In an ever-evolving business landscape, the role of a product manager has never been more vital. They are the strategic gatekeepers, overseeing the development, market introduction, and ongoing enhancement of a company’s products. It’s a role that demands a unique blend of empathy, leadership, and technical understanding to effectively communicate with engineering teams. But where can one acquire such diverse skills?

The best product management books, brimming with insights from industry veterans, are the answer. They offer valuable perspectives, methodologies, and strategies that have proven effective in various sectors. From understanding customer behavior to crafting successful product roadmaps, these best product management books are a treasure trove of knowledge, helping product managers hone their skills and navigate the complexities of their roles.

Key Takeaways

  • Product management requires knowledge across multiple disciplines, and curated books provide valuable insights, strategies and practical advice to navigate the vast and complex domain.
  • Must-read books for product managers cover a breadth of topics, from creating habit-forming products and understanding user experience to efficient product development and leadership.
  • Enhancing product management skills doesn’t end with books; blogs, podcasts, and online courses are additional resources that provide insights and trends within the industry.

Top 10 Product Management Books

Top 10 Product Management Books

The realm of product management is vast, encompassing numerous disciplines from market research and user experience design to data analysis and business strategy. As such, it can be daunting for both new and experienced product managers to navigate. A well-curated collection of books, providing insights from different angles, can serve as a compass, guiding product managers on their journey, ensuring their product managers focus remains sharp and effective.

Each book on our list brings unique insights and value to the PM role. They delve into various aspects of product management, offering practical advice, innovative strategies, and valuable lessons from seasoned professionals. Without further ado, here are the top 10 product management books that every PM should have on their reading list.

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan

Keeping pace with the rapid and constant evolution of tech companies demands an in-depth grasp of product strategies and development. That’s where Marty Cagan’s “Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love” comes in. As a renowned product owner and expert in the field, Cagan’s insights are invaluable for any product manager operating in the tech space.

“Inspired” offers a deep dive into creating successful tech products that customers love. This book arms product managers with the knowledge to steer through the challenging tech landscape by concentrating on effective product strategies, development, and product marketing. The insights from this book, recommended by industry professionals, could be the difference between a good and a great product.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Having learnt how to create tech products customers love, the next step is figuring out how to integrate these products into our customers’ daily routines. Enter “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products” by Nir Eyal. This book elucidates why some products are more successful than others, offering valuable insights for product managers across industries.

Eyal emphasizes the importance of understanding customer feedback and behavior to create habit-forming products. The book not only enables product managers to prioritize their customers but also furnishes them with the tools to develop products that connect with users. And the proof of its effectiveness? Asaf Ronat, vice president of product at Pixellot, states that it provided a clear and engaging high-level target for each new product initiation, making it an invaluable resource for product managers.

The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

In the realm of entrepreneurship, innovation reigns supreme. In his book, “The Lean Startup,” Eric Ries presents the concept of continuous innovation, offering advice to product managers on the effective development and expansion of products. It serves as a lean product playbook for startups and established businesses alike, guiding them in the journey of building and scaling products efficiently.

Ries stresses the importance of setting precise goals and aligning them with the company’s business strategy and desired outcomes. This approach ensures efficiency in product development and expansion, leading to successful product outcomes. It’s a must-read for PMs looking to build products that not only meet market needs but also drive business growth.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, is no stranger to the ups and downs of running a business. In his book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” he shares his personal experiences on the challenges of establishing and managing a business, providing a unique perspective on product management.

The book is a treasure trove of insights, including:

  • Maintaining authenticity when managing teams
  • The difficulty of hiring the right individuals at the right time
  • The significance of a well-defined product strategy in fostering a healthy team culture.

For aspiring product managers, this book offers a glimpse into the realities of the business world, equipping them with the knowledge to navigate potential challenges and lead their teams to success.

Measure What Matters

In the realm of product management, setting and measuring key objectives is crucial in driving product success. This is the central idea behind John Doerr’s book, “Measure What Matters.” It introduces the concept of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a powerful goal-setting framework for organizations, including product management teams.

Doerr emphasizes the significance of establishing meaningful and action-oriented Objectives, and utilizing Key Results to measure and track progress towards those Objectives. By implementing this methodology, businesses can ensure focus on important issues throughout the organization, ultimately helping them achieve product market fit and better understand their target market.

Escaping the Build Trap

Escaping the Build Trap by Melissa Perri

Melissa Perri’s “Escaping the Build Trap” is a game-changer for product managers. It highlights the significance of user experience and provides valuable insights to steer clear of common pitfalls in product management. The book is a testament to the importance of a comprehensive understanding of how users interact with products.

As Alex Freemon, an experienced Product Manager at Microsoft, puts it, “Escaping the Build Trap” is a book that should be revisited annually by individuals aspiring to excel as Product Managers. Perri’s insights into user experience and product management make it a must-read for anyone looking to deliver products that truly resonate with users.

User Story Mapping

In product management, understanding the user’s journey is crucial. Jeff Patton’s “User Story Mapping” provides a valuable resource for understanding and employing user story mapping, a technique that helps product managers visualize the user’s experience and design better products.

The book offers a unique perspective on product development, emphasizing the importance of seeing the product from the user’s point of view. It’s a resource that not only helps product managers understand their users better but also equips them with the tools to create products that meet user needs effectively and efficiently, ultimately shaping a strong product vision.

Product Leadership

Product leadership goes beyond merely managing a product; it involves leading a team of product team members towards a common vision. “Product Leadership,” a guide by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw, provides insights on successful product leadership and the management of product teams.

The book delves into various aspects of product leadership, including:

  • Establishing product principles
  • Embodying the traits of effective product leaders
  • The importance of continuous learning
  • Embracing a mindset conducive to product leadership

For anyone looking to excel in a product leadership role, this book is a must-read.


Solving big problems and testing new ideas need not take months. Jake Knapp’s “Sprint” offers a unique approach to tackling big challenges and testing new ideas in just five days. It’s a resource that provides a practical and efficient method for addressing significant issues, making it an invaluable tool for product managers.

“Sprint” presents a structured five-day process comprising:

  1. Mapping
  2. Sketching
  3. Deciding
  4. Prototyping
  5. Testing

The product management process fosters effective idea generation and decision making in project management, providing product managers with a robust framework for product development, supported by the product development team.

Whether you’re introducing a new product or enhancing an existing one, “Sprint” offers practical insights that can help streamline your product development process.

Cracking the PM Interview

The path to securing a product management role can be challenging, but with the right resources, it doesn’t have to be. Enter “Cracking the PM Interview” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell. This book provides a comprehensive guide to preparing for a PM job interview, offering a range of strategies and frameworks to help aspiring product managers secure a role in any company.

“Cracking the PM Interview” not only gives an overview of the PM role but also details the types of questions one might encounter in a PM job interview. It’s a resource that can significantly enhance your interview readiness, helping you make a lasting impression and secure your dream PM role.

Building Your Product Management Library

Building Your Product Management Library

It’s vital for any PM to cultivate a varied collection of product management books. Each book offers a unique perspective, providing insights from different angles and enriching your knowledge base. Whether you’re just starting your PM journey or are an industry veteran, a well-curated product management library can significantly enhance your skills and decision-making capabilities.

Including books like “The 20 Most-Read Books by Top Product Managers” and “A Library of the Best Product Management Books for Product Managers” in your library can provide you with a comprehensive overview of the PM role. By exploring these resources, you can gain valuable insights and strategies that can help you excel in your role and drive successful product outcomes.

How to Get the Most Out of Product Management Books

Product management books serve as more than simply sources of information; they act as navigational aids through the intricate world of product management. How, then, can you maximize these resources? The answer lies in reading effectively and putting the acquired knowledge into practice.

A recommended reading technique involves pausing after a section or chapter, looking away, and trying to recall the content you’ve just read. Additionally, taking comprehensive and valuable notes can significantly enhance your learning experience. By revisiting the book’s summary and key points, you can reinforce your memory and ensure that the knowledge gained sticks with you long after you’ve finished reading the book.

Additional Resources for Product Managers

Though books make excellent resources for product managers, they’re not the sole source of knowledge. There are numerous other resources, like blogs, podcasts, and online courses, that can further enhance your product management knowledge and skills.

Blogs like Product Coalition, SVPG Insights Blog, and Lenny’s Newsletter by Lenny Rachitsky offer valuable insights into the latest trends and strategies in product management. Podcasts like Lenny’s Podcast with Lenny Rachitsky, The Product Manager Podcast hosted by Hannah Clark, and The Product Podcast provide practical advice and tips from seasoned professionals. Meanwhile, online courses like Udacity’s Become a Product Manager Nanodegree, Udemy’s Product Management 101, and Boston University’s Digital Product Management MicroMasters Program on edX can help you hone your skills and enhance your knowledge base.


In the dynamic world of product management, continuous learning is vital. Product management books, along with other resources like blogs, podcasts, and online courses, provide valuable insights and strategies that can help you navigate the complexities of the PM role and excel in your career.

Whether you’re just starting your journey as a product manager or are a seasoned professional, investing time in reading these books and exploring these resources can significantly enhance your skills and knowledge. So, equip yourself with these resources, and let the learning begin!

Frequently Asked Questions

What a product manager does?

A product manager is responsible for prioritizing a product’s release course and product life cycle, coordinating necessary processes, defining the product vision, researching customer data, and guiding teams to improve product features. They identify customer needs, articulate success for a product, and rally a team to turn the vision into a reality.

What are the 3 major areas of product management?

The three major areas of product management are product discovery, product planning, and product development. These areas are key elements in the framework created by product strategist Neal Cabage.

What is the main purpose of product management?

The main purpose of product management is to develop new products that are more competitive and provide better value to customers. It also involves defining a bold product vision and strategy, deeply understanding customers and the market, and leading the product team to make progress against the product roadmap.

What are the 5 P’s of product management?

The 5 P’s of product management are product, price, promotion, place, and people. These areas require decisions that are subject to internal and external marketing environments.

What role do product management books play in a PM’s career?

Product management books offer valuable insights, methodologies, and practical advice that can enhance a PM’s skills and help them excel in their career. They provide strategies to navigate the complexities of the role.

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