Writing a book is the hardest job I have ever completed

This is the Acknowledgement for my upcoming book, Validating Product Ideas:

Writing a book is the hardest job I have ever completed. It caused me both physical and mental pain. Hopefully nothing permanent. At some point I even considered quitting my career as a user researcher, moving to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and starting my own Shakshuka restaurant (see photo above, it’s really good, and mine is awesome). My wife hopes I’m over that phase by now.

I thought about the idea for the book two years before I actually started writing it which took almost two additional years. Five people were key to making it happen. To them I am grateful, appreciative, and forever thankful:

  • Iris, the love of my life, who gave me the time, support, and patience that I needed so much.
  • Lou Rosenfeld, my dearest publisher and friend who was interested in the topic, and helped the book turn into the great thing you can now hold, read, enjoy, and use. His wisdom and openness was (and still is!) inspiring.
  • Marta Justak, my fearless editor, butt-kicker, and therapist. Not that I’m going to, but if I ever write another book, I wouldn’t want anyone but Marta to be my editor.
  • Benjamin Gadbaw and Filip Healy, two of my reviewers who took precious time off of their schedule and for about a year, made sure I’m going to have a great book. I loved the opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts with such smart people.

Thank you also to:

  • Steve Blank for the push to the write this book and for the wonderful foreword.
  • Giff Constable, Anna Curran, Jeremy Horn, Lukas Imrich, Robert Farrokhnia, Daniel Waisberg, Eiko Matsumura, & Daniel Szuc for your reviews and feedback.
  • Sean Eras & David Weinstein for participating in my diary study.
  • Noam Lamdan for the illustration design.
  • Dan Russell for reviewing and approving.
  • Lane Halley, Laura Klein, Trevor Owens, Brad Feld, and Steve Krug for your testimonials.

High fives to Angela Chang and Brett Spencer for sharing their modeling superpowers that allowed a crazy photo shoot to be so successful. Thanks to Lisa Tilson (supporting model), Stephen Dobeck (photographer), and Cathy Yardley (fiction writing coach) for helping me tell that story, and the team at WeWork Soho West who hosted us — Danielle Horowitz, Parker Lieberman, and Roee Adler.

This book would not have been worth the paper (or whatever device you use to read it) without 200 people — startup founders, enterprise product managers, and venture capitalists from all over the world — whom I interviewed about learning from users. I promised to keep their identity confidential yet the insights gained during these conversations are spread throughout the book.

Finally and strangely so, I’d like to thank Google and Apple. Without their creativity, products, and services I would not have been able to author this book using an iPhone and Google Docs for iOS (offline mode rocks!) during my daily commute to New York City on a Coach USA bus (and several cross Atlantic flights).

The best place to buy the book now is through my publisher’s website, where it’s available for pre-order with a 30% discount. You’ll get the book before the end of the month.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.