28 Subreddits To Make You A Better Product Manager
I love Reddit. The self-styled front page of the Internet has long been my favourite place to hang out online. I love it so much I’ve got five different accounts which I use for posting and commenting on different subreddits, from r/psychedelicrock to r/StarWars, from r/twinpeaks to r/talesfromtechsupport (and no, I don’t upvote myself; that would be cheating).
I’ve also got a Reddit button on my denim jacket…
If you’re not careful, though, Reddit can become a massive time sink. Like most, I’ve wasted hours of my life I’ll never get back scrolling through hilarious (but utterly pointless) subreddits like r/Turtlegifs (and plenty of others I won’t list here).
But, used intentionally, Reddit is one of the most powerful resources available for personal and professional development online. Whatever your job or interests (however leftfield) there’s a subreddit for you.
As a Product Manager, I’m constantly trying to learn new ways to build better products and leverage the output of my team. Through Reddit, I’ve upskilled myself significantly. And all for free. Who needs an expensive university degree or MBA these days?
Here, then, is a list of the 28 subreddits that have helped me become a more effective Product Manager:
Useful articles and discussion on all things Agile including Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Startup and Kanban. Essential reading for anyone building software products in the 21st Century.
A pure discussion forum for anyone who wants to talk about programming without being bombarded with technology and political news. It operates a strict programming-only policy, but if you’re interested in understanding what your engineers are getting excited about this is the place to find out.
A place for people to discuss ideas, techniques and design in the creation of art. If you’re struggling to visualise where you’re going with your product a bit of time browsing round here will get the creative juices flowing again. It’s a bit spammy these days, but there’s still the occasional gem to inspire you. Like this.
As a Product Manager, you’ll regularly find yourself called on to present product statistics and other information in an engaging way to people at all levels of your business. This is the place to find your inspiration.
The flipside of r/dataisbeautiful. This is where you’ll learn how not to present data about your product to the rest of your company (or risk getting laughed off your podium).
Great design is an integral part of every great product. If you’re in need of design inspiration (or just want to find some cool stuff to look at or read about) then this sub will keep you busy for hours.
This sub is like r/Design, only deeper. Much deeper. If you want to dig your own Marianas Trench of design process and craft, then this is the place to do it. There’s some extraordinarily cool stuff posted here.
If you’re really going to be the CEO of your product then you’ll need to have the entrepreneurial talent of a world-beating startup founder. This sub is a great place to learn from the successes, failures and insights of business owners across the globe.
To be a truly great Product Manager you’ve got to be able to see the future. What’s your market going to look like in five years time and what opportunities will that create for you? This sub is an amazing resource for helping identify the future trends which could have the biggest impact on your product.
HCI is the heartbeat of the world’s most innovative organisations. From Apple to Amazon, the way we interact with computers (in the broadest sense) dominates the way we engage with products. Learn about why that matters in this sub.
“The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table.” ~ Steven Johnson
Get the parts you need from the r/Innovation sub.
You don’t have to be a rockstar programmer to be a successful Product Manager (hell, my background is music journalism and project management), but you do need to have a basic understanding of the way software products are put together. Instead of wasting thousands on a Computer Science degree, get the education you need for free here.
If you build it they won’t come. You could have just released the most awesome product ever made, but if you’re not marketing it effectively no one is going to care. And don’t think you can just rely on your Sales & Marketing Department. It’s your product; you should at least have an idea about how it should be marketed.
Does exactly what it says on the tin. Packed full of cutting edge physical product design news, design processes and design-related resources, this sub is a brilliant resource that can help inspire your physical products.
“Being a product manager is like riding a bike except the bike is on fire and you’re on fire and everything is on fire and you’re in hell.” ~ Anon Keep your head out the fire by making sure you’re as productive as possible with this sub.
Weirdly for such a tech-savvy profession, this sub is pretty quiet. Probably because everyone’s hanging out on the Product Manager HQ Slack chat. There are still quite a lot of useful posts here, though, that will help you build your Product Management toolkit.
Product Management isn’t Project Management; but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it. To be effective as a product leader, your project management skills need to be razor-sharp. The r/projectmanagement sub is dedicated to Project Management in the software development area, so it’s the ideal place to hone them.
You are using Slack to run your Product Team, right?
An awesome resource for software development methodologies, techniques and tools. This sub covers Agile, RUP, Waterfall, Crystal, Extreme Programming, Scrum, Lean, Kanban and more, and complements r/agile nicely.
A community of all backgrounds, levels of expertise and business experience sharing stories about the failures, the successes and embarrassments along their startup journeys. A place to learn from other people’s mistakes before you make them yourself.
Your customer isn’t always right, but they’re always your customer. When you’re having a hard time trying to explain your latest product update to a difficult user, head over to r/talesfromtechsupport and remind yourself that it’s not just you.
The sister sub of r/productivity. Packed with advice on how to manage your time more effectively and get everything on your list done.
Interesting links and discussion on user experience and interface design. A bit more “general” than some of the other UX subs and a great starting point for any Product Manager looking to brush up their usability knowledge.
A fairly active sub covering all aspects of user experience design, from traditional human-computer interaction design to all aspects of a product or service experience. A great place for all your UX questions.
Similar in content to r/userexperience, this sub is also worth keeping an eye on for thoughts and resources about User Experience, Information Architecture and Interaction Design.
An awesome community for sharing and discussing UX research in its broadest sense. Encourages links, articles and discussion relating to both academic and applied research and gives you a deep insight into methods and analysis techniques.
Anything relating to the visualisation of data, from graphs and charts to maps and infographics. Compliments r/dataisbeautiful nicely as a source of inspiration for ways to present your product health metrics and other data to your stakeholders.
Want to know what’s new for Web Developers? This sub will keep you up-to-date.