Another List of Go-To Product Management Books

Photo by Simon Schmitt

Product Management in Practice by Matt LeMay

  • PMs will always be wondering what needs to be done, because figuring out “what needs to be done” is the job of the product management.
  • Get comfy making best guesses, because you’ll always be making best guesses.
  • Above all, Product is a connective role.

The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

  • How to ask questions that get to the heart of people’s real problems.

Making Work Visible by Domonica DeGrandis

  • How to bring structure to your own work, your team’s work, and your organization’s work.

The Knack by Brodsky & Burlingham

  • Relatable stories about entrepreneurs that had to figure stuff out as they went.

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

  • The best insulator against the future failure of a now-successful business is: 1) good people, 2) organized well.

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni

  • A fun story about how to help people on your team do fulfilling work (also, read Aytekin’s Excellence Is Obsolete).

Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath

  • If you want your product to stick, it’s name needs to be easy to say — easier than the alternative.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

  • In the beginning, there was meaning; the product was the the meaning made evident.
  • Steve couldn’t not do what he did.
  • The story of how one guy revolutionized or gave birth to five industries: personal computers, animated films, music, phones, and tablets.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

  • Because the fastest way to have a better idea is to test a smaller idea, first.

Small Giants by Bo Burlingham

  • Sometimes, spirit is greater than scale.

Mistakes that Worked by Charlotte Jones

  • Mistakes can lead to unexpected success.
  • Sandwiches were invented so that John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, wouldn’t have to leave the gambling table for dinner.
  • Potato chips were conceived when a cook responded angrily to a customer’s unreasonable request.

Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

  • Conflict is good, because it brings the best ideas to the top.
  • Be direct — it saves time.

I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better by Gary & Joy Lundberg

  • How to stay sane, even when all the stakeholders want all the things.
  • The universal human (read: stakeholder) need is to know: “I am of worth, my feelings matter, and someone really cares about me.”

Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen

  • Human needs never change; the products used to meet these needs, do.
  • Explains why a product that’s constantly being improved can still be displaced in the market. (Or, just watch the video.)

One Second Ahead by Rasmus Hougard

  • To perform well, practice mindfulness.

Built to Sell by John Warrillow

  • To create sustaining value, build products and teams that can thrive without you.

Escaping The Build Trap, by Melissa Perri

  • A product’s success must be measured in terms of value to the organization, customer, or user. Celebrating the build and release of functionality is fun — but that cannot be the primary metric.
  • When businesses focus on release of functionality, it is easily to lose focus on value to customer.

I believe businesses exist to serve people, and that by improving business functions, people can be better served.