In the book Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love, Marty Cagan discusses what qualities to look for when hiring a product manager. He suggests asking candidates about the products they admire to get a sense of their passion. He says:
“Great product managers have a love and respect for good products, no matter where they come from, and they live to create them.”
What product do I love? Well, as it turns out, that’s an easy question to answer right now: the iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot is my #1 favorite product at the moment.
After watching the Roomba take its first spin around my dining room, I saw the impact that this seemingly frivolous product would have on my life. Instead of spending an hour of my evening vacuuming, I could push CLEAN and walk away to read a book, go for a run, walk my dog, or hang out with my friends. Roomba, as it turned out, gave me about an hour of my time back to do the things that I enjoy doing. A vacuum that does the vacuuming for you: the Roomba is a game changer.
I run the Roomba every morning while I get ready for work. I love hearing the victory sound that the vacuum makes once it returns to it’s charging hub after an hour of cleaning, ”Do do do dee dooooh!”
It’s ridiculous, but I sing along to the chimes of this song.
What genius product manager thought to add this sound? It has nothing to do with the functionality of the vacuum. The sound is just delightful–nothing else. Too often, we think of products in terms of form or function but not both. I am inspired by this vacuum’s utility, the simplicity of its buttons (CLEAN & DOCK), and the amazing little details that make it–a vacuum–fun to use.
There are more products that I absolutely love, but for now, the Roomba inspires me to bring valuable and delightful products into the world.