Holistic Product Discovery

A no-nonsense guide to creating effective products and services

by Martin Christensen & Marcus Castenfors

As a product team, you live and breathe your product. One of the hardest questions is: “Will the stuff we are working on right now be successful?”

We’ve written this book, to put it simply, to demystify what Product Discovery means. We will look to explain the thinking behind the concept in an easily digestible format, and to give you, the reader, actionable tools that you can use with your team to create effective products and services.

Holistic Product Discovery BookHolistic Product Discovery Book

Who the Book is for

The book is primarily tailored to product managers or product owners who create tech products. However, if you have another role in a product team, you will receive value from the book as well.

The book is especially useful if you haven’t done that much structured Product Discovery in the past. You have heard the term, read some articles, and you are curious to get started. 

About the Book

This book features real-life stories from product development, traps, and fallacies that you should avoid, mental models, and finally a Holistic framework to build the right product. The contents are both theoretical and practical in nature.

We have written the book according to what we do and preach. It is based on experience coaching product teams, hands-on. We have then developed the book iteratively and incrementally, by publishing early and improved versions, as well as, asking readers for continuous feedback along the way.

Key topics are

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That Product Discovery is about building the right thing, finding the right solution for the right problem
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Why Product Discovery is required in our Agile (or non-Agile) product development environments
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How Product Discovery should be more holistic than it usually is
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How you can practice Product Discovery in general and the use of playbooks in specific contexts
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How you can set a continuous and collaborative way of working with both Discovery and Delivery that fits with our context
About the authors

Martin Christensen

Holistic Product Discovery Author Martin Christensen

I'm a Transformational Agile and Product Discovery coach. I coach individuals, teams and organizations to be more effective and efficient with product and service development.

About the authors

Marcus Castenfors

Holistic Product Discovery Author Marcus Castenfors

I'm a startup founder and Product Coach at Crisp. I coach teams, individuals, and organizations to build better products for their customers.

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Davor Tomic

Product Design @ Timescale

Starting with Product Discovery can be a daunting task, and not for the lack of resources or opinions out there. If you're looking to make a strong first/next step into learning more about Product Discovery and establishing it as an integral process in your org, start with this book. It will give you everything you need, and only what you need. After reading it, you will feel confident to start and ready to answer any challenges you might meet on your way to product discovery excellence!

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Gibson Biddle

former VP Product, Netflix

Product discovery -- figuring out what customers want and value -- is hard. "Holistic Product Discovery" is a straightforward guide on how to avoid common traps as you build products. The book provides clear frameworks, examples, and case studies that will help you to build products that delight customers. If you want to level up your Product Discovery approach, this is the book for you.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
1.1 The structure of the book
1.2 Acknowledgements
2. Building the wrong product
2.1 A story about a product
2.2 Product is hard
3. Building the right product
3.1 Enter Product Discovery
3.2 Product Discovery principles
4. Holistic Product Discovery Framework
4.1 Frameworks
4.2 A simple value-focused model
4.3 Three qualities in harmony for successful products
4.4 Addressing risks
4.5 One historically viable process
4.6 Four stages for clarity
4.7 The powerful holistic framework
4.8 Methods that can be used in the framework
4.9 The power of triangulation
5. Product Discovery playbooks
5.1 Known Playbook focused on user value
5.2 Unknown Playbook focused on user value
5.3 Strategic Product Discovery - an example
5.4 Feasibility Discovery in a nutshell
6. Strategic Product Discovery - an example
7. Discovery and Delivery sitting in a tree…
7.1 Switching mindsets
7.2 Adapting to the context
7.3 Structure and understanding
7.4 Cadences and signals
7.5 Risks and wholeness
8. How to get started
8.1 A primer on cultural change
8.2 Change Management
8.3 Building Blocks for Change
9. Conclusion
10. Frequently Asked Questions