Important Books for Product Managers that No One Recommends

  1. Frankenstein, because you must understand the responsibility and hazard that comes with bringing something new into the world.
  2. The Road, because you must understand what it’s like to work on something that will likely never completely finish.
  3. Republic, because you must understand respectful discourse and how to think.
  4. The Upside of Stress, because you must understand how to leverage the neverending deluge of stress you’ll encounter.
  5. Chaos, to understand how complex systems work and the perils of reductionism.
  6. Moby Dick, to understand how costly and easy it is to pursue the wrong thing.
  7. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, because you’re making stuff for humans, and you must understand what humans actually are.
  8. Lying, to understand why it’s necessary to be direct and honest.
  9. Maps of the Imagination, to understand how to guide through storytelling.
  10. The Myth of Sisyphus + The Life of the Artist by Albert Camus, to understand what it’s like to become intertwined with your work.
  11. Ender’s Game, to understand the importance of being ruthless.
  12. On Liberty, to understand why every opinion matters, even those you disagree with.
  13. Sapiens, to understand effective human order.