Product management books
Like all good product managers and designers we are driven by curiosity and learning. Here are our favourite product management books and user experience books that have helped us build products people love. Let us know if you have any suggestions for additions to this list!
Strategy and leadership
In today's lightning-fast technology world, good product management is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Authors Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw draw on decades of experience in product design and development to capture the approaches, styles, insights, and techniques of successful product managers.
What if you could learn the secrets of self-managing teams like the best ones you hear about in tech startups? And what if you could learn them through a simple and compelling story about someone like you who is dealing with familiar challenges every day? And what if you could learn them from someone who has spent decades practicing, learning, and teaching these principles to those great teams? That’s exactly what you’ll get in Christina Wodtke’s tour de force, The Team that Managed Itself."Bruce McCarty, Internationally renowned Speaker and Author on Product Management and Founder of Product Culture.
Written in an engaging and easily accessible style, Strategize offers practical advice and valuable examples so that you can apply the practices directly to your products.
Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular Ben’s blog.
How do you develop products that people will actually use and buy? This practical guide shows you how to validate product and company ideas through customer development research—before you waste months and millions on a product or service that no one needs or wants.
This book is both an introduction for those unfamiliar with lean concepts and highly actionable for lean practitioners. It is a user friendly guide, written to be accessible to marketing professionals, Engineers startup founders and entrepreneurs, VCs, angels, and anyone else involved in building scalable startups.
This practical guide teaches you how to create an effective product roadmap, and demonstrates how to use the roadmap to align stakeholders and prioritize ideas and requests. With it, you’ll learn to communicate how your products will make your customers and organization successful. Whether you're a product manager, product owner, business analyst, program manager, project manager, scrum master, lead developer, designer, development manager, entrepreneur, or business owner.
Product discovery and innovation
How do today's most successful tech companies-Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla-design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than the vast majority of tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love-and that will work for your business.
Entrepreneurs and leaders face big questions every day: What's the most important place to focus your effort, and how do you start? What will your idea look like in real life? How many meetings and discussions does it take before you can be sure you have the right solution?
Now there's a surefire way to answer these important questions: the Design Sprint, created at Google by Jake Knapp. This method is like fast-forwarding into the future, so you can see how customers react before you invest all the time and expense of creating your new product, service, or campaign.
The Lean Product Playbook is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful products through clear, step-by-step guidance and advice.
Hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on web usability expert Steve Krug's guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.
In his mega bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, world-famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.
Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does--and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation--autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.
Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
If you're new to software product management or just want to learn more about it, there's plenty of advice available-but most of it is geared toward consumer products. Creating high-quality software for the enterprise involves a much different set of challenges. In this practical book, two expert product managers provide straightforward guidance for people looking to join the thriving enterprise market. Authors Blair Reeves and Benjamin Gaines explain critical differences between enterprise and consumer products, and deliver strategies for overcoming challenges when building for the enterprise.
Frameworks and methodologies
With more than 500 new apps entering the market every day, what does it take to build a successful digital product? You can greatly reduce your risk of failure with design sprints, a process that enables your team to prototype and test a digital product idea within a week. This practical guide shows you exactly what a design sprint involves and how you can incorporate the process into your organization
Why are some products a hit while others never see the light of day? While there’s no foolproof way to tell what will succeed and what won’t, every product has a chance as long as it’s supported by research, careful planning, and hard work. Written by successful product manager Marc Abraham, My Product Management Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to developing a physical or digital product that consumers love.
Did you cut through traffic on your Segway today? Cool off with a delicious can of New Coke? Relax at home while listening to some music on your Zune? Despite years of research, countless products like these see high-profile launches, only to end up failing to connect with an audience. The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management will help you create a lasting product and take you through the field of product management with candid stories and a litany of real-world experiences.
Product management isn't about the individual or the specific product; it revolves around solving problems for customers, developing a solution, and bringing it to market. When the author began their journey in product management, numerous questions arose, such as "What is product management?" Despite being a common inquiry, satisfactory answers were scarce. Over the years, these same questions persisted, appearing on forums and in conversations with both novice and seasoned product managers. Despite the prevalence of these queries, they often remained unanswered or inadequately addressed. In response to this, Nils Davis wrote a book that provides comprehensive answers to these enduring questions.
Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Taken from years of the author’s experience, and distilled clearly giving actionable lessons to the reader; it shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity, finding meaning in their job, and creating an environment where people both love their work and their colleagues.
Radical Focus tackles the OKR movement and better goal setting through the powerful story of Hanna and Jack’s struggling tea startup. When the two receive an ultimatum from their only investor, they must learn how to employ Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with radical focus to get the right things done. Will they be able to accomplish the few critical actions that will save their startup? Or will they end up mired in distractions and choices as their time runs out?
This practical guide provides guidelines for creating and leading design teams within your organization, and explores ways to use design as part of broader strategic planning. You'll discover: Why design's role has evolved in the digital age How to infuse design into every product and service experience The 12 qualities of effective design organizations How to structure your design team through a Centralized Partnership Design team roles and evolution The process of recruiting and hiring designers How to manage your design team and promote professional growth.
Essential reading for any ambitious entrepreneur, The Lean Startup will teach you to identify what your customers really want. You'll learn how to test your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it's too late.
How Designers Think is based on Bryan Lawson's many observations of designers at work, interviews with designers and their clients and collaborators. This extended work is the culmination of forty years' research and shows the belief that we all can, and do, design, and that we can learn to design better. The creative mind continues to have the power to surprise and this book aims to nurture and extend this creativity.
Value Proposition Design is for anyone who has been frustrated by new product meetings based on hunches and intuitions; it’s for anyone who has watched an expensive new product launch fail in the market. The book will help you understand the patterns of great value propositions, get closer to customers, and avoid wasting time with ideas that won’t work. You’ll learn the simple process of designing and testing value propositions, that perfectly match customers’ needs and desires.
Written by Jeff Gothelf, the co-author of the award-winning Lean UX and Sense & Respond, the tactics in this book draw on Jeff’s years of practice as a team leader and coach in companies ranging from small high-growth startups to large enterprises. Whether you’re a product manager, software engineer, designer, or team leader, you’ll find practical tools in this book immediately applicable to your team’s daily methods.
How can you create products that successfully find customers? With this practical book, you’ll learn from some of the best product designers in the field, from companies like Facebook and LinkedIn to up-and-coming contenders. You’ll understand how to discover and interpret customer pain, and learn how to use this research to guide your team through each step of product creation.
This practical guide shows you how to conduct data-driven A/B testing for making design decisions on everything from small tweaks to large-scale UX concepts. Complete with real-world examples, this book shows you how to make data-driven design part of your product design workflow.
The Design Of Everyday Things: Revised And Expanded tackles the everyday frustration we all face when simple tasks like using a light switch or oven become needlessly complicated. The book argues that it's not our fault; rather, it's the result of product designs that ignore what users need and the basics of how our minds work.
One key responsibility of product designers and UX practitioners is to conduct formal and informal research to clarify design decisions and business needs. But there’s often mystery around product research, with the feeling that you need to be a research Zen master to gather anything useful. Fact is, anyone can conduct product research. With this quick reference guide, you’ll learn a common language and set of tools to help you carry out research in an informed and productive manner.
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? Which should be feared more: snakes or french fries? Why do sumo wrestlers cheat? In this groundbreaking book, leading economist Steven Levitt--Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and winner of the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark medal for the economist under 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the discipline--reveals that the answers. Joined by acclaimed author and podcast host Stephen J. Dubner, Levitt presents a brilliant--and brilliantly entertaining--account of how incentives of the most hidden sort drive behavior in ways that turn conventional wisdom on its head.
When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In this revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable--making us predictably irrational.
This book celebrates escapes from the flatlands of both paper and computer screen, showing superb displays of high-dimensional complex data. The most design-oriented of Edward Tufte's books, Envisioning Information shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables, use of color, a pop-up, and many other wonderful displays of information.
Want to get better in business? Learn how to draw. There’s no faster, cheaper prototype in the world than a sketch on a sheet of paper. What’s unclear in words is suddenly crystal clear in a sketch, and you—and your team—can tackle problems in entirely new ways. Play around with ideas. Document your process. Think on paper. Visual thinking brings a whole new power to work.Think you can’t draw? Don’t worry! The simplest sketches are the most effective at communication and problem solving, so you can begin drawing in less time than your average coffee break. Pictures and visual communication harken back to the stone age for good reason--they’re natural, they’re quick, and they work. And they’ll work for you.If you’re looking for the next tool to help you solve your hardest (and most interesting) challenges at work, try a paper and pencil. This book teaches you how to use them well--and have a bit of fun along the way.
In this instant and tenacious New York Times bestseller, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight "offers a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh" (Booklist, starred review), illuminating his company's early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world's most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
The Lean Entrepreneur, Second Edition banishes the "Myth of the Visionary" and shows you how you can implement proven, actionable techniques to create products and disrupt existing markets on your way to entrepreneurial success. The follow-up to the New York Times bestseller, this great guide combines the concepts of customer insight, rapid experimentation, and actionable data from the Lean Startup methodology to allow individuals, teams, or even entire companies to solve problems, create value, and ramp up their vision quickly and efficiently.