Product management is a core organizational function which is indispensable to guide the success of the product. This role is in huge demand, especially in technology companies, as it provides both the strategy and road map for the product line.
It involves analyzing market conditions and delivering a product that provides unique value to its customers and is a role employing cross-functional leadership varying from between engineering, marketing, sales, and support teams.
Needless to say, it is one career which is a hot pie in the market these days and anyone planning to be a product manager should dive into it headfirst but with some prior preparation.
Here are 10 best product management books of all time:
1) Where Good Ideas Come From
This book by Steven Johnson sheds light on all the great innovations in history which were first brilliant ideas. Telephone, pencil, battery, printing press – you name it.
But the objective this book explores is to dig the idea as to where did these ideas come from and what ignited the flash of brilliance?
Is there a certain kind of environment which breeds them and the breakthroughs in technology, society or culture for that matter?
Steven Johnson’s answers are revelatory as he pushes for the 7 key patterns behind innovation, traces them across disciplines and emphasises that great discoveries come together slowly by maturing and connecting with other ideas over time.
2) Cracking the PM Interview
This book cannot be mistaken for a primer book that teaches how to write a killer resume or rote learn those important ‘interview questions’.
In Gayle’s own words, it is a comprehensive book that will teach you how to land a product management role in a startup or an established tech firm.
It also delves deep into what this rather ambiguous-sounding ‘PM’ role really is, where it stands across companies, the kind of experience you will require to get into it or transitioning from your current role to the new one – it has it all.
This is one of the best product management books out there for people aspiring to make a career in product management.
3) Free: The Future Of A Radical Price
This book, written by former WIRED Editor-in-chief is an extremely popular book that has been critiqued by top media companies including the Telegraph and The Guardian among others.
What makes this book stand out is the fact that it forces entrepreneurs to take an objective look at how they are pricing their products. Chris Anderson says the word ‘free’ is capitalized and ask us if we can really stick to a monetisation model of only providing services to the paying customers in an era of free distribution of commodities.
Not only this, but it also explores the typical Freemium model which is generally used as bait to lure customers in the first stage and subsequently press additional charges on them for proceeding to further stages.
All in all, this book teaches you smart pricing and radical suggestions about how to do away with old models and charge your products afresh with newer tactics.
4) The Product Manager’s Survival Guide
Written by a leading product management thought leader Steven Haines, this book is a gospel for transforming into a confident product manager who can deliver effective results.
This book is a survival guide that enlists best-practices, field advice, and a step-by-step blueprint for excelling in product management.
Even if you are a novice looking to carve a dent in a product management career, this book can serve as a powerful tool that can help increase your productivity and teach you how to make a consistent impact on your business.
It is one of the best product management books ever written and is definitely one of the initial reads for everybody in this field.
This book is divided into 4 sections:
- Charting out a plan to commence your journey to success
- Learning how to go beyond functions to become a product/domain expert
- Helping others in streamlining their goals and synchronizing it
- Gathering your experiences to proceed to the next crucial steps in your product management career
Do read this book to put all the pieces together and prepare for a solid entry into your product management career.
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Marty Cagan, in this book, says that unless your product has value, is feasible and usable, it is not worth building – a fairly direct statement, eh?
The author, through her book, teaches readers how to structure a vibrant product and how to deliver a tech product in a way that customers embrace it with open arms.
Inspired is for everybody- whether you are an early-stage startup striving to get to product/market fit, or a growth-stage company relentless trying to scale your organization, or an established firm trying newer strategies to deliver value to your customers.
This book talks about product organization, customer engagement, consistent innovation, and business success in an INSPIRING WAY.
6) Crossing The Chasm
Written by Geoffrey A. Moore, this book is an international bestseller and one of the best product management books ever written.
It focuses on how businesses can develop novel products and make them take that difficult leap to become full-blown mass-market successes.
The ‘chasm’ is more than a marketing problem and is the game-changer here – before the chasm a company makes commitments and tries to go by them, but post the chasm everything has changed except the fact that the company is struggling with the same past commitments.
Before chasm, a company tries to reduce investor risk and grow the company. Post chasm, their goal is to make money. This book is unique as its principles have stood the test of time despite being published over a quarter-century ago and teaches you how to cross the chasm effectively in a retro style.
7) Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products
This book is another bestseller and the personal favorites of many entrepreneurs and product enthusiasts.
The author has efficiently explained the Hook Model in this book, which is embedded in the products of various successful companies to encourage positive customer behavior.
This book aptly answers the questions about why some products work and others don’t, despite a strong marketing strategy. Which habits makes customers synchronous with certain products that they become a part of their lives?
Through employing ‘hook cycles,’ constantly, a product can successfully manage to bring its customers back to it again and again without any costly resources.
This book is one of the best product management books ever written and is highly recommended as it is based on Eyal’s staggering practical experience in research and consulting.
8) Product Management For Dummies
A 5-star reviewed book, this book is also one of the best product management books and essential addition to your product management toolkit.
As the name suggests, this book will help even a novice become a pro in product management by improving your skill levels.
From defining what product management is and is not to explore the rise of this domain in the corporate world, this book is an accessible tool and a friendly guide.
It teaches you all core competencies from the product life cycle, market research, and competitive analysis to create a winning strategy for your product and maximizing revenue from the same.
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9) Product Leadership
Written by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson & Nate Walkingshaw, this is definitely on the list of best product management books ever written.
The author suggests that maintaining a competitive advantage can be achieved by creating kick-ass scalable products. Your customer experience and ultimately business success depends on how good your product is.
This book presents excerpts from interviews of 100 best product managers ever born and how they used their instinct and experience to create addictive products.
If you want to know about the drive behind successful product managers, this is the best book you can get your hands on.
10) The Innovator’s Dilemma
Clayton’s work is cited by top leaders like Steve Jobs and Malcolm Gladwell.
In his bestselling book, he shows us how even the best of companies can do everything right yet lose market leadership.
This book by Harvard Professor Clayton has been considered revolutionary as he reveals the secret of leveraging disruptive technology through lessons and failures of successful companies.
Sharp, cogent, provocative, and one of the most impactful business books of all time – The Innovator’s Dilemma is the book you must lay your hands on!
Product Management encompasses a wide array of responsibilities that can go from being both simple and complex, depending upon the product and the organization you work for. Read these best product management books to have a successful career in product. You can also consider using the best product management tools out there available to help you become more prepared for that role and cope with your duties more effectively
Therefore, to become a successful Product Management professional, you need to prepare hard – Remember, ‘learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with vigor and attended to with diligence.’
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