9 books you should read when you want to become a Product Manager

9 books you should read when you want to become a Product Manager

Are you considering to change directions in your career? Or did you recently graduate and you are wondering what’s next? There are many reasons why you should consider becoming a Product Manager. It’s not only a fascinating field where you can make a big difference, but it’s also highly diversified. As a PM you are encountering various fields from Tech to Design, Business or Marketing. You have the joy of working with a team that is enabled to create real value for users. Short: we love Product — you should check it out, too! Only very few university programs teach you Product Management. Recently, some courses, podcasts and programs emerged that give you a deep-dive into Product. But, before you enrol in anything, it might be worth to figure out what it means to work in Product and if the role suits you and your skills. Fortunately, there are some wonderful books out there that explain the role of a Product Manager in detail and prepare you for the basics.

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 Startup

The Lean Startup

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries

Why read?

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup turned into a classic and must-read book when it comes to changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs — in companies of all sizes — a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

338 pages, Curreny 2011

Product Leadership

Product Leadership

How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams
by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, Nate Walkingshaw

Why read?

In this book, you get insights from 50 interviews of the world’s top product managers how to launch great products and build successful product teams.

248 pages, O’Reilly Media 2017

Intercom on Product Management

Intercom on Product Management

by John Collins, Des Traynor

Why read?

This book by the team at Intercom is designed to help those working in the ever-evolving field of product management.

88 pages, Intercom 2015

Sense and Respond

Sense and Respond

How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously
by Jeff Gothelf, Joshua Seiden

Why read?

This engaging and practical book provides the crucial new operational and management model to help you and your organization win in a world of continuous change.

272 pages, Harvard Business Review Press 2017

Product Roadmaps Relaunched

Product Roadmaps Relaunched

How to Set Direction while Embracing Uncertainty
by C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, Evan Ryan, Michael Connors

Why read?

This book is written for product people. If you’re wondering if that’s you, we’re referring to the individual or individuals responsible for developing, prioritizing, and rallying support for the development of a product or service. This role has been compared to a mini CEO, but we think that overstates the level of control most product people have.

272 pages, O’Reilly Media 2017

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

Cracking the PM Interview

Cracking the PM Interview

How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology
by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, Jackie Bavaro

Why read?

This book will teach you how to answer questions like “How many pizzas are delivered in Manhattan?” or “How do you design an alarm clock for the blind?” and more.

364 pages, CareerCup 2013