6 of the Best Product Experts and Influencers To Follow

Profile image of Joana Pereira, CareerFoundry blog author

The Productsphere boomed in 2023, partly as a result of the readjustment the tech industry has continued to go through, and partly as a result an increased level of maturity in product management as a discipline in its own right.

That maturity is the result of the work of many different people, some of whom have been around for a long time, and some who have just recently joined the echelons of the “best product managers around”.

For those who are just now starting out in the industry, what are the names worth knowing and following? Who are the best product managers to follow online?

Here’s how we’ll break it down:

  1. The veteran big names of product
  2. The best product managers to follow from beyond the Valley
  3. Final thoughts

1. The veteran big names of product

Quite a few of the people on this list have been calling themselves product people well before PM carved its own space in tech. They are all published authors and their books are regarded today as foundational reading for both aspiring and seasoned product managers alike. 

Marty Cagan via Silicon Valley Product Group

The Pater Emeritus of product might be fast approaching retirement age, but his influence is very far from waning.

Cagan can lay claim to having introduced the adjective “caganite”, as well as conditioning at least two generations of product managers to believe that having a background in software engineering is an essential prerequisite to working in product and to become the best product manager in the world.

Cagan has also been extremely vocal in his insistence that product management is neither project management, nor should it be confused with the role of product owner in the Agile framework known as Scrum. 

He is also the author of several books that have earned their rightful place in the canon of PM literature, namely: 


Cagan currently runs workshops and keeps an active blog (including an archive of nearly twenty years of posts) on Silicon Valley Product Group, the product consultancy he co-founded. 

Teresa Torres

Before Teresa Torres, product discovery, one of the essential stages in the product development lifecycle, was perceived often as somewhat of a black box: one understood its importance, but its workings remained shrouded in a mystery that eluded all but the very best product managers.

Torres untangled Product Discovery and turned it into a quasi-science of measurements, hypotheses and continuous customer interviews, defying the previously accepted assumption that Discovery was a process done once and never repeated.

Software teams owe a great deal to Torres, since this evolution in Product Discovery also facilitated the transition from Waterfall to Agile development: if product requirements are a perpetual work in progress, then what could make more sense than building products in small increments and iterating on them as often as possible? 


Melissa Perri

Melissa Perri’s career in product really took off after the publication of her 2017 book Escaping the Building Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value. The book spoke to an entire generation of producteers who had been trying (and oftentimes failing) to move from so-called feature factories to companies where product management was recognized for its real worth.

This generation had read Cagan and possibly Torres, so the idea that a product manager should be content in a position of backlog administrator, or JIRA ticket writer, simply was not enough anymore. Perri managed to put a name to this malaise, diagnose it, identify its root causes and propose a remedy: no matter how well informed PMs may be, momentous change must start at the top. 

It’s not a matter of deciding to do things differently at team level: management and executives alike must be prepared and willing to embrace a completely different mindset. Companies must become product-led before they can become the right place to forge the best product managers around. 


Lenny Rachitsky

Lenny might have been one of the first product managers to successfully “retire” from Big Tech and to launch his own paid Substack newsletter specifically focused on product management.

With over half a million subscribers, Lenny has proved that it’s possible to cultivate an audience of readers and listeners purely interested in inside stories about product and to learn from what the best product managers are working on today. .

As a former Product Lead for Growth at AirBnB, Lenny has a soft spot for challenges related to growing and monetizing a company’s service offering in the best possible way. He’s also managed to bring Silicon Valley experts to his firechats and share not only best practices, but also uncertainties and failures that ultimately made them better product managers and leaders.

Lenny’s newsletter is also uniquely neutral, in the sense that there is very little to no promotion of specific courses, schools or additional services PMs tend to be pushed towards in the name of keeping themselves updated.

In short, if you’re short on time and can only manage to read one newsletter (complete with a podcast!), consider becoming a subscriber to Lenny’s. 


2. The best product managers to follow from beyond the Valley

Even though quite a few of the luminaries of product management have lived and worked in California, not all the world’s best product managers reside in the Golden State. . 

Increasingly, there’s a consensus that the mindset and even the models and techniques used in Silicon Valley are not always easy to replicate elsewhere: the business culture might be different, the sheer size of teams might also play a role. So bearing that difference in mind, here are a couple of people who have chosen to advance the state of product management in Europe and, more specifically, in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).

Büşra Coşkuner

Büşra started out in product management as many others before her had: as an IT project manager that gradually managed to transition into a proper product role. 

She worked for a number of companies before deciding to become a solopreneur in 2019. While at first Büşra was very vocal about the key differences between product management and Scrum/Agile, her soft spot has since evolved to focus on building capable PMs for the future.

Büşra is, by her own assumption “not a blogger”, although she does publish her thoughts and expertise on LinkedIn quite often. She currently offers a variety of courses and workshops, both for companies and individuals around the topics of experimentation, hypothesis, OKRs, North Star metrics and others, touching upon both tactical and strategic matters of product management.

In short, Büşra is doing more than her fair share to ensure the best product managers of tomorrow are much more confident and have better tools than their predecessors. 


Tim Herbig

Tim Herbig is unusually generous in sharing product insights: his website contains a multitude of articles and a full book on the topic of Product Discovery accessible to all. Tim himself writes and gives courses and workshops on three main topics: 

  • OKRs
  • Product strategy 
  • Product discovery 

He builds on his experience both as a product manager and, later on, as a product advisor and coach to different companies.

Like Büşra, Tim realized during his time working in product roles in-house that there was a great deal of confusion between Agile, Scrum and what product management was supposed to be and how the best product managers were even supposed to be working…

Fed up with a style of work that included very little data and evidence-based decisions, Tim set himself up to the challenge of changing PM culture from the inside out, helping companies make the transition into becoming product-focused and product-led. 


3. Final thoughts

Whether as in-house product managers, as solopreneurs, or as part of product collectives, there are countless product people working proactively to increase awareness about what it means to be a product manager, and how one can become one of the best product managers around.

And even for aspiring PMs, unsure of what they want their next step to be, any of these product influencers can provide at the very least an inspiration on current best practices. 

Ready to learn more? Check out CareerFoundry’s free product management short course. For more related reading on resources for aspiring product managers, you can refer to these articles:

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to product management with a free, self-paced short course made up of 5 short tutorials.

  2. Take part in one of our FREE live online product manager events with industry experts, or check out CareerFoundry graduate Farley’s product management portfolio project.

  3. Become a qualified product manager in 3-6 months—backed by the CareerFoundry job guarantee.

  4. This month, we’re offering a partial scholarship worth up to $1,365 off on all of our career-change programs to the first 100 students who apply 🎉 Book your application call and secure your spot now!

What is CareerFoundry?

CareerFoundry is an online school for people looking to switch to a rewarding career in tech. Select a program, get paired with an expert mentor and tutor, and become a job-ready designer, developer, or analyst from scratch, or your money back.

Learn more about our programs