10 best podcasts for product managers in 2021
In a recent article, I shared my favorite product management-related reads. But while nothing beats a good book, what about those times when you want a quick fix of product wisdom on the go? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In no particular order, here are my top product management podcasts for 2021.
1. Build with Maggie Crowley
Maggie is a former Olympic speed skater turned product leader. After hanging up her skates, she got her MBA at Harvard, and she now works at Drift as Director of Product Management.
This podcast is extremely practical. Whenever I listen to it, I walk away with new ideas. For example, there’s an old episode from 2019 that answers the question “what’s a one-pager”? It’s just 18 minutes long, but you come away with some great tips that you can apply in your own work. At my last company, I got my entire team to listen to it regularly.
Maggie interviews lots of interesting people from the world of product and then relates the topics they discuss back to her experience of building a product at Drift. There’s a strong focus on storytelling. She also gives a voice to other women in product, interviewing both colleagues and guests, which is great to see. We need more DE&I in product management.
- Post-mortems: The Secret to Better Performing Product (And Teams) with FYI’s Marie Prokopets
- You Can’t Cherry-Pick the Best Parts (and Other Product Lessons from David Cancel)
2. Seeking Wisdom with David Cancel by Drift
This one is a great companion to Maggie Crowley’s podcast. David is the co-founder and CEO of Drift. In fact, he’s founded five tech startups during his career, so he has tons to share when it comes to building great products and teams – and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
This one isn’t specifically about product management. Still, as the name suggests, you’ll find a whole lot of wisdom here about leadership, growth, and the principles David has learned and applied as a product leader, founder, and entrepreneur.
3. Fearless Product Leadership by Hope Gurion
One of the things I love about Hope’s podcast is that she picks a particular topic – like how to craft and communicate your product vision – and then interviews a set of product managers about it.
Rather than asking her guests a bunch of questions, she gives them space to talk, allowing them to explain their perspectives and approaches in depth. At the end, you get a unified summary that you can take away and do something with. I’m a big fan of actionable podcasts, and Fearless Product Leadership definitely falls under that category.
Another thing I like is that she doesn’t just have guests from the biggest companies. She picks people from startups, growth companies, and mature organizations, both in B2B and B2C.
4. Epics and Stories by Dennis Chow
This is a relatively new one, starting just last April, but the content has been great so far. Of all my picks, I would say this one is particularly useful for new product managers.
Dennis has created a lot of great content on how to break into product management. He covers topics like moving into leadership, building a great resume, tackling imposter syndrome, and dealing with role clarity between product manager and product owner. These are all important topics that we get a lot of questions about.
5. Intercom on Product by Intercom
This is another interesting one, with great perspectives and content from Intercom founder Des Traynor and SVP Paul Adams.
Intercom has had such a significant influence on the product management space. Whether it’s using the RICE prioritization framework, adopting a customer-centric approach, or the concept of outcomes over outputs, they have a lot of product wisdom to share. Their blog is a great resource, too.
6. PM Hub by Cyrus Eslamian
For the next pick, I’ll go with a fellow Canadian and a podcast I was recently a guest on myself. Cyrus has managed to get some exciting speakers talking about a whole range of product management-related topics. He also asks his guests to recommend who they’d like to see on the podcast in the future, which is a nice approach.
PM Hub isn’t sponsored by a company. It’s purely a passion project for Cryus that he does out of his love for product. He’s starting to get a decent community and following, which is great to see.
7. The Secrets of Product Management, by Nils Davis
Nils Davis has been in product for a long, long time, so he’s got plenty of expertise in this area. What I like about this podcast is that in addition to his thoughts on a topic, Nils also provides references to other supporting content related to those topics. The podcast has a pretty good website, too, where you can access all the content he discusses in each episode.
Nils wrote a book called The Secret Product Manager Handbook, which, like this podcast, is full of practical wisdom and product management knowledge. Oh, and he has a fantastic podcasting voice too!
- Guarantee Success in Your First 100 Days in a New Product Management Job
- The 5 Questions to Ask About a New Product Idea
8. Product Thoughts by Tim Herbig
Tim is an experienced product leader and consultant based in Europe, and he talks on a wide variety of product-related topics. He has relatively strong opinions in terms of how he thinks product should or shouldn’t be done that not everyone will agree with, but I like that he doesn’t avoid creating some good discussions. He’s not afraid to challenge norms and take positions that go against the status quo.
It’s another new podcast on the scene, but he’s already covered some great topics around product discovery, OKRs, MVPs, user impact mapping, and many more. Again, this is one of those podcasts that’s really actionable.
- How To Engage Your Engineers in Product Discovery
- Using Impact Mapping When Your Product Hasn’t Launched Yet
9. Brave New Work by The Ready
This one isn’t specifically about product management, but it does a great job talking about leadership in an interesting and entertaining way. It covers areas you’re going to run into as a leader, such as self-management, the hiring process, solving for system problems, and managing through change.
There’s one particularly interesting episode where they discuss the folly of the annual performance review and offer some ideas for providing feedback in a more effective, human way. Another standout episode addresses the concept of ‘even overs,’ which is a novel way of reframing those tough decisions around what to prioritize.
- Even Overs
- Their entire 2020 season called Ready for Anything
10. In Depth by First Round
In Depth is VC firm First Round’s official podcast. Like their blog, it’s an excellent resource for startup leaders and anyone involved in growing teams and companies. You’ll find plenty of tactical advice and smart ideas around the challenges of starting and scaling an organization.
They did an interesting interview with Drift founder David Cancel about his unconventional approach to leadership and product. In another recent episode, they interviewed two Amazon executives about the leadership principles the company has established to ensure that it outlives Jeff Bezos. Again, this one isn’t just about product management, but there’s a lot of relevant content that you won’t find elsewhere.