs of the business with the needs of customers. It uses a series of methods that often scaffold each other. Each method is demonstrated in practical steps (and warnings).

3. What were some highlights?

One valuable chapter is a clear and concise description of outcomes and outputs. Products (and features) operate in a space between businesses that need to make money, and customers who will pay to have their needs met.

Torres puts forward that instead of businesses outputting features that they then PUSH to customers, businesses should clearly define the problems that customers are facing, and use these to deliver products that will have a positive impact on customers. In this way, they PULL viable ideas from customers.

4. What insights have you gained?

In simple terms, businesses should first understand the problems their customers are experiencing before creating new products and features. This involves finding opportunities by identifying customer problems, generating a range of solutions, and testing those solutions. Finally, it's important to measure the impact of the chosen solution to ensure the problem has been effectively solved.

5. Who do you think should read this book?

Torres dedicates an entire chapter to what she refers to as the "product trio." This trio consists of the Product Manager (who represents the business), the Designer, and the Software Engineer. It's crucial for these three individuals to collaborate and understand not just their customers, but also each other's roles and perspectives.

As a result, I highly recommended this book for those working in design or delivery, as well as managers and marketers involved in the product field.

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08 June 2023
By: Pieter

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