The Best Books for Product Managers

Books for product managers - A comprehensive reading list

 

I’m regularly asked for product management book recommendations. There are of course a lot of excellent books out there, but these are the ones I’d consider essential to any PM’s bookshelf (including some I haven’t read myself yet, but which have been praised by others).

  • Agile Product Management with Scrum – by Roman Pichler
    One of the very much ‘standards’ and almost considered as a classic. Even despite the fact that Agile itself should only be seen as a tool instead of religion.
  • The Hard Thing about Hard Things – by Ben Horowitz
    Written with so much passion that you can almost feel the tension from the situations Ben is describing. Even though internet businesses themselves may have worked differently in the past, the critical questions remain the same.
  • High Output Management – by Andy Grove
    A rather traditional approach to a lot of topics and I’d love to challenge the ‘High Output Management’ approach with a ‘High Outcome Management’ idea one day. But still incredibly valuable for Product Managers looking to lead teams.
  • The Lean Product Playbook – by Dan Olsen
    Great lecture for operationalizing some of Eric Ries’ lean startup principles into hands-on product development.
  • The Lean Startup – by Eric Ries
    That’s where most of your bosses ideas for testing out new things are coming from. 😉


  • Lean UX – by Jeff Gotthelf
    Neat summary on how to apply lean product development principles to your UX process and how to validate those early new ideas.
  • Inspired – by Marty Cagan
    One of the first books I ever read on ‘modern’ product development. It was one of the main triggers for me to leave my current job at that time and to seek out other opportunities.
  • ReWork – by 37 Signals
    Rework had a similar effect on how I think about my professional life as ‘Inspired’ had. Only a couple of years earlier and at a different stage of my career.
  • Managing Product Management – by Steven Haines
    Don’t be disguised by the title. Leading Product Managers is quite a challenge and getting deeper into those questions probably helps you to put decisions from within your company more into perspective.
  • Talking from 9 to 5 – by Deborah Tannen
    You should now how your co-workers tick and why they behave as they do. That’s the key for communication and collaboration on the same level.
  • Little Bets – by Peter Sims
    Lots of stuff following the lean startup/lean UX approaches, but going one granularity level deeper.
  • Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days – by Jake Knapp from GV
    The logical result of coining the term Design Sprint and really building a brand arount that. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Design Sprints and can’t recommend this hands-on guide enough, if you’re thinking about how to tackle an upcoming challenge.

Do you miss any of your absolute top favorites among books for Product Managers on this list? Great, feel free to send them over via email and I’ll update the list accordingly.