9 Books That Are Great Companions for a Product Manager’s Daily Life

9 Books That Are Great Companions for a Product Manager’s Daily Life

There are these books that you pick-up multiple times, these books you go back to find answers to a specific problem or when you have to deal with a particular situation. In Product Management, we face quite some challenges daily. We need to stay flexible and react quickly. Since we can’t have experienced it all before, it’s great to have books that accompany you on that journey and help you when needed. We’ve collected the books we think are essential to your success as a Product Manager on a daily basis.

Inspired

Inspired

How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
by Marty Cagan

Why read?

In 2018 Marty Cagan published the second edition of his Product Management classic Inspired. It provides you with a deep dive into how the most successful product-driven companies work today, how they staff and structure their organization and how they develop and ship products customers will love. This book is for everyone at every stage and skill-level of Product Management — if you’re starting off with Product then this is your “bible”.

362 pages, Wiley 2017

Escaping the Build Trap

Escaping the Build Trap

How effective product management creates value
by Melissa Perri

Why read?

Melissa Perri’s first book has the potential to become a real classic. In Escaping the Build Trap she focuses on the most common pitfalls Product Managers and companies fall into when releasing feature by feature instead of focusing on the customer’s needs. In this book, Melissa — CEO of Product Labs and founder of the Product Institute — helps you to identify whether you are caught in the “build trap” and more importantly, gives you practical advice how to escape it. She brings together her year-long experience of building products and deep knowledge of how product-lead organisations work.

200 pages, O’Reilly Media 2018

The Lean Product Playbook

The Lean Product Playbook

How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
by Dan Olsen

Why read?

The Lean Product Playbook is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful products through clear, step-by-step guidance and advice.

336 pages, Wiley 2015

Hacking Growth

Hacking Growth

How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success
by Morgan Brown, Sean Ellis

Why read?

Written by two of the industry pioneers, this book is a comprehensive toolkit or “bible” that any company in any industry can use to implement their own Growth Hacking strategy, from how to set up and run growth teams, to how to identify and test growth levers, and how to evaluate and act on the results. Hacking Growth focuses on customers — how to attain them, retain them, engage them, and monetize them — rather than product.

320 pages, Virgin Books 2017

Testing Business Ideas

Testing Business Ideas

by David J. Bland, Alexander Osterwalder

Why read?

7 out of 10 new products fail to deliver on expectations. Testing Business Ideas aims to reverse that statistic. In the tradition of Alex Osterwalder’s global bestseller Business Model Generation, this practical guide contains a library of hands-on techniques for rapidly testing new business ideas.

368 pages, Wiley 2019

Outcomes Over Output

Outcomes Over Output

Why customer behavior is the key metric for business success
by Joshua Seiden

Why read?

In the old days, when we made physical products, setting project goals wasn’t that hard. But in today’s service- and software-driven world, “done” is less obvious. When is Amazon done? When is Google done? Or Facebook? In reality, services powered by digital systems are never done. So then how do we give teams a goal that they can work on? Mostly, we simply ask teams to build features — but features are the wrong way to go. We often build features that create no value. Instead, we need to give teams an outcome to achieve. Using outcomes creates focus and alignment. It eliminates needless work. And it puts the customer at the center of everything you do. Setting goals as outcomes sounds simple, but it can be hard to do in practice. This book is a practical guide to using outcomes to guide the work of your team.

76 pages, Independently published 2019

Good Strategy Bad Strategy

Good Strategy Bad Strategy

The Difference and Why It Matters
by Richard Rumelt

Why read?

This book clears out the mumbo jumbo and muddled thinking underlying too many strategies and provides a clear way to create and implement a powerful action-oriented strategy for the real world

322 pages, Profile Books 2017

The Power of Experiments

The Power of Experiments

Decision Making in a Data-Driven World
by Michael Luca, Max H. Bazerman

Why read?

Have you logged into Facebook recently? Searched for something on Google? Chosen a movie on Netflix? If so, you’ve probably been an unwitting participant in a variety of experiments―also known as randomized controlled trials―designed to test the impact of different online experiences. Once an esoteric tool for academic research, the randomized controlled trial has gone mainstream. No tech company worth its salt (or its share price) would dare make major changes to its platform without first running experiments to understand how they would influence user behavior. In this book, Michael Luca and Max Bazerman explain the importance of experiments for decision making in a data-driven world.

232 pages, The MIT Press 2020

UX for Lean Startups

UX for Lean Startups

Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design
by Laura Klein

Why read?

What the author says I hope that everybody who reads the book will be able to learn from their customers and turn that information into products that people will actually buy. I want startups to stop building things people don’t want and can’t use.

240 pages, O’Reilly Media 2013