On My Shelf with Anna Wicher — Head of Product at Greenhouse Innovation Lab (Hamburg)
I am Anna and work in product management in Hamburg. At the beginning of 2019, I moved from project lead in an innovation lab — where I validated digital product ideas in the market — to product management, and since then I’ve been working with our product teams to advance products that have already survived prototype status. I’m happy to share a few books that have accompanied me on my way here.
On my shelf
Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman
This book is not really about product management. But then again every word ins this book has helped me to better understand how users interact with products, how they react to them, why they use it and how. For a while, after reading this book I segmented every click a user might make into fast, intuitive decision-based actions and slow, rational ones. And started to understand how seemingly logic UI can trigger assumptions that make users decide entirely different as you wanted them too. In my opinion, a must-read for product managers who want to better understand the choices their users make.
512 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2011
Value Proposition Design
How to Create Products and Services Customers Want
by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Greg Bernarda & Alan Smith
In this book you can read everything you want to know about the many tools that can help you turn ideas into great products or MVPs that have the potential to actually solve user problems that a) exist out there and b) are worth solving. At the end of the day, it is important that you are able to choose the right tool to help you in the situation that lies ahead. But if I want to remember how to use a particular tool in a meaningful way, this is the book I’m going to turn to.
320 pages, Wiley 2014
Just Enough Research
by Erika Hall
This book has taught me what the right questions might be and what the answers might mean. Erica Hall explains briefly, concisely and easily readable what good user research looks like and helps me to refocus on user research and give it the space it deserves in my work time every time I pick up this book.
368 pages, Penguin Books 2018
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg
I have the feeling that this book fortunately has become a classic for women at work, and most of you have probably already read it. For those who haven’t read it yet, I still wanted to put it on my list: In my opinion, a must-read for every woman who wants to be inspired and understand how she can better reach her full potential. In my opinion, this book should not only be read by women, but also by all men: it has helped me to understand in which situations I react as a “woman”, not as a product manager, and whether this is good or rather obstructs me. I think knowing where biases exist and what they look like makes it so much easier to avoid or deal with them.
240 pages, Knopf 2013
How To Create Products Customers Love
by Marty Cagan
If I had to decide which book, in my opinion, would be the most instructive for a product manager, I would probably name this one right now. Marty Cagan explains all the topics that you can or should encounter in product management every day in a super plausible and exciting way. Before reading this book, I thought I was doing quite well. While reading I realized again that there are still so many topics that you could actually look at again. Very inspiring and also suitable as a checklist to see where there is the greatest potential for improvement in your own way of working.
242 pages, SVPG Press 2008
Why We Sleep
The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
by Prof. Dr. med. Mathew Walker
If you have ever worked too much at the cost of your sleep, read this book and you will never do it again. Sleep Researcher Mathew Walker explains what the lack of sleep does to you and those around you. I first encountered his work, when he talked about it with Kevin Rose in his podcast and listening to them and later reading this book really changed me.
369 pages, Scribner 2017
The PM Library series “On my shelf” features Product Leaders from all over the world who are passionate about reading and sharing with the community. If you want to join the movement and share your reading list with others send us a message or fill out the following form. Let’s get better together 📚.