On My Shelf with Raphael Fleckenstein — Product Designer at Ryte (Munich)

About me

I currently lead the platform design and created the design system at Ryte, a B2B SaaS company from Munich with over 750.000 users. Before that, I’ve built up the web presence of Bits & Pretzels, an application-only founders festival in Munich with 5000 participants. I’m also active as president at START Munich, an entrepreneurship initiative from TU Munich.

I love learning new things and since I started my career, I have read countless books about design, product management, startups, marketing, leadership, personal development and more. But currently, I learn more from podcasts like the Google Design podcast, OMR, Inside Intercom or Neil Patels and Eric Sues Marketing School. It’s easier to find more specific topics and you can build a habit listening to them. I have my daily podcast dose on my way to work and back, with 2x speed this makes around 45 minutes of effortless business learnings per day.


On my shelf

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited

A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
by Steve Krug

My opinion

This one is really basic but I recommend this to everyone who has anything to do with websites and wants to understand how people behave there. In this book, you learn, why it’s important to user-test your website. With at least two or three people, you normally find ~70% of the usability issues.

216 pages, New Riders 2014

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The ONE Thing

The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

My opinion

Whenever I realize I’m doing too much stuff at once I go back and listen to “The ONE Thing” on Audible. There are always so many opportunities you can take on, but in my opinion, you need to drill down on what’s really important to reach your goals. A focused laser beam is better than a shotgun.

240 pages, Bard Press 2013

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Getting Real

The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application
by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson & Matthew Linderman

My opinion

So many great learnings in here, I think everyone who wants to build web apps, should read this. One of my key learnings here: You don’t need a big team, endless funding or more features than the competition to build a successful web app. Just focus on solving the right user problems and building easy to use interfaces.

240 pages, Bard Press 2013

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Influence

The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert Cialdini

My opinion

I’m a UX designer but I think it’s important to have some basic knowledge of marketing and sales in most professions. When I redesigned the START Munich website, for example, I didn’t just make it more beautiful or easy to use — I rewrote all texts, added social proof and testimonials and applied some other marketing hacks and was thus able to increase the number of applications from 5 to 80 per semester.

336 pages, Harper Business 2006

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Think and Grow Rich

by Napoleon Hill

My opinion

The book is basically only about one thought, which I didn’t forget since I’ve read it 3 years ago: That achieving your goals is not a matter of luck, super hard work or a high IQ, it’s about a state of mind. You need to acquire this state of mind, define where you want to go, and only after that, you are able to notice all the opportunities that will lead you there.

320 pages, TarcherPerigee 2005

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Start with Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
by Simon Sinek

My opinion

If you are interested in marketing, psychology or personal development, you can’t do anything wrong with this classic. It’s not only important for business but also for yourself — I think, knowing your “Why” and your goals in life, helps you really to live a happier and more purposeful live.

256 pages, Portfolio 2011

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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 this form. Let’s get better together 📚.