Why create a list of podcasts for product managers? Easy. Product managers are busy. We want to learn, improve our craft, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends. However, there’s not always time to peruse discussion boards or read massive missives on Medium.
However, when our bodies and eyeballs might be busy, our ears still have a lot of free time. Sure, we could be listening to the latest Spotify smash hit or pulling a deep cut from our music collection. But those commutes, errands, workout sessions can serve double-duty thanks to a plethora of podcasts about our chosen profession.
Below are a dozen podcasts offering outstanding learning and inspirational content for product managers. As we did with our 10 Must-Read Books for Product Managers blog post, they’re not all targeted exclusively at PMs.
At ProductPlan we think the most successful product managers are the most well-rounded. They’re the ones who expose themselves to the greatest number of relevant disciplines. So, I’m suggesting podcasts for product managers that offer learning and insights in fields such as entrepreneurship, leadership, and marketing. Afterward, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to resources for product professionals to maximize every available avenue for learning and career development.
Product Leadership Podcasts
Leaders lead… and listen.
Fearless Product Leadership
Product management is not for the meek, and the Fearless Product Leadership podcast helps you shake off your doubts and hesitations to lead with authority and confidence. Elevating from the rank-and-file to a leader isn’t just about what it says on your business card. It’s also how you conduct yourself with peers, your team, and your superiors.
Hosted by entrepreneur Andrew Warner, Mixergy is a long-running podcast focusing on entrepreneurship, running successful businesses, and coming up with winning products.
The podcast is not aimed directly at product managers. However, you will find that many of the goals, challenges, workarounds, priorities, successes, and failures of the startup founders interviewed here overlap with those that you and your product team face.
What’s a sales-themed podcast doing on this list? Well, it never hurts to understand how your counterparts on the revenue-generation side of the house approach their jobs.
Building your own empathy for their challenges can make your interactions with them a little more productive and a little less confrontational. Accelerate’s host is Andy Paul, a longtime sales trainer, and in the show’s more than 500 episodes he interviews lots of heavy-hitters in the sales game.
Whereas The Advanced Selling Podcast is useful primarily in that it gives you a window, provided by sales reps, into what your customers might be thinking, the Accelerate podcast is great for other reasons.
First and foremost, this podcast gives you some real insight into the lives of your sales team members — the challenges they face, where they believe other parts of the organization (marketing, product, management) let them down, and what types of support they value most. In other words, this is a great opportunity to listen to your sales reps and learn how you might be able to work with them more effectively.
The podcast also offers great insights — from sales leaders — about how to streamline and otherwise improve a company’s sales strategy and processes. You might discover some helpful tactics and resources here to help your own sales effort.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Goodness! Don’t you ever think about anything but work?
We’ve discussed a lot of PM-related topics in this post. Even the non-product-management podcasts I’ve suggested so far have all been aimed at making you more productive and effective at work. So it’s time for some balance.
A successful product manager is a fresh, relaxed, and mentally-focused product manager. With that in mind, I highly recommend the Happier podcast, hosted by Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project.
How is this related to product management? It isn’t, at least not directly. This is just a terrific series offering advice on lightening up, gaining perspective, boosting optimism, and becoming a happier person.
Product Development Podcasts
Ideas are easy, execution is the tricky part.
Product Coalition’s community of product professionals is already doling out plenty of helpful hints, but their podcast takes it to the next level. These episodes get into the nitty-gritty details of turning ideas into reality and all the hurdles we must clear along the way. Best of all, it’s a great glimpse into how product development varies a bit around the globe, given the diverse geographic background of participants.
This podcast gets specific and goes deep on topics product teams confront on a regular basis. Talk technical debt with an actual engineer, what happens when the engineering team wants to replace the entire stack, and managing executives in a lean-agile enterprise environment.
Many of us work in an Agile environment, but there’s always more to learn from practitioners completely immersed in the discipline. The LeadingAgile SoundNotes podcast dives into Scrum, Organizational Transformation, and other Agile subjects with guests well-versed in these matters.
Learn how outcome-based planning shifts the focus from how to why, how impact mapping helps you build the right thing, and what Agile development is like when there’s no product owner.
Product Strategy Podcasts
Get this wrong and nothing else matters.
Beyond the To-Do List
As a product manager, you have to think and act strategically. Because everyone’s strategic thinking and processes always have room for improvement, there’s the Beyond the To-Do List podcast.
In this often funny series, Host Erik Fisher, a productivity expert and author, interviews all sorts of productive folks — entrepreneurs, product execs, successful bloggers, bestselling authors, journalists, you name it.
Some of the advice is directly on point for product managers. In one recent episode, for example, Erik interviews AppSumo founder Noah Kagan on product testing and optimization. At other times, the podcast discusses broader topics such as being present, work-life balance and getting more done. An older episode, for example, finds Erik talking about strategic productivity with bestselling author Charles Duhigg.
If you could benefit from some expert guidance on strategy and productivity, listen to Beyond the To-Do List.
Products That Count
Product managers may find inspirational role models in short supply. We’re often working our magic behind the scenes while executives get the glory and take the credit. But there are some product leaders of successful tech companies happy to share their wisdom with the rest of the product management community.
Product Talk is a podcast from the massive Products That Count product management Products That Count. Each episode features a deep dive with C-level and VP-level product leaders who offer up their advice on the tricks of the trade they’ve developed and adopted to take their products and careers to the next level.
Regardless of their particular niche or vertical, each of these industry veterans has lessons and learning that any product management professional could borrow from. Find out how a toy company makes hit products or how artificial intelligence is invading products in the home.
Masters of Scale
Reid Hoffman found fame and fortune after founding LinkedIn. Now, on his podcast Masters of Scale, he’s talking with industry leaders on how they turned small-scale firms into massive engines of growth.
Each episode begins with one of Hoffman’s theories on scaling before discussing the topic with big-name guests with impressive track records of their own.
Learn how Shopify took the platform approach to grow big fast from founder and CEO Tobi Lütke. Dig into why Etsy’s CEO Josh Silverman thinks strategy must be big picture while still tending to the details. Understand why Tory Burch preaches patience… until decisive action is required.
Product Management Podcasts
Turn your job into a career and master your profession.
This is Product Management
Here’s the first of two podcasts for product managers specifically focused on product management, the aptly named This is Product Management.
Host Mike Fishbein (of software maker Alpha) interviews a wide range of relevant experts and thought leaders. His guests range from venture capitalists to product executives, entrepreneurs, and of course product managers.
The result is an always-valuable podcast. Any episode can give you a new insight or idea about your market and how to manage your sprints. You’ll also learn how to lead a team, and how to come up with better products.
Check out how Asana makes distributed decision-making work, user retention, and the importance of storytelling.
Here is the second highly-focused example on our list of podcasts for product managers. If you listen to Product People — which describes itself as “A podcast focused on great products and the people who make them” — and the This is Product Management podcast I listed above, you’ll be off to a great start in terms of finding valuable product management insights on a regular basis.
Product People’s episode archive is loaded with wonderful, insight-rich discussions for product managers. Noteworthy topics include how to build habit-forming products, product validation, and promoting your product.
In fact, if you only had the time to listen to just one podcast, I’d recommend starting here. Take a test drive and get into SaaS pricing models, facing down launch fears, or productizing services.
Here’s one more product management-specific podcast to finish off our list. You might recognize her from our webinar series, but at 100 PM, host Suzanne Abate is on a mission to interview 100 active product managers from companies of all sizes, from startups to enterprises.
Listen to her conversations with product managers from Expedia, Trunk Club, Sonos, and more. She tackles topics ranging from utilizing proxy metrics to hardware development to hiring (and getting hired as) a product manager.
Bonus suggestion: The Everyday Innovator Podcast with Chad McAllister
Do you have any other recommendations for podcasts for product managers? Please share them in the comments section.