Resources / blog

Book review: This Might Get Me Fired


Are you an intrapreneur? While many product managers are involved primarily with developing and delivering someone else’s idea to market, some are actually driving strategy for a new product. Product strategy managers are intrapreneurs—and that’s the target reader for This Might Get Me Fired: A Manual for Thriving in the Corporate Entrepreneurial Underground

Author Gregory Larkin presents a step-by-step method for innovation within a large organization. With advice like, “If you can’t launch in eight weeks, you never will” and extolling the importance of a project Godfather—not just a stakeholder but a strong internal advocate. You'll find lots of great tips for facilitation of a leadership team and the kick-in-the-pants that many need to go from dreaming to doing.

The book is filled with great stories of success and failure that resonate with those who have attempted change in their organizations.

Here's a sample from the book: 

Any innovator in any major company has experienced something close to this. You’re told that you’re shit, you’re sloppy, you’re insubordinate, you’re duplicative, “that’s not the way we do things here,” and that you’re going to piss off some senior Vice President whose only obvious value is that he’s a senior Vice President.

Sound familiar?

Here are some great quotes from the book:

  • 70 percent of the small businesses that declare bankruptcy in the US each year are profitable when they fail.
  • In every product, there is the stated problem, and then there’s the real problem.
  • Cutting-edge technology that is supposed to transform the world is almost always met with utter indifference by users.
  • It’s hard to launch a minimum viable product without a minimum viable marketing strategy.

And my personal favorite:

  • You will quickly learn that the market places greater value on someone who can reach a 90 percent user acceptance rate in eight weeks than someone who will be promoted if they keep their head down and their nose clean.

Larkin pulls techniques from Lean Startup, The Innovator’s Dilemma, and Scrum methods to profile a method for defining and delivering a breakthrough product quickly within the bounds of a slow-to-change organization. He explains the creation of personas and the user journey, inventorying the assets and liabilities of your organization, and specific steps to your release strategy—all in eight weeks.

Both new and experienced product managers will find helpful tips that they can put to use immediately.

For more, see Gregory Larkin's article "This Might Get Me Fired" on Medium or buy the book from Amazon. 

Need help defining and delivering your product? See our broad range of workshops for product teams.
Return to Blogs