March 20, 2020

6 Must-Read Books for Aspiring Product Managers

Are you excited by the idea of a career rooted in leadership, technical management, and communication? We’ve got good news. Product management positions offer professionals the opportunity to exercise all of those skills by not only overseeing technology product life cycles, but also helping companies build digital products that impact others. If those goals sound like something you could get behind, then you might be well suited for a career in product management.

Today, we’re sharing six books to read if you’re considering becoming, or already in pursuit of landing a product management role.

1. Do the Work! by Steven Pressfield

Get insight on how to produce great work. According to Steven Pressfield, it’s not about having more ideas, it’s about doing the work. This book offers advice on how to conduct solid research, build strong processes, and to successfully ship products.

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

If you’re going to be a successful product manager, you’ll need to to make sure the products you contribute to are being built in a way that will keep users hooked. Understanding “habit-forming products” is key to understanding how digital products influence behavior, buying power, and conversions. Nir Eyal’s book offers an in-depth analysis on how products keep users coming back for more.

3. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds

As a product manager, the way you communicate your strategy is crucial. Presentation Zen offers readers advice on how to design and present stellar presentations. Gar Reynolds contends that through simplicity and storytelling, you’ll be able to influence your team and show them your thoughts in a compelling way.

4. The Art of Product Management: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Innovator by Rich Mironov

If you want the inside scoop on the art of product management, look no further. This book offers readers the perspective of a Silicon Valley innovator who knows how to conceptualize, build, and ship amazing products. If that weren’t enticing enough, Rich Mironv also shares templates used to create products that sell, and advice on how to solve customer problems.

5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

This book not only walks readers through how to build a startup, but also offers great information on product management. Learn from one of Silicon Valley’s prized entrepreneurs, Ben Horowitz, as he shares his advice for tough problems that occur when building and running a tech company. As a fun twist, he often uses music lyrics to explain some of his insights.

6. The Product Manager's Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed as a Product Manager by Steven Haines

The name says it all. Simply put, Steven Haine’s book offers a survival guide to the field of product management, a blueprint to surviving and thriving in the industry. He shares best practices, how to land a job in the field, and how to perform well in your role.

Interested in product management? Check out Thinkful’s Product Management Flex course.


This post was sponsored by Thinkful. To learn more about Thinkful, visit www.thinkful.com/ or check out their reviews on SwitchUp.

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