43 Product Management Books
you should read in 2019

43 Product Management Books you should read in 2019

If you want to progress your career as a product manager, learning through reading books is undoubtedly a great way to do so. That is why I’ve put together this comprehensive collection of Product Management Books which will help you to improve your skills across a broad range.

Product Management Essentials

inspired v2 Book by Marty Cagan

Inspired by Marty Cagan

Inspired v1 was of the first books I ever read on ‘modern’ product development. It was one of the leading triggers for me to leave my current job at that time and to seek out other opportunities. v2 is a worthy successor.

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Agile Product Management Roman Pichler

Agile Product Management with Scrum by
Roman Pichler

A go-to guide for hands-on tactics you want to implement when you take over a product role in an Agile team working with the Scrum framework.

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Product Management Toolkit Marc Abraham

My Product Management Toolkit by Marc Abraham

A great compilation of Marc’s must-read essays on practical product management best practices. Whether it is about software tools or specific frameworks – Marc has probably seen them all!

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Product Roadmaps relaunched Todd Lombardo Product Management Book Recommendation

Product Roadmaps Relaunched by C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, and Evan Ryan

Sooner or later, you have to not only deliver on a given roadmap, but have to shape and maintain one on your own. Why not approach this recurring challenge in a modern agile way instead of the typical static drawing of Gantt charts?

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Cracking the PM Interview Jackie Bavaro

Cracking the PM Interview by Jackie Bavaro and Gayle Laakmann McDowell

The book provides practical tips which prepare you for the challenges and questions which come up in Product Management job interviews. Describing how the role is defined across various companies and how to land a great first impression with recruiters.

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Looking for a holistic Product Management Book Library? Check out this guide by @herbigt featuring more than 43 excellent reads!

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User Research, Design and Validation

Lean Product Playbook Dan Olsen

The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen

Great lecture for operationalizing some of Eric Ries’ lean startup principles into hands-on product development.

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The Lean Startup Eric Ries

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

That’s where most of your bosses ideas for testing out new things are coming from.

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Design Sprint Book Jake Knapp Product Management Book Recommendation

Sprint by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

The logical result of coining the term Design Sprint and building a brand around 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.

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Just Enough Research Product Management Book

Just Enough Research by Erika Hall

Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It's something every member of your team can and should do, and which everyone can learn, quickly. In this book, Co-founder of Mule Design Erika Hall distills her experience into a brief cookbook of research methods. Learn how to discover your competitive advantages, spot your own blind spots and biases, understand and harness your findings, and why you should never, ever hold a focus group.

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Little Bets Peter Sims

Little Bets by Peter Sims

Lots of stuff following the lean startup/lean UX approaches, but going one granularity level deeper.

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Solving product Design Exercises Artiom Dashinsky

Solving Product Design Exercises by Artiom Dashinsky

Great tactics for preparing UX interviews. As product managers should participate in the hiring process for their team members, it’s valuable to know the drill.

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Customers Included Mark Hurst

Customers Included by Mark Hurst and Phil Terry

Simple pitch: How to become better at giving customers what they truly want instead of getting lost in catching-up with feature requests.

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Hacking Growth Sean Ellis Product Management Book Recommendation

Hacking Growth by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis

Growth means so much more than online marketing and an excellent registration funnel. Two of the most popular growth hackers out there share their hands-on advice for creating systematic growth for your product.

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Lean UX Jeff Gothelf Product Management Book Recommendation

Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden

When I first got to experience Jeff in person back in 2014, validating ideas without building the actual product was still cutting edge. Lean UX then helped me to translate these sparks of inspiration from his workshop into action - And it still does till this day. This book perfectly balances entertainment from stories with actionable advice and its concepts haven't aged at all. I still highly recommend it to every Product Manager or Product Designer looking for inspiration around research and validation efforts.

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Validating Product Ideas Tomer Sharon

Validating Product Ideas by Tomer Sharon

This is my go-to handbook for all research and validation activities. Contrasting to Lean UX, it strips away the fluff of telling stories and provides you with a broad range of step-by-step instructions for how to execute powerful research techniques. Whether it’s the setup for a user interview or the framework behind faking a non-existing feature: This book has you covered.

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The Design Thinking Playbook

The Design Thinking Playbook by Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, and Larry Leifer​

A great collection of easy to implement Design Thinking exercises to enhance your next Product Discovery or ideation session you want to faciliate at your company or with clients.

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Product and Business Strategy

Competing against Luck Clayton Christensen

​Competing against Luck by Clayton M. Christensen

The best book out there for the Jobs to be Done theory. Going far beyond the famous milkshake metaphor, Christensen provides valuable insights into how to dig several layers deeper in terms of what your customers actually want.

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Lean Enterprise Barry O'Reilly

Lean Enterprise by Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky, and Barry O'Reilly

Transforming entire organizational structures is a completely different beast than 'just' shaping and maintaining an individual agile/lean team. Take a look at this playbook for how to transform entire departments and ultimately organizations.

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Crossing the Chasm Product Strategy Book Recommendation

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore

This book helps you to understand adoption cycles of new products. How to break into a niche and expand a new market segment from there. Even though you should never consider the chasm to be crossed due to the pace businesses are changing these days, this book is an extremely valuable starter on Product Strategy.

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Hard Thing about Hard Things Ben Horowitz Product Management Book Recommendation

The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

This is an intense book about entrepreneurship and what it takes to push through. The experiences described in this book will help you to put your day to day struggles as a non-CEO truly into perspective. But Product Managers will also be able to derive plenty of advice for their own decision making and relationship building activities. Read it every time you need an extra boost of motivation.

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Rework Jason Fried

ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

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.

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Blue Ocean Strategy Product Management Book Recommendation

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

It's important know the one market you're building a product for and why you should stay away from others. This book perfectly outlines how companies have been able to innovate and out-grow their competitors by focussing on less crowded markets. Extremely practical examples.

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Radical Focus Christina Wodtke OKR

​Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke

While I always was a silent admirer of the Objectives and Key Results framework, it was this book which turned me into an avid practitioner. It helps you to look way beyond the simple performance-focus of this goal setting methodology which has been popularized through Google and John Doerr. By telling a story including struggles you can relate to, it gently prepares you for your first iterations of implementing OKR in your company team right away. For more hands-on advice on how to combine Objectives and Key Results (OKR) and Agile Product Management, check-out my in-depth guide on the topic.

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Remote Jason Fried

​Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Co-location is an outdated prerequisite for Agile teams. Learn more about the future of how teams and entire companies will be structured and operated in this book.

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Good Strategy Bad Strategy Product Book Recommendation

Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

One of the classics on strategic thinking for your product. In it, you 'll learn how to differentiate good (as in successful) and bad (as in failed) ingredients of a Product Strategy.

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BreakInto VS Bradley Miles

​#BreakInto VC by Bradley Miles

The lessons on how businesses and economics work are not only valuable for VCs, but also for product managers. Especially working in or for a VC-backed company, understanding the underlying mechanics of these companies is important for building the right products.

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Unlearn Barry O'Reilly

​Unlearn by ​Barry O'Reilly

What has worked in the past probably doesn't hold up for the ever-changing future of building products. This is why unlearning past successes to well-equipped for the future is a critical skill for CEOs and product managers alike.

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Angel Jason Calacanis

​Angel by Jason Calacanis

Another recommendation focussed on Venture Capital. This time on the so-called phase of "Angel investing", which happens in the very early stages of a company. Interesting angle on the underlying indicators of what makes companies thrive.

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Product and Team Leadership

Product Leadership Martin Eriksson Product Management Book Recommendation

Product Leadership by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw

The first (real) book on product leadership from three experienced product people out there. It explains the challenges of transitioning from an individual contributor to a leader and shares best practices from some of the most respected product management experts.

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Lateral Leadership Book Cover Clean

Lateral Leadership by Tim Herbig

The book helps you master the challenges of being a lateral leader – In small-scale startups and large corporations alike. It will guide you through chapters on strategic alignment with your organization, process alignment within your team, and individual alignment with other team members. By also recognizing empathy and escalation as helpful tools, you’ll be able to maintain and strengthen your leadership role.

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High Output Management Andy Grove

High Output Management by Andy Grove

A somewhat 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.

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High Output Management Andy Grove

Managing Humans by Michael Lopp

Building up empathy for the various domains from your agile development team is a crucial part of lateral leadership. This book gives you insights into the challenges of an engineering manager and how he works with his direct reports.

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Trillion Dollar Coach Book Cover

Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

A fascinated look behind the scenes of the work of one of Silicon Valley's most effective (yet mostly unknown) coaches: Bill Campbell. People have worked with him as coachees give you a great insight into the habits and practices of a great coach.

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Extreme Ownership Jocko Wilink

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin

Don't let the focus on military deter you from this book. The mix of honest war tales and concise prose around the pillars of ownership as a leader make up for a great book. If you can look past (normal) patriotism typically found in every military angle, you will be able to derive valuable lessons for your role as a hierarchical and lateral leader.

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Thanks for the Feedback Douglas Stone

Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

As product managers work at the intersection of so many domains, gathering feedback after a failed or successful project is critical for improving. This book helps you to deal with the received input and how to make the most of it.

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Radical Candor Kim Scott Product Management Book Recommendation

​Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Product Management is about the people you work with on an everyday basis. And in order to build sustainable relationships, I recommend to learn how things really are without being a jerk. This book will help you to strike the balance between sugarcoating things and scaring people aways form working with you. It's by no means for hierarchical leaders only, but will help you to lead without formal authority.

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Productivity and Self-Organization

Pencil me In Christina Wodtke

Pencil Me In by Christina Wodtke

Product Managers often not only have to lead teams but also meetings which lead to decisions. Instead of annoying everybody with prepared slides, get to the whiteboard or flip chart and start communicating your ideas visually.

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Creativity Rules Tina Seelig

Creativity Rules by Tina Seelig

Breaking-out of the busy day-to-day action is harder than ever. As a result, creative outbreaks for new features remain a rare occasion for product managers. Here’s how to make them count.

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Deep Work Cal Newport

​Deep Work by Cal Newport

Staying focussed to get truly meaningful work done will be one of the most critical skills of the 21st century. This book has changed my perspective on how I use and set up my days, tools and devices - arguably for the better - in a substantial way.

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Consumer Psychology & Negotiation

Hooked Nir Eyal

Hooked by Nir Eyal

The mothership of all growth and habit-forming product mechanics you may have heard of. This principles taught by Nir are applicable in any environment and not just b2c start-ups.

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Webs of Influence Nathalie Nahai

Webs of Influence by Nathalie Nahai

Optimizing your product shouldn't just be guided by the latest design trends and your bosses opinion. Instead, you need to be aware of the underlying psychological instincts people are driven-by. Nathalie helps you to uncover what makes your users tick and how to translate that into a product.

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Never Split the Difference Chris Voss

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, Tahl Raz

One of the most impressive and practical books I've seen on the topic of negotiation. Learn from one of the top FBI negotiators on how you can approach the every day conflicts in your business life.

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Getting to yes Roger Fisher

Getting To Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Whether you like it or not – Product Managers also need to be right negotiators. That’s why a hands-on guide for leveling up your negotiation skills is a must-read.

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