I am in product for a decade now and can’t think of a more challenging, colorful and fun role in digital. Identifying and solving real user problems is a very satisfying profession! More so, I enjoy working with all the different people from other functions, who help make a new product a success, as it is rarely product alone. If I had to choose again, I’d go the exact same path.
On my shelf
How to Build Habit-Forming Products
by Nir Eyal & Ryan Hoover
The book describes how our brains work and react to certain cues. For product managers, it is a helpful guide in order to build products, which keep users engaged beyond their initial use. With numerous examples from Facebook, Instagram and others we get to learn how the most successful digital brands form habits while we interact with their product and explains how we could use these insights in day-to-day work.
256 pages, Portfolio 2014
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
by Ben Horowitz
This book feels like reading Ben’s diary of his early entrepreneurial years. It is as open, direct and honest as it can be. Among the many lessons that I learnt, I particularly remember two things:
- Ask your team what they don’t do. That’s more often than not more important than what they do.
- Be careful not to hire people who lack great weaknesses but hire those with world-class strength. If you don’t have world-class strength where you need them, you won’t be a world-class company.
304 pages, HarperBusiness 2014
Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling & Anna Rosling Rönnlund
Absolutely eye-opening. The book brings light to so many false assumptions about our world. While we all perceive the world gets worse every day, he explains with statistics, questionnaires and others data sources (and his own experiences) how the world has turned to the better in so many relevant areas such as women’s rights, vaccination, education and many more. If I had to choose one book recommendation, it would be this.
“One of the most important books I’ve ever read―an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.”
— Bill Gates
352 pages, Flatiron Books 2018
The Culture Code
The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
by Daniel Coyle
Once you start being a people manager or want to become one, this book helps to guide the way to a team culture which fosters best in class outputs. I am a strong believer in company cultures being THE ingredient for success. If leaders create a safe environment, where everyone loves to come to work and understands as well as shares the purpose of the company, success will come.
304 pages, Bantam 2018
Trillion Dollar Coach
The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell
by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg & Alan Eagle
How much I would have loved to meet Bill Campbell. From what the authors have collected about him, he is a clear role model in terms of humble leadership, emotional intelligence and team culture. From all the examples given in this book I have improved my own team interactions, I am more determined in my wordings and I have learnt new ways to deal with team conflicts. And I got reminded that having a coach is a sign of strength, not weakness.
240 pages, Harper Business 2019
Life and Work
by Ray Dalio
I read this book within a few days, as the way Ray Dalio writes is absolutely engaging. The book has two main parts: life principles and work principles — both are full of great advice. His mantra of radical truth and radical open-mindedness as the main building blocks to success got especially stuck with me. In several chapters, he explains different processes he has installed in his company to ensure his teams. and colleagues work in a trustful and high performing environment. If I were in his company’s industry, I would for sure apply to see all these concepts from the inside! Lastly, I want to share one of Dailo’s thoughts, which is true for all of us, not only at work but just as well in our everyday life: we can maximize our own evolution every day. Pain + Reflexion = Progress. There is rarely an easy answer but there always is one. Sometimes this means to look at big, complicated problems, which unveil harsh realities and are unpleasant to look at, but this is when (and how) we can find a better solution.
592 pages, Simon & Schuster 2017
I am very happy to share my favourite books here. As I believe in constant learning, I am always happy about new recommendations. Please reach out via LinkedIn!
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 📚.