Great product managers are always learning. Customer behaviors and technology are constantly evolving. To keep your competitive advantage, you must change swiftly and strategically. Given the intricacies of the role, which sits at the crossroads of software development, design, and growth, product managers must stay on top of the current trends. To do so, one should understand product management via viewing PM-specific YouTube material, taking product management classes, or reading books on the subject. Fortunately, many excellent publications are available for product managers interested in learning anything from user-centric design ideas to expanding their careers.
Due to the time we spend with them and their capacity to explore and explain concepts in greater depth, books reach us in a way that no other media type can. These may or may not qualify as summer beach reads, but we strongly suggest that product managers read these 20 books in 2022. FYI check out the complete tabular column below for price information and purchasing options.
The Lean Startup (Author: Eric Ries)
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is a contemporary guide to developing, constructing, maintaining, and expanding a startup using product management at its core. Written with the startup founder and CEO in mind, the book examines how some of the most successful contemporary entrepreneurs launched their businesses. In addition, Ries explains how you may follow in their footsteps by putting the customer at the heart of your product objectives, delivering them with accurate, concrete value, and rapidly adjusting and iterating. While initially intended as a guide for startups, it is also helpful for product managers at more prominent businesses who struggle to generate product success.
The Lean Product Playbook (Author: Dan Olsen) –
When the Lean Startup movement emerged, it swept the world of project management by storm. The Lean Product Playbook is the step-by-step guide to maximizing Lean practices for startups and big corporations. You can find it on almost every Best Of list and the shelves of project management professionals worldwide. First, it explains why most new products fail, which may be due to failing to meet consumer demands, poor design, poor execution, or all three. In any case, the issue stems from the lack of the crucial “product-market fit.” The book then explains how to reach this fitness via six simple lessons. It includes product road maps and real-world examples to explain intuitively how to design and iterate products that perform well in their target markets.
The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager (Author: Josh Anon and Carlos González de Villaumbrosia) –
The Product Book is a must-read for all product managers, whether new to the field or mid-career professionals seeking to strengthen their skills and their command over the principles of product management. It covers the fundamentals of becoming a product manager and managing a solid product team from A to Z. This book, written by a former Pixar PM and Product School CEO, serves as a masterclass. It demonstrates how to create and market exceptional products. The creators of this book based it on the curriculum of the famous Product School. It contains several practical lessons, professional insights, and best practice recommendations. Like the Lean Product Playbook, the Product Book is not hesitant to go into specifics.
Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love (Author: Marty Cagan)-
Inspired is another giant among the top product management books. Marty Cagan formed Silicon Valley Product Group to assist and encourage other PMs, and this book condenses years of expertise. He discusses some of the essential things he has acquired while working for some of the world’s largest corporations. This book presents critical difficulties in tech product creation and techniques for addressing them. This is shown with examples from Google, Tesla, Netflix, and Amazon. This one is good if you’re searching for an authoritative voice on Product Management! This book will motivate product managers to develop exceptional products that consumers would adore.
Crossing the Chasm (Author: Geoffrey A. Moore)
In his fantastic book, Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore investigates in depth why a few products are so effective at disrupting bigger and larger industries while others lag. According to the author, “the key to this enormous success is the capacity to overcome the gap as quickly as possible, located between the early market dominated by Innovators and Early Adopters and the Early Majority in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle”. The concept of Crossing the Chasm, written in the early 1990s, has withstood the test of time, and the book has become the bible for product teams building cutting-edge technology.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (Author: Ben Horowitz)
The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a realistic book that doesn’t hold any punches about product management’s gritty, day-to-day operations. Ben Horowitz is one of the most seasoned and esteemed Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. His material is replete with practical advice on launching and managing a product company. As the title implies, this book does not shy away from the unpleasant realities of beginning a company. Ben Horowitz’s dry sense of humor shows through as he conveys the lessons he has learned from his long experience managing, overseeing, and creating technology firms. This book will essentially help you operate a lean startup. It is a detailed examination of the realities of developing and expanding a corporation. This book is required reading for anybody starting a business. It is not only insightful but also entertaining and pleasant to read!
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Author: Nir Eyal)
On some level, we all recognize that some technology and products are designed to leverage human psychology. They stimulate the brain’s pleasure regions and keep us returning for more. For the most part, habit-forming items sell themselves. Why do certain items captivate our senses to the point of addiction while we discard others? Nir Eyal’s Hooked sheds light on this subject by outlining a four-step method that many corporations use covertly while creating their products. In Hooked, you will discover how to develop products that people naturally adore and use human nature to enhance your business.
Presentation Zen (Author: Garr Reynolds)
It is unavoidable that you will be required to communicate your ideas, most notably your product roadmap, to various stakeholders in your role as a product manager, regardless of how brilliant the strategic vision for your product is or how well you’ve thought through the execution details, you will have difficulty earning the buy-in and enthusiasm of your audiences if you present it in a flat, tedious, or convoluted manner. This is because they will perceive your presentation as lacking in value. Presentation Zen provides myriad excellent suggestions for enhancing the persuasiveness of your arguments and insights when you deliver them. Presentation Zen questions the common knowledge of producing “slide presentations” in today’s society and urges you to think differently and more creatively about the planning, design, and delivery of your presentations. Garr presents insights and thoughts based on practical guidance from the realms of communication and business. This book will guide you down the road to simpler, more effective presentations by combining sound design concepts with Zen minimalism ideas.
Shape Up (Author: Ryan Singer)
Shape Up is a book by Ryan Singer, the Head of Strategy at BaseCamp. This book explains the workflow and a collection of approaches BaseCamp has established over 15 years while producing its most successful products. The book’s primary thesis is that you should “form” a project before “betting” that it can be finished in six weeks by an independent but relatively small product team. This is the book’s primary argument. Product managers interested in Agile processes that go beyond Scrum and other similar frameworks and who want to adopt well-planned and successfully delegated development strategies at their place of employment are strongly encouraged to read the book Shape Up.
Measure What Matters (Author: John Doerr)
John Doerr, one of the early investors in Google and maybe the most influential VC in Silicon Valley, discusses the new technique for creating objectives and making complex business decisions: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). OKRs, used by Intel, Google, Amazon, Uber, and many other digital companies, have been seen as the primary driver of their spectacular expansion. Measure What Matters is a must-read for project managers tasked with achieving loftier objectives, as it examines innovative management methods in the technology industry.
Escaping the Build Trap (Author: Melissa Perri)
In Escaping the Build Trap, Melissa Perri discusses outcome planning. She contends that businesses fall prey to the “Build Trap” by focusing excessively on outputs, wasting critical time and resources delivering many features that provide little value. According to the author, businesses may escape the trap by building a customer-centric product culture if they enhance their internal communication and collaboration. Escaping The Build Trap is a must-read for product managers who want to make a product management culture centered on successful outcomes rather than outputs in their work environment.
The Making of a Manager (Author: Julie Zhuo)
The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo discusses how product managers may accomplish higher product objectives and even repeat and grow their success with each iteration. In her book, Zhou expresses worry that managers would eventually focus excessively on the product side, neglecting the management side. This results in inadequate coordination, inefficient teamwork, and a product that exceeds consumer expectations. The Making of a Manager describes in detail how to become an excellent product manager for your business and how to produce a product on which the firm can always rely. The Making of a Manager is a fantastic read for managers having trouble assembling the optimal product team as it focuses on the leadership and motivational skills you may exhibit within your specialized product field.
Product Management’s Sacred Seven (Author: Neel Mehta, Parth Detroja, and Aditya Agashe)
Product Management’s Sacred Seven by Neel Mehta, Parth Detroja, and Aditya Agashe is a comprehensive guide on becoming a top-performing PM and developing the abilities required to influence others in the same direction. The book is regarded as one of the best resources for novice and seasoned product managers. It includes interviews with 67 major tech and service companies and in-depth assessments of how they operate and develop their wildly successful products. The authors provide unique insights into how firms vary in their PM processes. In the later section of the book, the subject shared by all viewpoints is revealed. Product Management’s Sacred Seven is suitable for those who want to improve their product management abilities.
The Influential Product Manager (Author: Ken Sandy)
Ken Sandy’s The Influential Product Manager is a complete guide to becoming the ideal product management specialist for your organization and product. This is one of the most influential books on practical product management and how existing and aspiring managers may grasp the profession. Sandy describes what it takes to stand out as a product manager throughout each step of the product’s lifetime, with the customer’s demands serving as the guiding concept for all PM activities. The book then discusses how to influence team members and get them and other essential stakeholders onto the same page for the development of the product. The book is a fantastic resource for present and aspiring PMs seeking to improve their work performance and customer relationships.
The Customer-Driven Playbook: Converting Customer Feedback into Successful Products (Author: Travis Lowdermilk and Jessica Rich)
The Customer-Driven Playbook is an excellent resource for organizations struggling to adopt lean product development and procedures and apply customer feedback. The book describes the Hypothesis Progression Framework (HPF), which includes end-to-end methods for developing hypotheses, conducting experiments, collecting and processing feedback, and continuously improving products. The book’s first section focuses on the theoretical underpinning for the value of customer feedback and the Hypothesis Progression Framework, while the second section focuses on the step-by-step methods for creating and testing hypotheses.
Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts (Author: Brene Brown)
Knowing how to traverse unknown ground may be a major barrier for employees advancing into product leadership positions. Dare to lead can definitely assist offer potential leaders the confidence they need to prosper. As product managers, we often discuss the strategies, frameworks, and practical approaches we use. Among all of that fantastic things, it’s easy to lose sight of the more human, people-oriented aspects of the work. As your product career progresses, you’ll need to grasp both sides. While not particularly about product leadership, this book does an excellent job of equipping you with the skills you need to lead effectively and developdeveloping the guts to do daring work, have difficult discussions, and show up with your full heart.
Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (Author: Marty Cagan)
Empowered is all about fostering a collaborative atmosphere conducive to the creation of excellent products. It illustrates how top tech businesses get a true competitive edge by enabling their employees to collaborate to solve difficult issues and develop remarkable products. Cagan’s SVPG blog covers a lot of ground in Empowered, but it does a great job of covering how to recruit and coach outstanding product team members, create an inspiring vision and insights-driven strategy, shift that strategy into action with objectives, redefine the relationship between product and the rest of the company – and the transformative power all these is can all have. If you are in a product leadership position, this book will show you precisely what you need to do to create a culture that encourages creativity, innovation, and high performance.
Build Better Products: A Modern Approach to Building Successful User-Centered Products (Author: Laura Klein)
Build Better Products is a step-by-step approach to creating amazing products. It demonstrates how to integrate strategy, empathy, design, and analytics into your development process and divides it into six areas to consider: the aim, empathy (understanding user behaviours and needs), creation, validation, measurement, and iteration. It enables you to properly grasp the demands of the consumer and how to concentrate your efforts on developing the best solution. It will also teach you how to listen better, produce better ideas, prioritise better, and detect preconceptions. It’s simply powerjam-packed with useful advice.
The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator (Author: Rich Mironov)
We would be remiss if we did not include The Art of Product Management among the top product management books. We feel safe presenting this one, like Crossing the Chasm, since it has lasted the test of time. Even if the book was released in the Paleolithic period of technology in 2008, its concepts and insights are still relevant today. The book provides essential insights for product managers on building an effective product roadmap, sufficiently equipping your support teams, applying agile effectively, and so on. Although this is one of the greatest books for product managers in the technology business, we feel its ideas are broad enough to benefit any PM.
Free (Author: Chris Anderson)
What makes Chris Anderson’s Free so compelling is that the former WIRED editor-in-chief encourages us to take a hard, impartial look at how we price our products. The book challenges us to consider whether, in an age where more and more items and services are becoming free, we can continue to follow the traditional paradigm of limiting our offers to paying clients. Free is also one of the first forays into the freemium concept. The book Free introduces you to some rather radical ideas about how to charge for your services and how giving them out for free may sometimes be the most profitable approach of all.
|1||The Lean Startup||Amazon||Kindle – $14.99|
Hardcover – $12.99
Paperback – $17
|2||The Lean Product Playbook||Amazon||Kindle – $21.00|
Hardcover – $21.24
|3||The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager||Amazon||Kindle – $2.99|
|4||Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love||Amazon||Kindle – $18|
Hardcover – $26.72
|5||Crossing the Chasm||Amazon||Kindle – $15.99|
Hardcover – $50
|6||The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers||Amazon||Kindle – $4.69|
Hardcover – $14.99
|7||Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products||Amazon||Kindle – $12.99|
Hardcover – $17.42
|8||Presentation Zen||Amazon||Kindle – $17.27|
Paperback – $6.38 (used)
|9||Shape Up||Basecamp||Print Edition – $30PDF – Free|
|10||Measure What Matters||Amazon||Kindle – $12.99|
Paperback – $24.08
|11||Escaping the Build Trap||Amazon||Kindle – $14.70|
Paperback – $15.47
|12||The Making of a Manager||Amazon||Kindle – $12.99|
Hardcover – $16.49
|13||Product Management’s Sacred Seven||Amazon||Paperback – $28.46|
|14||The Influential Product Manager||Amazon||Kindle – $17.55|
Paperback – $33.16
|15||The Customer-Driven Playbook: Converting Customer Feedback into Successful Products||Amazon||Kindle – $32.49|
Paperback – $42.56
|16||Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts||Amazon||Kindle – $14.99|
Hardcover – $13.85
|17||Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products||Amazon||Kindle – $19.00|
Hardcover – $20.99
|18||Build Better Products: A Modern Approach to Building Successful User-Centered Products||Amazon||Kindle – $27.37|
Paperback – $48.99
|19||The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator||Amazon||Kindle – $5.67|
Paperback – $21.95
|20||Free||Amazon||Kindle – $9.99|
Hardcover – $14.90
While all of the books on this list are very valuable to product managers today, they each provides a distinct perspective on how product management might be improved. Some give case studies and explain how those organisations bridged the gap between product and customer, while others address the question, “What is a product manager in 2022?” Nonetheless, each aspiring product manager should read one or more of these books to really understand how the professionals have defined the subject and how they may follow in the footsteps of so many great examples before them.
When you’ve finished all of the books, go to Freshflows and start your product management adventure there. Freshflows is Collaborative Product Management Tool for B2B SaaS Product Teams that helps you produce outstanding products by ideating, documenting, planning, transitioning, tracking, and collaborating. This product management system is built around walls and workstations to democratise product management and make it available to everyone, even solopreneurs.