Our top 8 books for Product Managers to read in 2019

Lena Haydt
Feb 16 · 5 min read

We’ve collected the best books that you should read this year when it comes to Product Management and beyond. From second editions of PM classics to what we can learn from sports, new insights in how to rapidly build large-scale companies to frameworks you can directly adapt into your everyday job — we have it all!


Escaping the Build Trap

How effective product management creates value
by Melissa Perri.

Why read?

Melissa Perri’s first book has the potential to become a real classic. In Escaping the Build Trap she focuses on the most common pitfalls Product Managers and companies fall into when releasing feature by feature instead of focusing on the customer’s needs.

In this book Melissa — CEO of Product Labs and founder of the Product Institute — helps you to identify whether you are caught in the “build trap” and more importantly, gives you practical advice how to escape it. She brings together her year-long experience of building products and deep knowledge of how product-lead organisations work.

200 pages, O’Reilly Media 2018

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Blitzscaling

The lightning-fast path to building massively valuable companies
by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh.

Why read?

In this book the LinkedIn Co-founder Reid Hoffmann and Chris Yeh share their secret of how to build a market-leading company with a growing business while outdoing competitors. They call it “Blitzscaling” — prioritizing speed over efficiency in the development of a company even in the face of uncertainty.

336 pages, Currency 2018

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Inspired (2nd edition)

How to create tech products customers love
by Marty Cagan

Why read?

In 2018 Marty Cagan published the second edition of his Product Management classic Inspired. It provides you with a deep dive into how the most successful product-driven companies work today, how they staff and structure their organization and how they develop and ship products customers will love. This book is for everyone at every stage and skill-level of Product Management. With his year-long experience, Marty gives you a bunch of personal stories as well as a glimpse into stories from other successful PMs.

368 pages, John Wiley & Sons 2018

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The Captain Class

The hidden force that creates the world’s greatest teams
by Sam Walker.

Why read?

Slightly different from regular PM books but highly recommended. Sam Walker — the founding editor of The Wall Street Journal’s sports section, analyses 16 of the most successful sports teams in history and reveals what they all have in common: A captain with a skill-set and type of personality you wouldn’t expect. Without revealing too much: go read this book when you’re interested in leadership and how to develop highly successful teams.

368 pages, Random House 2018

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It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Why read?

In this new book, the authors of the New York Times bestseller Rework contradict a working culture that promotes long hours, unhealthy stress and a “whatever it takes” attitude in order to run a successful business and instead they promote what they call “the calm company”.
They provide practical insights on how they work at Basecamp and inspires you to apply some of their approaches when it comes to managing time and people.

234 pages, Harper Collins Publ. UK 2018

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The Culture Code

The secrets of highly successful groups
by Daniel Coyle

Why read?

In The Culture Code Coyle reflects on how successful teams work and reveals what makes them tick. This book is great for people who lead teams as well as team members. Coyle offers techniques to build an environment that flourishes innovation, drives collaboration and trust and most importantly, acknowledges failure.

304 pages, Bantam 2018

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Atomic habits

An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones
by James Clear.

Why read?

Do you want to get rid of bad habits? Read this book. James Clear provides you with a very practical guide to turning bad routines into good ones. His tools can be easily applied in your work as well as your private life. Instead of always thinking in big steps, Clear argues that we should improve by 1 percent each day in order to change our habits and overcome a lack of motivation.

320 pages, Avery 2018

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Measure what matters

How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation rock the world with OKRs by John Doerr

Why read?

In Measure what matters Doerr gives you a deep dive into OKRs and how they should be implemented in order to achieve success. While Doerr was responsible for introducing OKRs at Google, he also provides many other examples of how companies and non-profits are using OKR to build effective organisations. We highly recommend this book to everyone who is involved in any kind of leadership.

320 pages, Portfolio 2018

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These are our top 8 books for 2019. Do you think there are some books missing? We’d be thrilled if you leave your book recommendations in the comments below. And please feel free to give us feedback to our collections.

Happy reading!

The PM Library

150+ Books and more every Product person should read

Lena Haydt

Written by

Product Manager @XING, Design lover, traveller and a passionate dancer

The PM Library

150+ Books and more every Product person should read