9 books you should read when you want to become a Product Manager

Lena Haydt
Sep 8 · 6 min read

Are you considering to change directions in your career? Or did you recently graduate and you are wondering what’s next? There are many reasons why you should consider becoming a Product Manager. It’s not only a fascinating field where you can make a big difference, but it’s also highly diversified. As a PM you are encountering various fields from Tech to Design, Business or Marketing. You have the joy of working with a team that is enabled to create real value for users. Short: we love Product — you should check it out, too!

Only very few university programs teach you Product Management. Recently, some courses, podcasts and programs emerged that give you a deep-dive into Product. But, before you enrol in anything, it might be worth to figure out what it means to work in Product and if the role suits you and your skills. Fortunately, there are some wonderful books out there that explain the role of a Product Manager in detail and prepare you for the basics.


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 — if you’re starting off with Product then this is your “bible”. 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

Get this book


The Lean Startup

How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries

Why read?

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

338 pages, Currency 2011

Get this book


Product Leadership

How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams
by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson & Nate Walkingshaw

Why read?

In this book, you get insights from 50 interviews of the world’s top product managers how to launch great products and build successful product teams.

248 pages, O’Reilly Media 2017

Get this book


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

Get this book


The Product Book

How to Become a Great Product Manager
by Product School (Josh Anon & Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia)

Why read?

What does a product manager do? Based upon Product School’s curriculum, which has helped thousands of students become great product managers, the Product Book answers that question. Filled with practical advice, best practices, and expert tips, this book is here to help you succeed!

314 pages, Product School 2017

Get this book

Fyi: You can also check out Product School if you’re interested in PM training courses and certifications.


Sense and Respond

How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously
by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden

Why read?

This engaging and practical book provides the crucial new operational and management model to help you and your organization win in a world of continuous change.

272 pages, Harvard Business Review Press 2017

Get this book


The Product Manager Interview

164 Actual Questions and Answers
by Lewis C. Lin & Teng Lu

Why read?

The book contains fully solved solutions so readers can learn, improve and do their best at the PM interview.

300 pages, Impact Interview 2017

Get this book


Sprint

How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days
by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz

Why read?

New York Times bestseller Sprint takes you behind the scenes with some of America’s most fascinating startups.

288 pages, Simon & Schuster 2016

Get this book


Hooked

How to Build Habit-Forming Products
by Nir Eyal & Ryan Hoover

Why read?

Do you wish your users couldn’t live without your product? Through a simple but powerful how-to guide Nir Eyal shows how to convert users that engage with a product into users who’ll return to it again and again. If you want to get a glimpse into the mind of users you should read this book.

256 pages, Portfolio 2014

Get this book



Do you miss a book on this list? Are you an experienced Product Manager and have other books that you would like to share with people who would like to get into Product? Let us know in the comments below. #sharingiscaring

The PM Library

160+ Books and more every Product person should read

Lena Haydt

Written by

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

The PM Library

160+ Books and more every Product person should read

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade