10 Books Every Product Manager Should Read

by Outcry September 22, 2018
product management books

Being a successful Product Manager requires knowledge in multiple areas from customer psychology to product development to data analysis. But finding time to study each area can be daunting. That’s why we’ve provided this list of 10 books every product manager should read.

While there are thousands of product management books, these contain easy-to-read, practical applications, or templates to improve your ability to reach customers now.

10 Books Every Product Manager Should Read

1. The Lean Product Playbook

the lean product playbook - product management books

Lean product development is attractive to many companies, but businesses often lack specific strategies for implementing it. In this playbook, Dan Olsen shares his years of applying his lean theory to customers such as Facebook. This book will provide you with insight on customer needs, product strategy, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), prototyping, testing, and product-market fit.

2. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

start with why - product management books

Popular TED speaker Simon Sinek explains the importance of showing people why they should take the desired action using the Golden Circle, which puts “why” at the center of decision-making, rather than beginning with “what.” Companies, as well as individuals, can apply these techniques to inspire customers and employees and create products that serve customers’ needs.

3. How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business

how to measure anything - product management books

Our world runs on data-driven decision making. This book teaches managers to measure the aspects that often seem immeasurable such as technology ROI, customer satisfaction, and organizational flexibility by simplifying advanced statistical techniques.

4. What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services

what customers want - product management books

Outcome-driven innovation begins by understanding the nature of customers’ jobs. This type of change aims to help customers accomplish tasks faster, more conveniently, and less expensively. Anthony Ulwick defines customer value, teaches ways to identify value-creating opportunities, and case studies for implementing his methodology.

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5. Swipe to Unlock: A Primer on Technology and Business Strategy

swipe to unlock - product management books

Considered Freakonomics for technology, this book gives insight into daily technical jargon and technology’s impact on society. Parth Detroja uses case studies to explain topics such as operating systems, software development, big data, and hacking.

6. Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth

blue ocean shift - product management books

A blue ocean shift, as explained by authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, moves businesses from red oceans crowded with competition to blue oceans of uncontested market space. Blue Ocean Shift is one of the most popular product management books in the market. Using tools from this book, leaders can learn how to create new markets rather than competing in existing ones.

7. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

hooked - product management books

Nir Eyal introduces his concept of “Behavioral Design” and its application in increasing widespread usage by creating daily habits. The Hook Model provides a how-to guide for building better products through a four-step process. Eyal uses behavior technique examples from iPhone, Twitter, Pinterest, and the Bible App to teach readers to subtly influence customers to return time and again through a series of “hook cycles.”

8. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

the checklist manifesto - product management books

Due to the increasing complexity of job responsibilities, professionals will often commit errors by leaving out or skipping a step. They may simply forget to ask a fundamental question or fail to plan for every possibility. This book shares research about how using checklists not only helps improve outcomes, but it can have a drastic effect in your business.

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9. Agile Project Management For Dummies

agile project management - product management books

This book written by experts provides a step-by-step guide to Agile Project Management approaches, tools, and techniques while offering tips for reducing common pitfalls. It also provides a practical context for understanding and applying Agile methods, moving from theory to actual practice

10. The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator

the art of product management - product management books

In this book, Rich Minonov offers a compilation of insights based on seven years of his series on the interaction between product strategy and technology companies. This book provides an inside look at Silicon Valley’s development of new products and technology while advising product managers and tech professionals about startups, big organizations, customer psychology, and determining the cost.

Adding these product management books to your professional library provides a range of knowledge; from foundational introductions to advanced techniques in product management. Learning from these experts will improve your career and may even help you land a new job at a leading tech company.

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