28 Books Every Product Manager Should Read
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
In a world where innovation reigns supreme, equipping yourself with the knowledge and insights to navigate the complexities of product management is paramount. This literary journey will shape your product management prowess and awaken your strategic acumen.
The key? Books. In this blog, we present to you with 28 books from foundational principles to cutting-edge strategies, from leadership insights to user-centric design, that every Product Manager should read. These books are a collection of wisdom for aspiring and seasoned product managers alike. Continue reading to uncover the literary gems that hold the power to transform your approach and elevate your career.
- Books are a valuable source of knowledge for product managers, this curated list of 28 books covers topics, from product management fundamentals and strategy to user experience.
- The selected books cater to various aspects of product management, ensuring that product managers develop a well-rounded skill set.
- The blog emphasizes that reading these books has the power to transform a product manager’s approach and elevate their career.
Books Related to Product Management Fundamentals
These essential reads will help you embrace the cornerstone of product management and core principles that shape successful product managers and their strategic prowess.
1. Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
“Create remarkable products by uncovering what truly matters to customers.”
Marty Cagan’s book ‘Inspired’ unveils the art of effective product discovery and validation. It forms a layout for Product Managers to delve into customer needs, embrace innovation, and shape ideas into impactful products that truly capture the hearts of your audience.
2. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
“Navigate the startup landscape with agility.”
This book empowers entrepreneurs to navigate uncertainty, eliminate wasteful practices, and transform ideas into adaptable ones by emphasizing iterative development, validated learning, and pivoting to thriving ventures in the rapidly changing landscape.
3. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
“Habit-forming products are designed to make us want to use them again and again, even when we don’t need to.”
In this book, Nir Eyal deciphers the psychological triggers that make products addictive. Read this book to learn how to craft engaging experiences that keep users returning, mastering the art of creating products that seamlessly integrate into users’ routines and lives.
4. The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator by Rich Mironov
“Product managers need to be passionate about their products and their customers.”
This book offers a comprehensive exploration of product management essentials, navigating the intricacies of strategy, leadership, and innovation to guide new and seasoned product managers toward success.
Books Related to Thought Leadership
Reading these books on thought leadership can elevate your product management journey by helping you discover insights, strategies, and perspectives that empower you to lead with vision and influence.
1. Measure What Matters: Online Tools for Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by Katie Delahaye Paine
“Don’t be afraid to experiment with different metrics.”
Unveiling the digital heartbeat of success, Katie Delahaye Paine delves into the art of measurement, from deciphering online interactions to understanding customer behavior, this book equips product managers with the tools to uncover meaningful insights, refine strategies, and enhance relationships in the digital landscape.
2. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
“The rank of office is not what makes someone a leader. Leadership is the choice to serve others with or without any formal rank.”
Simon Sinek’s words resonate like a rallying cry for every leader. In product management, ‘Leaders Eat Last’ underscores the power of trust, empathy, and collaboration. By exploring how successful teams are forged, Sinek ignites a fire that propels product managers toward fostering cohesive and thriving product teams.
3. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton Christensen
“Good management practice drives the failure of successful firms faced with disruptive technological change.”
Clayton Christensen’s masterpiece, ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma,’ heralds the dawn of disruption. For product managers, it’s a guiding light to navigate the tumultuous sea of innovation. By dissecting why established firms stumble, Christensen offers profound insights into staying ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology and products.
4. Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore
“The chasm is the gap between the early adopters of a new technology and the early majority, who are more cautious and risk-averse.”
In the heart of technology’s battleground, Geoffrey A. Moore unfurls a strategy playbook here. As product managers march toward mainstream success, Moore’s insights guide them through the treacherous gap between early adopters and the larger market. It’s a roadmap for turning innovation into adoption.
Books Related to Product Strategy
Navigate the strategic landscape of product management by reading these insightful books on product strategy. These will help you uncover frameworks, methodologies, and perspectives that guide the creation and execution of impactful product roadmaps.
1. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt
“Good strategy is not about being better than your competition. It’s about being different.”
Richard Rumelt’s clarion call for strategic clarity is an anthem for every product manager. ‘Good Strategy Bad Strategy’ demystifies the art of strategy, exposing the difference between vague intentions and well-crafted plans. Rumelt empowers product managers to craft compelling strategies that drive meaningful impact and success.
2. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
“The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.”
Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne paint a vivid canvas of innovation with ‘Blue Ocean Strategy.’ Like explorers charting new waters, product managers uncover untapped markets and sidestepping competition. By challenging conventional wisdom, the book is a beacon for product managers seeking to redefine industry landscapes.
3. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olsen
“Customers don’t care about your solutions. They care about their problems.”
Dan Olsen’s playbook reads like a treasure map to innovation. ‘The Lean Product Playbook’ ushers product managers into a world of iterative creation and user-centricity. By wielding minimum viable products and customer insights, Olsen equips product managers to sculpt products that resonate and evolve with user needs.
4. Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown
“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”
Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown’s manifesto is a symphony of growth strategies for product managers. ‘Hacking Growth’ demystifies the alchemy behind rapid expansion. Through data-driven experimentation and ingenious tactics, product managers learn to orchestrate the crescendo of success, unlocking pathways to accelerated growth.
Books Related to Product Frameworks
Dive into the world of product frameworks with enlightening reads. Further also explore methodologies, processes, and structures that empower product managers to streamline development and drive innovation effectively.
1. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp
“The only way to know if an idea is good is to try it out and see what happens.”
In ‘Sprint,’ Jake Knapp unlocks the magic of time-bound innovation. Like a high-octane race, this book propels product managers through five days of strategic velocity. The sprint methodology heralds rapid problem-solving, fostering teamwork and user-tested solutions that launch products on a fast track to success.
2. Inspired Jobs to Be Done: Get Out of the Building by Alan Klement and Bob Moesta
“The only way to truly understand what your customers need is to get out of the building and talk to them.”
Alan Klement and Bob Moesta are explorers of the ‘jobs to be done’ universe, leading product managers on an expedition into customer motivations. In ‘Inspired Jobs to Be Done,’ they unveil a treasure trove of insights, enabling product managers to craft offerings that authentically solve user needs.
3. Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn
“A key tenet of agile estimating and planning is that we estimate size but derive duration.”
Mike Cohn’s ‘Agile Estimating and Planning’ is a navigational compass for the Agile voyage. Like a seasoned captain, Cohn steers product managers through choppy waters, offering techniques to forecast, estimate, and orchestrate projects. The book equips product managers to navigate the waves of uncertainty with confidence.
4. Design a Better Business: New Tools, Skills, and Mindset for Strategy and Innovation by Patrick Van Der Pijl, Justin Lokitz, and Roland Wijnen
“The future of business belongs to those who can design and deliver experiences that are both meaningful and memorable.”
The trio of Patrick Van Der Pijl, Justin Lokitz, and Roland Wijnen crafts a symphony of transformation in ‘Design a Better Business.’ Like architects of innovation, they introduce t, and a transformative mindset. The book emboldens product managers to reshape strategies and orchestrate innovation with finesse.
Books Related to Product-adjacent Skills
Expand your toolkit with books on product-adjacent skills. Further delve into communication, leadership, and analytical prowess to complement your product management expertise and foster well-rounded success.
1. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson
“At the core of every successful conversation lies the free flow of relevant information.”
In ‘Crucial Conversations,’ Kerry Patterson equips product managers with the art of communication under pressure. It’s a toolkit for navigating high-stakes dialogues that steer product direction. With tools to handle tough discussions, the book empowers product managers to lead with influence and finesse.
2. Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz
Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz’s ‘Lean Analytics’ is a compass that guides product managers through the data-driven labyrinth. It demystifies the alchemy of building startups by harnessing insights. By deciphering metrics that matter, product managers sculpt informed strategies that accelerate startups with precision.
3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
“A good leader is someone who can get people to follow them even when they don’t want to.”
Ben Horowitz pens a battle-tested manifesto in ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things.’ It’s a war chest of wisdom for product managers navigating the battlefield of entrepreneurship. With candid insights and lessons in resilience, the book prepares product managers to conquer ambiguity and lead through uncertainty.
4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
“We are all susceptible to biases, and we are often blind to our own limitations.”
Daniel Kahneman’s masterpiece ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ is a voyage through the mind’s labyrinth. For product managers, it’s a compass to navigate cognitive biases that shape decisions. By unveiling the intricacies of human thinking, the book equips product managers to craft strategies grounded in rationality.
Inspirational and Motivational Books
These inspirational and motivational books will not only ignite your passion but also help you embark on a journey of personal growth, resilience, and leadership that fuels your product management endeavors with unwavering determination and purpose.
1. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
“When we’re motivated by external forces, we’re less likely to take risks, less likely to innovate, and less likely to persevere in the face of setbacks.”
Daniel H. Pink ignites a motivational revolution in ‘Drive.’ Like an engine of insight, the book unveils the science of human motivation. For product managers, it’s a toolkit to inspire teams and craft environments where autonomy, mastery, and purpose propel innovation and excellence.
2. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
“The only way to achieve true mastery is to embrace a growth mindset.”
Carol S. Dweck’s ‘Mindset’ is a treasure chest of transformative thinking. Like a guide to the mind’s landscape, it imparts product managers with the power of growth thinking. The book cultivates a mindset where challenges fuel growth, innovation blooms, and success becomes a journey of continuous learning.
3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Angela Duckworth’s ‘Grit’ is a force that propels product managers toward greatness. Like an anthem for relentless determination, the book unveils the magic behind perseverance. With stories of grit-driven achievers, Duckworth equips product managers to conquer challenges, iterate with passion, and achieve exceptional results.
4. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek beckons product managers to unearth the ‘why’ in ‘Start with Why.’ Like architects of inspiration, product managers learn to orchestrate journeys that resonate with purpose. By kindling connections between products and meaning, the book ignites the spark for innovation that transcends the ordinary.
Books Related to User Experience
Understand user-centric design with these books on user experience. Further explore principles, methodologies, and insights that guide product managers in crafting seamless and delightful interactions for users.
1. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
“Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from users. The best way to improve usability is to get real people using your site and giving you their feedback.”
Steve Krug’s voice resonates in ‘Don’t Make Me Think.’ Like a usability oracle, the book illuminates the path to seamless user experiences. By simplifying complexities and advocating for intuitive designs, Krug equips product managers to sculpt digital landscapes where users effortlessly navigate and thrive.
2. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
“The first principle of good design is to make things disappear.”
Don Norman’s ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ is a masterclass in the art of design empathy. Like a journey through user-centric vistas, the book unveils the essence of usability. With profound insights, Norman empowers product managers to create products that resonate, delight, and seamlessly integrate into users’ lives.
3. User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product by Jeff Patton
“Story mapping keeps us focused on users and their experience, and the result is a better conversation, and ultimately a better product.”
Jeff Patton crafts a narrative symphony in ‘User Story Mapping.’ Like a cartographer of user experiences, the book unveils the art of mapping journeys. By fusing empathy with strategy, product managers craft holistic narratives that drive product development, ensuring alignment with user needs and goals.
4. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
“It’s not iterative if you only do it once.”
Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden sculpt a lean revolution in ‘Lean UX.’ Like architects of efficiency and excellence, they fuse UX with Lean principles. The book equips product managers to drive innovation, validate ideas, and create user-centered products through iterative experimentation and empathetic design.
Frequently Asked Questions
Books are a valuable source of knowledge and insights that can help product managers navigate the complexities of their roles.
The main purpose of this curated book list is to provide product managers, both aspiring and seasoned, with a comprehensive collection of books that cover a wide range of topics related to product management.
Reading these books has the potential to transform a product manager's approach by equipping them with valuable insights, strategies, and frameworks that can be applied to their roles.
Books related to "Thought Leadership" provide insights into understanding customers, building trust within teams, and navigating the challenges of technological change.
Books on "Product Strategy" offer frameworks, methodologies, and perspectives that guide the creation and execution of impactful product roadmaps.
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