May 07, 2020 / Blog

The Best Books to read on Product Management

The books below are suited for product managers of all levels and especially suited for people looking to break into product management.

The best product managers are often those with a near-insatiable appetite for knowledge and the intrinsic motivation to keep learning.

Product and Product Management

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan: This is probably one of the best books on product development and is incredibly important to read for any aspiring PM. If I could only recommend one book it would be this.

The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen: This book is an effortless read, and it will help to improve your point of view when answering product questions. I highly recommend reading the chapters on product-market fit and metrics

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal: Hooked does an excellent job of introducing “behavioral design” then illustrating concepts with real-world examples from companies including Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: This is a book that is going to stand the test of time and deep dives into why innovative firms thrive and ones that do not innovate die

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman: Product managers will enjoy Norman’s thorough analysis of why design is the key aspect of any product, and why some products delight customers while others frustrate them

Testing and Measurement

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Benjamin Yoskovitz: I was lucky to actually be able to participate in a startup boot camp taught by Ben. This book will teach you how to produce a product that is valuable and marketable through developing a thorough understanding of the analytics draw from your product

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Five Day by Jake Knapp: The Google Ventures team documents the approach they’ve used with hundreds of startups in their portfolio and network. The result is the compelling five-day ‘Sprint’ which helps organizations prioritize and test product and feature concepts

Team Building and Leadership

Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull: This book teaches you the cultural values that made Pixar a success and how you can emulate them too

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz: I think that this book is more fit for startup founders, but the values that Ben teaches are highly applicable to leading and managing a team

Breaking into Product Management

Cracking the PM Interview by Gail Laakmann McDowell and Jackie Bavaro: This is a great book to give you a complete overview of being a product manager and PM recruiting, but it is getting a bit out of date

Decode and Conquer by Lewis Lin: This book is excellent for giving an overview on different types of interviews and how to answer them

164 Interview Questions by Lewis Lin: If you are looking for a ton of interview questions with complete solutions this is a good book. I only found 5-10 of them helped me, but 1 was very helpful

Check out www.hackingpm.com for a full 7-hour course on how to break into product management that includes all the latest information!


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