Product Management

Ultimate reading list for product managers

March 14, 2020 | 0 Comments | 23 Min Read

Judson L Moore

By Judson L Moore Travel addict. Ambitious about making the world a better place. Writing what I learn along the way. Follow me on twitter. Find me on facebook.

Ultimate reading list for product managers

I’ve been reading product mangement and other business books, articles, blogs, and listening to industry podcasts for years, even before I was a product manager. Here is a list of some of my favorites that I’ve found or had shared with me. I hope that you will find this ultimate reading list for product managers to be of value to you.

Have something to ad? Please leave me a comment at the bottom of this page to suggest additions to this list.

Books

This list contains general management and product management books. Certianly, reading in-depth about product managment is very valuable, but part of what makes a good product manager is to have broad knowledge, which is why I include general management and management books from other industries here.

Creative Selection - Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

An interesting read from an insider's account of Apple's creative process during the golden years of Steve Jobs.

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Drive - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

The New York Times bestseller that gives readers a paradigm-shattering new way to think about motivation from the author of "When - The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing"

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The Four Steps to the Epiphany

This was the first book to offer that startups are not smaller versions of large companies and that new ventures are different than existing ones. Startups search for business models while existing companies execute them.

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Intercom On Product Management

Success starts with a great product. Building a great product should be the first focus of every startup. This collection of lessons offers our guidance on the tough decisions you will face as a product manager.

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The Innovators Dilemma

Offering both successes and failures from leading companies as a guide, The Innovator’s Dilemma gives you a set of rules for capitalizing on the phenomenon of disruptive innovation.

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Dealing with Darwin

Many companies thrive during the early stages of their life cycle, only to fall slack during periods of inertia and die out while others surge ahead. But as Geoffrey Moore shows, some notable companies have figured out how to deal with Darwin in their mature years—making changes on the fly while fending off challenges from every quarter.

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Crossing the Chasm

While early adopters are willing to sacrifice for the advantage of being first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in productivity. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment.

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Inside the Tornado

Once a product "crosses the chasm" it is faced with the "tornado," a make or break time period where mainstream customers determine whether the product takes off or falls flat. This book contains multiple marketing strategies that will teach marketers how reach these customers and how to take advantage of living inside the tornado in order to reap the benefits of mainstream adoption.

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The Toyota Way

The first book for a general audience that explains the management principles and business philosophy behind Toyota's worldwide reputation for quality and reliability.

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Lean Thinking

Instead of constantly reinventing business models, lean thinkers go back to basics by asking what the customer really perceives as value. (It's often not at all what existing organizations and assets would suggest.)

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The One Best Way

Profiles efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, who felt he could bring prosperity to everyone and abolish class hatred through raising wages and increasing "efficiency"

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The Principals of Scientific Management

Frederick Winslow Taylor was an early advocate for applying 'scientific' principles to the management of men, machines, and factories.

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Extreme Programming Explained

As a software product manager, it is critical to understand what the engineers on your team work with every day. In this book, the author organizes and presents five years’ worth of experiences, growth, and change revolving around XP. If you are seriously interested in understanding how you and your team can start down the path of improvement with XP, you must read this book.

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Toyota Production System

Exploring the latest developments in the Toyota Production System (TPS) framework at Toyota, this new edition updates the classic with new material on e-kanban, mini-profit centers, computer-based information systems, and innovative solutions to common obstacles in TPS implementation.

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The Practice of Management

The first book to look at management as a whole and being a manager as a separate responsibility. The Practice of Management created the discipline of modern management practices. Readable, fundamental, and basic, it remains an essential book for students, aspiring managers, and seasoned professionals.

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Getting to Plan B

You have a new venture in mind. And you've crafted a business plan so detailed it's a work of art. Don't get too attached to it.

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The Startup Way

Concepts regarding how entrepreneurial principles can be used by businesses of all kinds, ranging from established companies to early-stage startups, to grow revenues, drive innovation, and transform themselves into truly modern organizations, poised to take advantage of the enormous opportunities of the twenty-first century.

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Contextual Design - Design for Life (Interactive Technologies)

Describes the core techniques needed to deliberately produce a compelling user experience. This book has been used in a wide variety of industries and taught in universities all over the world.

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This is Service Design Thinking - Basics, Tools, Cases

How to design and market services to create outstanding customer experiences

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This Is Service Design Doing - Applying Service Design Thinking in the Real World

How can you establish a customer-centric culture in an organization? This is the first comprehensive book on how to actually do service design to improve the quality and the interaction between service providers and customers.

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This Is Service Design Methods - A Companion to This Is Service Design Doing

54 hands-on descriptions that help you DO the key methods used in service design. These methods include instructions, guidelines, and tips-and-tricks for activities within research, ideation, prototyping, and facilitation.

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Just Enough Research

Design research is a hard slog that takes years to learn and time away from the real work of design, right? Wrong. Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It's something every member of your team can and should do, and which everyone can learn, quickly.

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Don’t Make Me Think

Hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design.

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The Elements of User Experience

A vital reference for web and interaction designers the world over, and has come to define the core principles of the practice.

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The User Experience Team of One

Prescribes a range of approaches that have big impact and take less time and fewer resources than the standard lineup of UX deliverables. Whether you want to cross over into user experience or you're a seasoned practitioner trying to drag your organization forward, this book gives you tools and insight for doing more with less.

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UX Research

Product managers work hand-in-hand with UX Resaerch and Design. Therefor, it makes sense to readup on that profession’s best-practices as well. The more you know about how they garner insights, the better-equiped you’ll be to work together as a product team.

Think Like a UX Researcher

Discover how to plan and conduct UX research, analyze data, persuade teams to take action on the results and build a career in UX. The book will help you take a more strategic view of product design so you can focus on optimizing the user’s experience.

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Eye Tracking the User Experience - A Practical Guide to Research

Step-by-step advice on how to plan, prepare, and conduct eye tracking studies; how to analyze and interpret eye movement data; and how to successfully communicate eye tracking findings.

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Eyetracking Web Usability

Based on one of the largest studies of eyetracking usability in existence. Includes learnings from 1.5 million instances where users look at Web sites to understand how the human eyes interact with design.

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The Mom Test - How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

Talking to customers is one of the foundational skills of both Customer Development and Lean Startup. We all know we're supposed to do it, but nobody seems willing to admit that it's easy to screw up and hard to do right. This book is going to show you how customer conversations go wrong and how you can do better.

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Psychology for Designers - How to apply psychology to web design and the design process

About the benefits of taking a psychological approach, as well as how to find and apply relevant ideas, and advocate your design decisions based on sound psychological reasoning, making your designs – and the way you talk about them – better.

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The Design of Everyday Things - Revised and Expanded Edition

The Design of Everyday Things shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple, make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal is to guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.

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Blogs

Here are some great blogs to puruse. Be sure to subscribe to some of their newsletters for the most up to date insights.

Mountain Goat Software

Practical and actionable advice, tips and guidance for creating high-performing teams.

Read blog


Neil Patel

Neil is a best-selling author of the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal calls him the top influencer on the web, according to Forbes, he's one of the top 10 marketers on the Internet, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he has founded one of the 100 most successful companies. Even before he was 30, President Obama recognized him as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs. United Nations honored him as a top entrepreneur before he was 35.

Read blog


SKMurphy

SKMurphy, Inc. offers customer development services for technology startups. We help generate leads and close deals. Our focus is on early customers and early revenue for technology and expertise products.

Read blog


Steve Blank

Steve Blank electrifies corporate audiences with actionable tips for how to drive continuous innovation sharing the same battle-tested processes that Lean Startups use to achieve success. Steve’s dynamic presentations draw standing-room crowds at startup conferences, corporate meetings, university commencements and similar events, where he offers insight on a variety of topics.

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Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen is an investor at Andreessen Horowitz, where he focused on consumer products, marketplaces, and bottoms up SaaS. Previously, he led growth teams at Uber. On his blog, he shares insights from these experiences. For the best information, subscribe to his newsletter.

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Hiten Shah

Has an email newsletter called SaaS Weekly where he shares the best links of the week for anyone interested in SaaS businesses.

Read blog


Patrick Vlaskovits

Patrick routinely speaks at technology conferences nationally and internationally, including SXSW, GROW Conference, The Turing Festival and The Lean Startup Conference. He serves as a mentor for 500 Startups seed fund and startup accelerator and is founder and CEO of Superpowered.

Read blog


Startup Marketing

From the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers.com and Qualaroo (until it was acquired), this blog offers a wealth of insights about marketing your startup.

Read blog


Venturehacks

Advice for startups from the co-founders of AngelList.

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1The Hustle

Daily newsletter of business and tech news read in 5 minutes or less.

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Exponential View

Reading Exponential View weekly is a mental exercise in understanding the present from a multidisciplinary perspective of economics, technology, philosophy, and business, in order to explain the future.

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Hacker newsletter

Since 2010, a weekly newsletter of the best articles on startups, technology, programming, and more. All links are curated by hand from Hacker News. Join 60,000+ other subscribers and don't miss another week.

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Benedict Evans

Weekly newsletter with business insights.

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UXdesign.cc

A weekly, self-funded newsletter that helps 130,200 designers stay in the know, be productive, and think more critically about their work.

Read blog


Find The Best Product Development Frameworks

A collection of resources and techniques to help you create better products.

Read blog


Smash Magazine

Founded in September 2006 in Germany, Smashing Magazine delivers reliable, useful, but most importantly practical articles to web designers and developers. We don’t care about trends; we care about things that work or fail in actual projects. We are — and always have been — independent. 12+ years, and still ongoing.

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1st Web Designer

The content you’ll find on this website has been created by web design professionals, for web design professionals. So whether you’re interested in learning more about web design or you want to contribute your work for the web design community’s edification, we have something for you.

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Tympanus

Codrops is a web design and development blog that publishes articles and tutorials about the latest web trends, techniques and new possibilities. The team of Codrops is dedicated to provide useful, inspiring and innovative content that is free of charge.

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Product Management articles on Medium

Always up to date with new articles published on the popular blogging platform, Medium, whenever an article is tagged with "product management."

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AirBNB Engineering Blog on Medium

The official engineering and data science blog og AirBNB.

Read blog


Harvard Business Review

From the minds at Harvard, this blog is full of knowledge from various industries.

Read blog


Articles

Some articles have been of particular value to me in shaping my way of thinking as a product manager. For an uptodate look at what I am reading most recently, check out my Pocket App RSS feed. Note that this feed contains all my saved articles, which also include travel-related things I am reading for trips I am planning ( I travel a lot).

Evidence Based Scheduling

The MVP is dead, long life to the MAP. (Minimum Awesome Product)

\#noprojects - If You Need to Start a Project, You’ve Already Failed

Good questions POs should be asking

Guide to Kano prioritization model

Action priority matrix

Article on making good decisions

Article on selling a vision

Riskiest Assumption Tests (vs MVPs)

Case study of scaling product management at dropbox

Another way of breaking down problems to determine and align on priority

SPIDR approach to splitting stories

The Principles of Service Design Thinking – Interaction Design Foundation.

Videos

TED Talks and other conference videos make for great evening viewing and at-home learning. Here are a few of my favorites.

Karl Groves — To Hell with performance

There are scores of concerns, both back-end and front-end, when considering performance. When it comes to accessibility, user performance is also a major concern and extends beyond things like perceived time. While perceived time is very important for UX, accessible user experience intersects performance in that it requires allowing the user to answer one core question as they work with the interface - "What is this thing, and what does it do". In this talk we'll talk about the intersections of UX, performance, and accessibility and how each contribute to an accessible user experience.


Brendon Burchard - High Performance Habits with Lewis Howes

Brendon is widely considered the world’s leading high performance coach (according to both Success Magazine and Oprah.com). He is also one of the most-watched, quoted and followed personal development trainers in history. He is a Top 100 Most Followed Public Figure on Facebook and his videos have been viewed more than 100 million times. More than 2,000,000 students have completed his online courses and video series. For these results, Oprah.com named him “one of the most successful online trainers in history.”


High Resolution

Bobby breaks down why the design industry has lost touch with customers and how specialized roles in design continue to fuel the problem. He also offers a mindset change to help your business in a BIG way this year.


Mike Locke

Highly innovative, passionate and successful senior UI/UX designer with high proficiencies in Visual UI Design, User Experience, Usability, Interaction Design, Information Architecture, Research & Analytics, XHTML/CSS and Strategy & Planning.


The Futur

Welcome to the Futur! The Futur of what? The Futur of education, design, business, learning... The Futur You! This is the future of online education for creative entrepreneurs.


A Brief Overview of the Scrum Framework

This short video provides a review of the Scrum Framework. Scrum is defined by its creators in the Scrum Guide which is the body of knowledge of Scrum.


Podcasts

For the commute to work or time at the gym, these podcasts offer really great insights to how other product managers approach their product challenges.

Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

A daily podcast for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches

Subscribe to podcast


Users Know

The podcast where two old ladies yell at each other about how to make products suck slightly less.

Subscribe to podcast


Design Details

A weekly conversation about design process and culture

Subscribe to podcast


Voice of Design

Having the conversations about design we wants to have, sometimes with guests. Hosted by Erika Hall and Mike Monteiro. You should listen.

Subscribe to podcast


Courses

More in-depth learning requires more effort, try a course (of course)!

Better User Stories w/ Mike Cohen

Learn Scrum and agile processes directly from Mike Cohn, one of the industry's most well respected Certified Scrum Trainers (CST). Mike Cohn is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile. He is a co-founder and former board member of the Scrum Alliance, and a co-founder of the non-profit Agile Alliance, home of the Agile Manifesto.

Learn more


Twitter

A few of the prolific twitter accounts for some product management thought-leaders.

Hunter Walk

You'll find me @homebrew, Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap. Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife.


Ryan Hoover

Founder of @ProductHunt, @WeekendFund investor. Working on something new @yourstacks. Real likes, no gimmicks.


Josh Elman

I love building products at Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Robinhood. Current VC/Board @Medium, @Mammothmedia, @DiscordApp. Also invested in @tiktok_us, @smartthings.


Ryan Singer

Head of Product Strategy at Basecamp. Author of "Shape Up." Focused on rigorous approaches to design, software product strategy, and the dynamics of demand.


Expa

Expa is a startup studio designed for entrepreneurs to create and launch new companies.


Jason Evanish

Customer driven product guy. Avid reader. Student of leadership @Get_Lighthouse. Getting better every day.


Sean Rose

Product at @slackhq and @box


Kenton Kivestu

I run @RocketBlocks. I like to sail & cook (but not simultaneously). Previously built products @Google, @Zynga @FlurryMobile. Will work 4 Sausage Egg McMuffins.


Ben Chestnut

CEO and co-founder of @mailchimp


Ian McAllister

Director, Amazon Day at @Amazon. Founder of @AmazonSmile. Former Director of Product at @Airbnb.


Joe Zadeh

Chief Stakeholder Officer @Airbnb, former head of Airbnb Experiences.


Pete Davies

Product @LinkedIn. Formerly @runhopinc @Medium @Automattic @TerraPass @BBCNews.


Dan Olsen

Author of the Lean Product Playbook, helping product teams as a Trainer, Consultant, Coach & Speaker. Host of monthly @leanprodmeetup.


Matt Schlicht

Helping @Shopify merchants grow w/ AI. CEO @OctaneAI (100% remote) - Forbes 30 Under 30 x2. Ex @Ustream . Fascinated by TikTok.


Fabien Marin

Product guy and entrepreneur willing to solve problems


Jared Spool

Maker of Awesomeness at @CenterCentre / @UIE. Helping orgs deliver well-designed products & services.


Des Traynor

Co-founder of @intercom.


Luke Wroblewski

Humanizing technology. Founded Polar (Google acquired) Bagcheck (Twitter acquired) Wrote Mobile First, Web Form Design, Site Seeing. Worked at Yahoo, eBay, NCSA.


Other

Some other random resources for product managers.

https://adele.uxpin.com/ - The repository of publicly available design systems and pattern libraries


http://ui-patterns.com/patterns - User Interface Design patterns are recurring solutions that solve common design problems. Design patterns are standard reference points for the experienced user interface designer.


https://uxresources.design/ - This website is an attempt at curating the most essential and reliable list of sources designers need to be aware of to keep up to date with our industry.


Inspiration and Ideas for Retros - Planning your next agile retrospective? Start with a random plan, change it to fit the team's situation, print it and share the URL. Or browse around for new ideas!



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