On My Shelf with Benjamin Lang — Agile Business Analyst at ThoughtWorks (Munich, Germany)
I’m an Agile Business Analyst at ThoughtWorks based in Munich, Germany. Founder of The First Principle Project — a conceptual framework that helps people get to the fundamental core of a topic by taking for granted nothing but the non-debatable truths & incorporating the least amount of assumptions possible.
On my shelf
The Nature of Technology
What It Is and How It Evolves
by W. Brian Arthur
Best macroeconomic model of what technology is and how it comes into being. Helps with guiding strategic thinking about how the world evolves or might evolve like no other framework that I’m aware of. Crucial in order to understand technological innovation, especially as a qualitative counterpart model in a quantitatively-driven industry.
256 pages, Free Press 2011
The Innovator’s Dilemma
When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
by Clayton M. Christensen
Even though the presented theory of disruptive innovation did not turn out to be as rock-solid as it seemed, it probably is the best popular book that outlines the dilemma-like mechanisms and downsides of resource allocation initiatives in any organization — and how they tend to disincentivize progress. It’s a must if you’re in charge of product initiatives.
288 pages, Harvard Business Review Press 2016
The Principles of Product Development Flow
Second Generation Lean Product Development
by Donald G. Reinertsen
Probably the best book when you want to build a product development engine that puts economic value first while enabling decentralized teams to move fast and act autonomously within a principled guiding framework. Must-read for lean product developers that are aware that time-to-market is key when it comes to new product.
304 pages, Celeritas Publishing 2009
Improving the Process of Product Development
by Marvin L. Patterson
Written in 1999, it basically covers every relevant topic about innovation in more mature organizations: from lean to hypothesis- driven feature discovery to effective and efficient delivery. A kind of innovation bible written a decade before innovation was cool. Hidden gem, not in print anymore unfortunately. If you get your hands on it by any chance, don’t hesitate.
159 pages, Wiley 1992
Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster
by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz
The ‘better’ version of ‘the lean startup’. Dives deeper into picking the right metrics at the right stage of your product/company. Evangelizes the approach of measuring as much KPIs as you can while focusing on only one relevant metric at a time that drives your business. From a 2020 perspective, much of if feels like standard procedure, but you would be surprised if you knew how much companies out there do not pursue data-driven development.
448 pages, O’Reilly Media 2013
Our series “On my shelf” features product people from all over the world who are passionate about reading and sharing their best book recommendations with the community. If you want to join the movement and share your reading list with others send us a message. Let’s get better together 📚.