The best product management books you need to read
29 April 2020
A successful product manager can never stop learning. Progress in your chosen career demands it, to stay ahead of the competition and keep up with new trends. There are countless books and articles available to increase your knowledge and satisfy your curiosity.
This article created by our team at TMS, will examine some of the best product management books. They cover all aspects of product management, and you will improve your understanding of how to become a better product manager.
The Best Product Management Books
Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology
Written by: Gayle McDowell and Jackie Bavaro.
The first one in this article with the best project management books is Cracking the PM interview. This book guides you through the interview process, as well as providing a comprehensive guide to help you land the job. You’ll learn to write a great resume, triumph at the interview, and understand the job of a product manager.
The book is written by Gayle Laakman McDowell and Jackie Bavaro and contains valuable insight and examples of what you can expect from the job.
Written by: Chris Anderson
This book is written by Chris Anderson, a former WIRED editor-in-chief, who explains the importance of pricing and setting the right prices in today’s market. He also discusses the question of whether to follow the market that’s geared towards free products and services.
He also discusses the phenomenon of “freemium” i.e. products or services that are initially free, then are followed by costs that enhance or complete the experience. For example, even if after a while, only 5% of the customers make a purchase, this scheme can still be profitable in the long-term.
The Product Book
The authors of this excellent product management book are Josh Anon (former Pixar PM) and Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia.
They describe the life of a product manager, including the typical practices. It’s a great book for beginners to take their first steps into product management, and also a good resource for experienced PMs to improve their skills.
Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
Written by: Marty Cagan
Marty Cagan is the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group and this book demonstrates his years of experience and expertise in the product management field.
Cagan explains product management by giving his observations and providing some interesting anecdotes and insights from his career.
He’s a voice of authority, so this book should be an inspiration to all product managers.
Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries
Written by: Peter Sims
This book is about strategy and how small ideas can make you a fortune. Innovators in any field usually spend countless hours developing their ideas and products over many years.
Furthermore, Sims talks in-depth about the “little bets” approach and how it can be useful for product management and businesses. He also explains how this idea can be applied in all facets of your life.
The Product Manager’s Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed as a Product Manager
Written by: Steven Haines
This book will help you progress from being a novice product manager to an expert in the field. You’ll gain insight into the keys and tools to become an expert product manager and customer relations specialist. You’ll also learn how to increase your productivity and apply this advice in other areas of your life.
The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products are Driving us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
Written by: Alan Cooper
This book was published in March 2004, but it’s completely relevant today. It was one of the first books to criticize the problems of most software tools at the time and continues to be very interesting reading.
You can read about the ideas that Cooper has about Microsoft, and why he thought the software development teams were wrong in many ways. You can apply many ideas from this book to your current product management strategies.
Tribe of Mentors
Written by: Timothy Ferris
This is a principled book, which contains a collection of tips, tricks and sage advice from more than 130 successful people from all over the world,in all age groups and industries.You will learn how to manipulate the market, and how successful people behave. It covers how to start your day well, prioritize tasks, and accomplish your goals.
The Principles of Product Development Flow
Written by: Donald G. Reinertsen
This book focuses on lean practices and challenges the existing best practices. Reinertsen focuses on product development flow, and makes the point that flexibility is key during your process.
You will learn some crucial skills for product development: how to reduce the development cycle, how to accelerate the process of bringing the products to market, as well as improving your efficiency and overall procedures.
Do the Work!
Written by: Steven Pressfield
This book is less than 100 pages so it’s a great fast read, with all the information you need. You’ll learn about how to stay creative and to develop your new product from development to release.
It also focuses on the importance of research and how to turn that into smooth development, describing this process as “The resistance”.
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Written by: NirEyal
Learn how to use behavioral psychology to drive and keep your customers returning, without resorting to aggressive or unethical advertising. It teaches you how to use “viral loops” to your advantage and how to create a product your customers will love, thus guaranteeing their loyalty.
Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data
Written by: Charles Wheelan
This book teaches the importance of collecting good data, and learning how to analyse it to our advantage.
The Hard Thing about Hard Things
Written by: Ben Horowitz
The account of Horowitz’s experiences with Loudcloud and Opsware is interesting and intriguing, teaching us that we should learn something from every experience, negative or positive. Product managers should always examine their decisions, and learn from the negative ones, by acknowledging and accepting them.
My Product Management Toolkit
Written by: Marc Abraham
Marc Abraham instructs product managers about the tools, methods and applications they should use to boost their product management.
The Design of Everyday Things
Written by: Don Norman
The subject of this book is design, so it won’t appear in the Product Management section of the bookshop or library; however, the skills and knowledge you’ll acquire will certainly provide insight into production management.
The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions
Written by: Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck
Learn how and why major companies like Spotify, Pixar, and Intel choose certain data and analyse it to ascertain new ways of development, and discover the importance of research in product management. This book teaches you how to analyse data and learn from its patterns.
Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play
Written by: Luke Hohmann
This book offers an interesting concept of 12 games that help to discover customers’ needs and desires. It’s a fun and effective way to approach product management, through understanding your customers.
The Lean Product Playbook
Written by: Dan Olsen
The last one of the best product management books showcased in this article is The Lean Product Playbook. This book provides a step-by-step guide to applying lean startup ideas and strategies. You’ll learn from Dan Olsen, who is a tech consultant with years of experience in this field.
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