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What are some PM-focused books I can read?

I'm pursuing a product management position and I'd like to get into the mindset of being a PM. I'm currently a software developer. I know that experience is best, so I am working on that, but in the meantime, I'd love to know some books that I might be able to take a look at. Thanks! #product-management #pm #software-engineer #GivingisCaring

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Julia’s Answer

Inspired by Marty Cagan! https://www.amazon.com/INSPIRED-Create-Tech-Products-Customers-ebook/dp/B077NRB36N
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Kristopher’s Answer

Plenty of good recommendations here but if you're looking for a comprehensive 101 guide to product management I suggest "The Product Book" by Josh Annon. It's free and will lead you to additional course work at the product school if you are interested.

https://www.academia.edu/39416466/THE_PRODUCT_BOOK
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Sunil’s Answer

Take a look at Geoffery Moore in particular and also Clayton Christensen's books. I've included links to books by both authors and also to a book that has less to do with Product Management and more to do with Project Management by Eliyahu Goldratt. I recall reading Critical Chain and realizing that it helped in understanding the constraints in any product development exercise.

Sunil recommends the following next steps:

https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-Marketing-High-Tech-Mainstream/dp/0060517123
https://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Technologies-Management-Innovation/dp/1633691780/ref=pd_bxgy_img_2/137-9627522-8656215?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1633691780&pd_rd_r=b25d6ff8-6773-488b-81e2-28ed503da775&pd_rd_w=H8JNs&pd_rd_wg=kjmcs&pf_rd_p=f325d01c-4658-4593-be83-3e12ca663f0e&pf_rd_r=73Y6ARESS30VJTX5P3P8&psc=1&refRID=73Y6ARESS30VJTX5P3P8
https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Tornado-Strategies-Developing-Hypergrowth/dp/0060745819/ref=pd_bxgy_img_3/137-9627522-8656215?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0060745819&pd_rd_r=b25d6ff8-6773-488b-81e2-28ed503da775&pd_rd_w=H8JNs&pd_rd_wg=kjmcs&pf_rd_p=f325d01c-4658-4593-be83-3e12ca663f0e&pf_rd_r=73Y6ARESS30VJTX5P3P8&psc=1&refRID=73Y6ARESS30VJTX5P3P8
https://www.amazon.com/Critical-Chain-Eliyahu-M-Goldratt/dp/0884271536/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=eliyahu+goldratt&qid=1605998480&s=books&sr=1-3
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Saiprasad’s Answer

These 2 links have list of PM books that will help

https://productschool.com/blog/product-management-2/top-most-read-books-by-product-managers/
https://www.productboard.com/blog/15-best-books-for-product-managers/
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Kris’s Answer

Another great book that is relevant and helpful for product managers:

https://www.amazon.com/Unlearn-Success-Achieve-Extraordinary-Results/dp/1260143015/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=barryoreilly-20&linkId=821ee29a3f654f6e9abad80bf615ba2b&language=en_US

The accompanying website & resources are also quite useful - https://www.unlearn.online
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Gina’s Answer

Hi Cassia!

These are some of my favorites:

Inspired
Hooked
Lean product playbook
The Innovator's Dilemma

And these helped me through the interview process:

Cracking the PM Interview
Decode and Conquer
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Jay’s Answer

There are a ton of books available, so don't be afraid to try and get a good variety.

Ones that I have enjoyed:

- Less But Better by Dieter Rams
- Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
- The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
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Kris’s Answer

+! for Marty Cagan's "Inspired" book (https://svpg.com/inspired-how-to-create-products-customers-love/) In addition, I highly recommend subscribing to SVPG's newsletter (https://svpg.com/articles/). Some other good ones:
- https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Thing-About-Things-Building-ebook/dp/B00DQ845EA
- https://www.amazon.com/Design-Everyday-Things-Revised-Expanded/dp/0465050654
- https://www.amazon.com/Made-Stick-Ideas-Survive-Others/dp/1400064287
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Lucie’s Answer

Lots of books out there, here are a few of my favorites:
- Inspired: How to create tech products customer love
- Decode and Conquer
- The Lean Product Playbook
- Cracking the PM interview
- The Lean Startup

Hope this helps,
Cheers
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George’s Answer

Everyone has provided very good recommendations for books but I'll like to include one that I believe is more on the actual practical side of Product Management and is close to a workbook: Product Roadmaps Relaunched: How to Set Direction while Embracing Uncertainty*https://www.amazon.com/Product-Roadmaps-Relaunched-Direction-Uncertainty/dp/149197172X Roadmapping is an integral part of Product management and difficult to put into practice (harder still to maintain). This book gives practical examples of how to break your products down into a Vision, Objectives, Theme and Epics, then lay that map out for your audience. Whether they are stakeholders or external customers.
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Angela’s Answer

Hi Cassia T., here are some recommendations. I found the Cracking the PM Interview book particularly helpful during my interview preparation. I also find StellaPeers pretty useful (https://stellarpeers.com/frameworks/). It has case problems related to product management (i.e., product strategy, metrics etc.), that can use to practice to get into the mindset of PM. Hope this helps!

a. Zero to One
b. Swipe to Unlock
c. Hooked
d. Cracking the PM Interview
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Mark’s Answer

Hi Cassia, here's a great list of PM focused books: https://www.bringthedonuts.com/essays/books-for-product-managers.html
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Lisa’s Answer

Hi,

Some recommended books:
- The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen (http://leanproductplaybook.com/)
- Measure What Matters by John Doerr (https://www.whatmatters.com/ )
- User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product (https://www.amazon.co.uk/User-Story-Mapping-Discover-Product/dp/1491904909)

And podcasts:
- https://www.thisisproductmanagement.com/ Short 30 min broadcasts that speak to different product managers about their experience.
- https://www.intercom.com/blog/tag/podcast/ Different employees in Intercom speak about their process or experience in releasing new products.
- https://www.usersknow.com/podcast/ Two UX leads speak about a wide range of topics.
- https://99percentinvisible.org/ Roman Mars speak about all aspects of design, not restricted to digital.
- https://uxpodcast.com/ Twice-monthly digital design podcast sharing insights about business, technology and people
- https://www.productbreakfastclub.com/ The two host talk through various topics around product. Nice innovation episodes.

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Betty’s Answer

Not a book, but strongly recommend Lenny Rachitsky's PM newsletter (https://www.lennysnewsletter.com) and Reforge for PM classes (https://www.reforge.com/).
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Erik’s Answer

There are a lot of excellent PM books out there. Here's a list of some PM books that I have on my bookshelf that I've found very helpful for managing various projects:

1) Scrappy Project Management, by Kimberley Wiefling
This is written in a funny an entertaining way, and discusses a variety of pitfalls and how to avoid and deal with them.

2) Waltzing with Bears, by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister
This is more focused on software project risk management, but a very good read.

3) Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers, bu Anthony Mersino
This is more focused on people skills, which is critical for successful projects.

4) Software Project Survival Guide, by Steve McConnell
This is one of the classic books on software project management, and considered one of the best books out there.
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Erina’s Answer

Hello! I found these books to be super helpful when recruiting for PM jobs:
- Cracking the PM Interview
- Decode and Conquer
- The Lean Startup

A podcast that was really great to listen to was "The Product Podcast" and "This is Product Management."
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Stacey’s Answer

All of the Strategyzer books (Alexander Osterwalder , Yves Pigneur) are great because they talk about an approach to product development that is predicated on designing the right business model and approach. They have GREAT tools for business case design (business model canvas) and value proposition design. This design thinking approach healps de-risk development and works well with an Agile approach.

Start with: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
And move to: Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want
Testing business ideas is one of their most recent book which provides great insight into ways that you can test and iterate a product early vs. building it all the out.