Product Management

These Product Management Books Should Live on Every PM’s Bookshelf

These Product Management Books Should Live on Every PM’s Bookshelf
By Malte Scholz
Contents
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The world of product management is constantly shifting, and the best product managers know they can’t rest on their laurels. Part of the product manager’s job is to keep up with emerging trends and explore new possibilities to improve workflow and product quality. 

Learning about the product management scene online can be helpful, but with so much to sift through, it can be hard to know where to start.

Sometimes, having a trusted book as your guide is the better option. So, let’s take a look at some of the best product management books for PMs of all levels! 

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Best books to prep for product manager interviews

Let’s start at the beginning. You already know the basics, and you’ve secured an interview for a product manager role, but you want more knowledge to push you over the top. These are our picks for nailing your interview:

Cracking the PM interview

Authors Gayle McDowell and Jackie Bavaro have an incredible collective resume featuring Google, Microsoft, Asana, and Apple. With such an impressive career behind them, you can be sure that this book will be giving you top-notch advice from people who know all there is to know.

This book doesn’t just help you secure a career in product management. It shows you exactly what it takes to be great from day one.

Swipe to Unlock

If you’re coming into the interview with little to no experience in product management, this book is for you. 

Authored by three product managers at Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, Swipe to Unlock is a comprehensive guide on the fundamental concepts of technology and business strategy. While this book isn’t designed to directly prepare for an interview, it’s packed full of valuable knowledge broken down into a simple, easy-to-understand format. It’s a great start on your journey towards product management, but pair it with some of the other books on this list to get a complete picture. 

Decode and Conquer

Preparation is the key when interviewing for any position. Decode and Conquer covers a few simple frameworks to help newcomers get to grips with product management. This book's biggest advantage is the number of practice questions it offers. It helps you get a feel for how a product manager interview will go, so you can confidently walk into the real thing. 

Best books for advanced product managers

Whether you’ve been a product manager for a year or a decade, there’s always scope to improve. Here are some great books to help you level up:

Do the Work!

If you’re familiar with Steven Pressfield, you’ll have a good sense of what you’re getting when picking up Do the Work! 

This book won’t give you a brand new framework to try out, but if you’re looking for a book to — as the amazon reviews say — give you a kick up the backside, this is a must-read. It demonstrates how to shake off the cobwebs, stop focusing on researching new ways to work, and actually do the work!

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

It’s not often that a book can boast recommendations from Bill Gates and Former Vice President Al Gore, yet that’s just what legendary venture capitalist John Doerr achieved with his #1 New York Times Bestseller, Measure What Matters

This book focuses on the power of objectives and key results (OKRs) and details how they have helped tech giants such as Google and Intel achieve substantial growth.

Evergreen: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty that Keeps Your Business Thriving

Product management requires a strong focus on the customer. They are the driving force when it comes to achieving success. However, some product managers forget to include the customer in their processes. 

Evergreen looks to overhaul your marketing strategies. The book demonstrates the value of engaging your existing customers rather than focusing on attracting new customers to build loyalty. This is great for product managers looking to improve their product line to add value to existing users.

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

We have billions and billions of data points from an incredible range of sources in the digital age. This can be a terrifying prospect for the person who needs to look through all that data to find the valuable insights you need. 

Naked Statistics takes a laid-back approach to data processing. Author Charles Wheelan fills the book with humor while breaking down key concepts such as inference, correlation, and regression analysis. Trust us; you won’t want to put it down!

Top product management books for 2022

Finally, let’s look at some books that are suitable for anyone who wants to be a leading expert in the world of product management, including some you may not have seen before:

Cracking the PM Career: The Skills, Frameworks, and Practices to Become a Great Product Manager (2021)

The authors of Cracking the PM Interview are back with a complete guide to the skills, frameworks, and practices to help you become a great product manager.

This book is more suited for newcomers to the product management world as it deals with many of the fundamental aspects of the job. If you’ve read Cracking the PM Interview and got the job, this is the book you need to succeed!

Product Management's Sacred Seven (2020)

From the authors of Swipe to Unlock, this book looks at the vital knowledge and skills required to become a world-class product manager. Pairing this book with Swipe to Unlock is a surefire way to become a great product manager.

Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (2020)

Empowered looks at how the top tech companies use innovation to achieve success and compares their methods to companies that simply go with the flow. It teaches us to worry less about who we hire and focus on empowering teams to push innovation. 

Of course, the learning process never ends. When you’re done with your reading list, you can always get more top tips and key insights right here at airfocus!

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