40 Product Management Books That Should Be on Your Reading List

Every product manager tends to have slightly different attributions depending on product they’re working on. We get it. But as you advance in your career, you’re likely to stumble upon diverse scenarios and challenges, often the same ones your peers have encountered. Still, product managers play a key role in the success of a product. So naturally, keeping up with new trends and changing demands in your industry is a must.


Whether you’re looking to switch careers, polish up on some skills, or just become better at managing your own product, we’ve got all the must-read books. Here are some of the best product management books for every need and why they’re worth a read:

Inspired - by Marty Cagan

Cagan does an excellent job of articulating the role of product manager and what it takes to be successful in the role. He also provides a framework for thinking about product development that is both simple and effective. The book is packed with case studies and real-world examples of how great product managers have approached various challenges.

Quote worth remembering: “Software projects can be thought of as having two distinct stages: figuring out what to build (build the right product), and building it (building the product right). The first stage is dominated by product discovery, and the second stage is all about execution.”

What others are saying: "INSPIRED was an invaluable resource to me and the Heroku team when we were scaling through the challenging 50-150 employee phase. This book should be on the shelf of anyone in a product leadership position.” - Adam Wiggins, Co-Founder, Heroku

Continuous Discovery Habits - by Teresa Torres

If you're looking for a book that will teach you how to be more innovative and productive, then you should definitely read Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres. In her book, Teresa outlines a framework that anyone can use to become more successful in their field. She provides detailed instructions on how to identify and pursue opportunities, as well as how to overcome common obstacles that stand in the way of progress.

Quote worth remembering: “Shifting to an outcome mindset is harder than it looks. We spend most of our time talking about outputs. So, it’s not surprising that we tend to confuse the two. Even when teams intend to choose an outcome, they often fall into the trap of selecting an output. I see teams set their outcome as “Launch an Android app” instead of “Increase mobile engagement” or “Get to feature parity on the new tech stack” instead of “Transition customer to the new tech stack.”

What others are saying: The book is one of the most frequently mentioned ones for becoming better in a PM role.

Dare to Lead - by Brené Brown

Dare to Lead is an invaluable resource for any product manager who wants to become a better leader. It is packed with useful information and provides insight into the mind of a successful leader. If you are looking for a way to improve your leadership skills, then this book is definitely worth reading.

Quote worth remembering: “The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it's about the courage to show up when you can't predict or control the outcome.”

Why you should read this book: By reading Dare to Lead, you will gain a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful leader and how to create a productive, positive work environment. In addition, you will learn how to communicate effectively with your team and build trust within your organization.

The Product Book - by Josh Anon and Carlos Gonzalez De Villaumbrosia

Whether you're a seasoned product manager or just starting out, this book is a must-read. It's packed with actionable advice and real-world examples that will help you take your products to the next level. If you're looking to improve your product development skills, this book is definitely for you.

Quote worth remembering: “Product managers are like the conductor in an orchestra. The conductor never makes a sound but is responsible for making the orchestra as a whole sound awesome to deliver a great performance to the audience.”

Why you should read this book: The book provides a comprehensive overview of product development, from idea generation to launch and beyond. It covers all the important aspects of product development, including user research, design, engineering, and marketing.

Importantly, The Product Book is not just a theoretical treatise on product development. The authors have considerable experience in the field, and they share plenty of practical advice and tips throughout the book.

When Coffee & Kale Compete - by Alan Klement

An entertaining and engaging read that will keep you hooked from start to finish. In addition, the book provides valuable insights into the world of business, products, and marketing, which can be applied to your own professional life.

Quote worth remembering: “We can’t build the products of tomorrow when we limit ourselves to the needs and expectations associated with the products of today. Instead, we should focus on what never changes for customers: their desire for progress.”

Why you should read this book: When Coffee & Kale Compete is an eye-opening read that will leave you questioning many of the choices you make in your day-to-day life. If you're looking for a way to improve your health and help the planet, this book is a great place to start.

Secrets of Closing the Sale - by Zig Ziglar

If you're looking for a book that will teach you how to be more innovative and productive, then you should definitely read Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres. In her book, Teresa outlines a framework that anyone can use to become more successful in their field. She provides detailed instructions on how to identify and pursue opportunities, as well as how to overcome common obstacles that stand in the way of progress.

Quote worth remembering: “You can change everything about your business by changing your thinking about your business.”

Why you should read this book: As a product manager, it's important to have strong sales skills. After all, you're responsible for driving revenue and growth for your company. One of the best ways to improve your sales skills is by reading Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar.

Product-Led Growth - by Wes Bush

You'll learn why product-led growth is the future of business, and how to make your product the driving force behind your company's growth. You'll also discover the importance of creating a seamless customer experience, and how to use data and analytics to drive decision making.

Quote worth remembering: “Product-led companies flip the traditional sales model on its head. Instead of helping buyers go through a long, drawn-out sales cycle, they give the buyer the “keys” to their product. The company, in turn, focuses on helping the buyer improve their life. Upgrading to a paid plan becomes a no-brainer.”

What others are saying: “I hope that no one else reads Product-led Growth. It gives away way too much of the modern SaaS go-to-market playbook and makes it too easy for everyone to grok.” -  Peter Caputa IV, CEO, Databox

The Mom Test: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value - by Rob Fitzpatrick

If you're looking to improve your product management skills, The Mom Test is a great book to read. It covers everything from how to scope and prioritize features to how to get feedback from users. It's an easy read that's packed with useful information, and it will help you build better products that create real value for your users.

Quote worth remembering: “Learning that your beliefs are wrong is frustrating, but it’s progress. It’s bringing you ever closer to the truth of a real problem and a good market.”

Why you should read this book: The Mom Test is an insightful and actionable book that provides valuable insights into the product management process. It covers a wide range of topics, from product discovery to product delivery, and provides readers with a wealth of practical tips and advice. In addition, the book is well-written and easy to read, making it an enjoyable and informative read for anyone interested in product management.

Outcomes Over Output - by Josh Seiden

The book is filled with stories about how he created these products, but more importantly Josh shares what he learned along the way. He talks about why it's important to focus on outcomes over outputs. He also talks about how to hire great people, build great teams, set goals with your team members and get them aligned with your vision.

Quote worth remembering: “These questions are my magic questions for finding outcomes. What are the user and customer behaviors that drive business results? How can we get people to do more of those behaviors? How do we know that we’re right?”

What others are saying:

Crossing the Chasm - by Geoffrey A. Moore

his book is a classic in the product management world. It describes the challenges that a new technology has to go through in order to become a mainstream success. It is about how to get from the early adopters and innovators to the early majority and beyond.

Quote worth remembering: “Chasm crossing is not the end, but rather the beginning, of mainstream market development.”

Why you should read this book: The book also takes a deep dive into three types of buyers: innovators, early adopters, and pragmatists or mainstream buyers. Each type has different expectations from products and different buying processes.

The Making of a Manager - by Julie Zhuo

In this book, Julie Zhuo shares her experience on how she became a manager and the mistakes she made along the way. She also shares the lessons that she learned from her mistakes and the things that helped her become a better manager.

Quote worth remembering: “The job of a manager . . . is to turn one person’s particular talent into performance.”

Why you should read this book: The book explains how managers become successful and the skills they must learn along the way. It provides insights into how managers can improve their performance by becoming more effective communicators and motivators. Product management is a team sport and this book will help you be an effective player on your team.

Business Model Generation - by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

This book provides a great overview of different business models and offers insights on how to create a new model that works for your business. It's full of helpful diagrams and charts that make complex concepts easier to understand, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to start or grow their business.

Quote worth remembering: “Telling a story that illustrates how your business model solves a customer problem is a clear way to introduce listeners to the idea. Stories give you the “buy-in” needed to subsequently explain your model in detail.”

Why you should read this book: The book helps readers understand the importance of building the right product, and not just any product. Escaping the Build Trap is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about product development and how to build successful products.

Measure What Matters - by John Doerr

Doerr draws on his own experiences at Google and other companies to show how these concepts can be successfully applied. This makes the book an essential read for anyone wanting to improve their organization's performance.

Quote worth remembering: “An effective goal-setting system starts with disciplined thinking at the top, with leaders who invest the time and energy to choose what counts.”

What others are saying: Umar Shahzad, Product & Growth, Ricult, classifies this book in his top 10 books everyone in product management should read.

Escaping the Build Trap - by Melissa Perri

The book provides valuable insights into the world of product development. It helps readers understand the importance of building the right product, and not just any product. It’s full of helpful case studies that make it easier for readers to relate to the concepts discussed in the book.

Quote worth remembering: “Kill the bad ideas before they take up too much time and energy from the teams and before you get hooked on them. Instead, fall in love with the problem you are solving.”

What others are saying:

Drive by Daniel H. Pink

Drive by Daniel H. Pink is a great book that can help you better understand what motivates people. The book dives into the science of motivation and how to apply it in the workplace. It is a must-read for any product manager who wants to create products that users will love.

Quote worth remembering: “Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon.”

Why you should read this book: Product managers should read Drive by Daniel H. Pink because it provides insights into what motivates people. The book discusses the importance of autonomy, mastery, and purpose in motivating people to do their best work. It also debunks the idea that financial incentives are the primary motivator for most people. You can use this information to create work environments and incentive structures that will motivate your teams to do their best work.

The Lean Startup - by Eric Ries

Ries provides a step-by-step guide on how to create and sustain a successful business, while also reducing the risk of failure. He discusses the importance of "validated learning," whereby businesses constantly test and iterate their products and services in order to ensure they are providing value to customers.

Quote worth remembering: “As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek.”

What others are saying: Ben Meer classifies this book on his personal MBA book list as a must-read for Entrepreneurship.

The North Star Playbook - by John Cutler and Jason Scherschligt

The North Star Playbook covers everything from setting priorities and defining success metrics to organizing teams and dealing with stakeholders. Whether you're just starting out in your role or you've been managing products for years, you'll find valuable insights in this book.

Quote worth remembering: “Your North Star should be something you believe you can influence or do something about. This means it shouldn’t be a measure of a broader market trend or reflect real-world realities that would be true whether your product existed or not.”

Why you should read this book: The North Star Playbook is essential reading for product managers as it provides a detailed framework for thinking about and managing product development. It also lays out a clear process for taking a product from idea to launch, making use of lessons learned from real-world product development projects.

Cracking the PM Interview - by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

McDowell draws on her years of experience as a former Google engineer and interviews coach to give readers an inside look at what top tech companies are really looking for in a PM candidate.

Quote worth remembering: “One reason product management is such an appealing career is you get to sit at the intersection of technology, business, and design.”

Why you should read this book: Beyond providing helpful tips and sample questions, the book also includes in-depth case studies that walk readers through each stage of the interview process. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, Cracking the PM Interview is essential reading for anyone who wants to score their dream job in tech.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things - by Ben Horowitz

If you're looking for a book that will teach you how to be a successful entrepreneur or think like one, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz is a great choice. Horowitz candidly shares the lessons he's learned from both his successes and failures.

Quote worth remembering: “Build a culture that rewards—not punishes—people for getting problems into the open where they can be solved.”

What others are saying

Contagious: Why Things Catch On - by Jonah Berger

The book is based on Jonah Berger's extensive research on social influence and viral marketing. It offers a practical guide for product managers who want to create products that are more likely to catch on.

Quote worth remembering: “Making things more observable makes them easier to imitate, which makes them more likely to become popular.”

Why you should read this book: Berger draws on a wealth of case studies to show that there are six main factors that make things contagious: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value, and stories. By understanding these factors, product managers can create products that are more likely to be shared and used by consumers.

The Principles of Product Development Flow - by Donald G. Reinertsen

This is definitely one of the best books on project management. It covers topics such as how to get things done faster, why you should build small batches, and how to avoid getting stuck in the mud. It'll help project management professionals understand what makes a good process that can be implemented on a large scale.

Quote worth remembering: “In product development, our greatest waste is not unproductive engineers, but work products sitting idle in process queues.”

Why you should read this book: The book is written in an easy-to-understand manner and uses plenty of diagrams to illustrate its points. If you want to learn about product development from scratch, this is the book for you!

Shape Up - by Ryan Singer

The book covers the basics of what it takes to be a good product manager: getting into the mindset of your customer, knowing the difference between features and benefits, developing good relationships with other departments and stakeholders, and how to run effective meetings with your team members.

Quote worth remembering: “We aren’t giving the teams absolute freedom to invent a solution from scratch. We’ve done the shaping. We’ve set the boundaries. Now we are going to trust the team to fill in the outline from the pitch with real design decisions and implementation.”

Why you should read this book: The book is based on the premise that the best way to build products is to start with a clear understanding of the problem you're trying to solve, and then focus on delivering the simplest possible solution. This approach leads to better products that are easier to build and maintain.

Sprint - by Jake Knapp

The book offers a framework for creating actionable plans and making sure everyone on your team is moving in the same direction. Product managers should read it as a go-to guide for any process-driven team looking to get stuff done faster.

Quote worth remembering: “Believe in your Highlight: It is worth prioritizing over random disruption.”

What others are saying:

Strategize - by Roman Pichler

Roman Pichler's Strategize is a must-read for product managers. In this book, Roman provides an excellent framework for creating and executing on your product strategy. The book is specific to product management, but the concepts are applicable to any company or industry where strategy is important.

Quote worth remembering: “The product strategy describes how the long-term goal is attained; it includes the product’s value proposition, market, key features, and business goals. The product roadmap shows how the product strategy is put into action by stating specific releases with dates, goals, and features.”

What others are saying:

Thinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel Kahneman

The New York Times bestseller "Thinking, Fast and Slow" will change the way you think about thinking. Daniel Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast, intuitive judgment, and delineates the profound effects of slow, deliberative thinking.

Quote worth remembering: “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”

Why you should read this book: This book is a great introduction to behavioral economics and explains the concepts of loss aversion, framing, anchoring, and availability bias. It also introduces Prospect Theory and its implications for economic decisions. Kahneman walks you through his research on how these biases alter our decision-making.

Product Leadership - by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walking

If you're looking for a book that will teach you everything you need to know about product leadership, you should definitely read Product Leadership.

Quote worth remembering: “A great leader almost always has great management skills… A product manager may be a good or bad leader, but a good product leader must be a good product manager too.”

Why you should read this book: This book is an essential read for anyone who wants to improve their product leadership skills. It's filled with actionable advice and real-world examples, so you can immediately start putting what you learn into practice. If you want to take your career to the next level, then this is the book for you.

Radical Focus - by Christina Wodtke

The idea behind the book is simple: Most people have too much on their plates and aren't focusing on what truly matters. If you want to be successful, you need to be clear on what really matters, get rid of distractions, and spend more time doing things that lead to success.

Quote worth remembering: “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what you need done and let them surprise you.”

What others are saying:

Strong Product People - by Petra Wille

In this project management book, Petra Wille offers a holistic perspective on product management. She explains how to use creativity to create new products and services, and how to manage the process of continuous improvement.

Quote worth remembering: “One of the most pervasive myths in management is that it’s your job as a manager to motivate your employees, most often by offering them incentives such as rewards and recognition, or — what I consider to be more helpful — by ensuring employee involvement and empowerment. I personally believe that you don’t need to motivate people — they are already motivated when they show up for work each day. They have joined your team or your organization for a reason. What you do need to do as a manager is to avoid demotivating your people.”

What others are saying:

Zag - by Marty Neumeier

"Zag" is a great book for any product manager who wants to be more creative. It's a short read that goes into detail about the process of being innovative and creative. Neumeier talks about how important it is to be able to look at things from different perspectives, which is something I've always struggled with.

Quote worth remembering: “Today’s real competition doesn’t come from other companies but from the extreme clutter of the marketplace.”

What others are saying:

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t - by James C. Collins

The book provides an in-depth analysis of what separates successful companies from unsuccessful ones. It offers valuable insights into how to make any company more successful. and is a must-read for any manager who wants to take their company to the next level.

Quote worth remembering: “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

Why you should read this book: Good to Great can help inspire you to take your own business to the next level. Seeing how other companies have overcome challenges and achieved greatness can motivate you to do the same for your own business.

Product Roadmaps Relaunched - by C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, Evan Ryan, Michael Connors

The product management book discusses the importance of customer feedback and how to use it to improve your product roadmap. In addition, the book contains a wealth of information on how to effectively communicate your product roadmap to stakeholders. 

Quote worth remembering: “Your product roadmap should slot right in between your company vision and your more detailed development, release, and operational plans.”

Why you should read this book: This book will teach you how to create a product roadmap that can help your company achieve its goals. You will be able to gain insights on how to effectively deal with change, plan for the future, and set direction for your business. Overall, Product Roadmaps Relaunched is an essential read for anyone who is responsible for setting direction for a product.

Hooked - by Nir Eyal

If you're looking for a great product management book that will change the way you think about marketing and product design, then you need to read Hooked by Nir Eyal. In this book, Eyal reveals the step-by-step process that any business can use to create products that are impossible to resist.

Quote worth remembering: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” 

What others are saying:

The Lean Product Playbook - by Dan Olsen

You'll learn how to validate your ideas, how to get feedback from customers, and how to make your product more user-friendly. In addition, the book provides a great framework for thinking about product development, which can be extremely helpful when you're trying to solve complex problems.

Quote worth remembering: “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time or energy to get there.”

What others are saying:

The $100 Startup - by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup is perfect for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting their own business but didn't know where to begin. Guillebeau's lighthearted and accessible writing style makes the book enjoyable to read, even for those who aren't familiar with the business world.

Quote worth remembering: “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

Why you should read this book: One of the biggest reasons to read The $100 Startup is that it debunks the myth that you need a lot of money to start a business. Guillebeau shows that you can start a successful business on a shoestring budget. This is inspiring and empowering for anyone who has ever had an entrepreneurial dream but didn't think it was possible due to a lack of funds.

Start with WHY - by Simon Sinek

Sinek starts off by explaining that most people operate from the outside in - they start with what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. Whereas successful individuals and organizations operate from the inside out - they start with WHY.

Quote worth remembering: “Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.”

What others are saying:

Decisive - by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The book is full of interesting stories and examples that illustrate the principles of good decision-making. Reading Decisive will help you better understand the decisions that other people make, which can be useful in both personal and professional contexts.

Quote worth remembering: “Multitracking keeps egos in check. If your boss has three pet projects in play, chances are she’ll be open to unvarnished feedback about them, but if there’s only one pet project, it will be harder for her to hear the truth. Her ego will be perfectly conflated with the project.”

Why you should read this book: The authors provide a step-by-step guide on how to overcome common decision-making obstacles, so you can start making smarter choices right away. In addition, the book is extremely well written and easy to understand.

Built to Last - by James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras

Built to Last so special is that it isn't just a book about theory. It's based on years of research and real-world observations. Collins and Porras spent six years investigating and interviewing executives from their case study companies, and their insights are truly invaluable.

Quote worth remembering: “Visionary companies are so clear about what they stand for and what they’re trying to achieve that they simply don’t have room for those unwilling or unable to fit their exacting standards.”

Why you should read this book: One of the things that makes Built to Last so great is that it is based on real research. Collins and Porras studied 18 different companies that have been around for a long time, and they found some commonalities between them. These companies were not only successful, but they also had a lasting impact on the world.

Empowered - by Marty Cagan

This book is crammed full of useful information and advice on how to be successful in product development. Cagan really knows his stuff, and he writes in an engaging and accessible way. Whether you're a seasoned product development professional or just starting out, you'll find plenty of valuable insights in this book.

Quote worth remembering: “Product teams can only be accountable to the results if they are empowered to figure out a solution that works and if they are the ones to come up with the key results.”

What others are saying:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable - by Patrick Lencioni

Lencioni uses a fable format to explore the five dysfunctions that can plague a team: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.

Quote worth remembering: “Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”

Why you should read this book: As a product manager, you need to be able to build trust within your team, facilitate healthy conflict resolution, keep everyone focused on the company's goals, and hold individuals accountable for their performance. This book can help you develop the necessary people skills to be an effective product manager.

The Jobs To Be Done Playbook - by Jim Kalbach

The Jobs To Be Done Playbook walks readers through the process of understanding what "job" their product or service needs to do for the customer, and then aligning all aspects of the business to support that goal.

Quote worth remembering: “People employ products and services to get their job done, not to interact with your organization.”

Why you should read this book: This framework can help product managers better understand their customers, what they are trying to accomplish, and how to create products that meet their needs. The book is packed with useful information, tools, and case studies you can use to improve their performance.

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