5 Solid eBooks for Product guys

Cosmic rays can turn you in to a PM ;-)

Do you feel that most books take a lot of time to come to the point? The real deal in a 200 page book is perhaps some 50 pages. And that doesn’t mean you can read the summary on Blinkist and be done with it. Doesn’t help. I enjoy reading books but sometimes I wish they could come to the point and not add pages just to make it publishable. The thing about published physical books is that they need to be over 150–200 pages for publishers to make any business sense. And that means the author cannot cut short to talk about just the real thing. End of rant.

eBooks, can do just that. And fortunately there are some awesome ones available for free that I’ve found to be helpful. I figured most book recommendations are filled with cliched list of Books — The Zero to One, the Hooked, the Hard things…, the Design of Everyday things etc. Of course these are great books to begin, but then there is a treasure of resources available on internet. So, here are a few free ebooks that I found are really valuable reads. I’ve recommended these to my Product/Start-up friends and have received good feedback from them as well. Best part is they are short pdfs available for free download and make for quick reading.

#1 5 Habits to building better products faster: Hiten Shah provides some really nice insights about some process hacks at Amazon, Intercom and his own learnings from building Kissmetrics. 50+ pages of eye opening insights.

#2 Talking to Humans : Really drives home how one should talk to their users/prospective users. Very good for product managers interested in doing any sort of qualitative research or for startup folks looking to validate ideas. 80+ pages of practical gyaan.

#3 Hypergrowth: David Cancel describes how to bring “customer centricity” in your startup’s culture. How to re-do your org structure around customers. Everyone talks about being customer focused but he seems to have cracked how to create organisations around it and do it even as the company scales to mid size. 70 odd pages of sharp advice for PMs and Founders.

#4 Design with Intent: It’s not even a book. It’s a long beautiful slide-deck packed with enough thought provoking ideas. If you have some affiliation to design you can enjoy it and get some great ideas too. If you are a beginner you can still find it fun (if not thought provoking).

#5 ProductManager: Lot of PMs, as I keep repeating, get in to product management rather accidentally. That’s ok, most superhero origins are accidental too. Wink! Wink! This small 25 page primer from SVPG is a great starting point for PM enthusiasts and accidental product managers. However, even existing PMs can enjoy re-visiting what the world expects from their role. Often we know most of these stuff, but helps a lot to remind your self of the small stuff.

What I love about these is direct cut-to-the-chase style of writing. I find myself writing similarly succinct too — may be a little too short and direct. Anyway, do download and read these 5. Let me know if you find these useful.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on June 9, 2017.