Updated: April 6, 2023 - 5 min read
We’ve already been through our top picks for the 20 best books for Product Managers, but what happens when you don’t have the time for a 400+ page book?
This time, we’ve picked out our favorite free eBooks for Product Managers. Don’t be deceived by how short they are, they’re all packed full of insights and useful information for PMs. They’re accessible and digestible, and they were written to make you a better product professional. Yes, really. You!
1. When Coffee and Kale Compete
Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) might not be the most glamorous aspect of Product Management, but you’d be surprised at how interesting Alan Klement’s When Coffee and Kale Compete makes it.
But it’s about more than just JTBD. This book tells you how to build products with compelling stories that your customers actually want to buy. It’s about helping companies to reduce waste, increase profits, and make the world better with great products. Isn’t that what every Product Manager wants?
2. The Data-Driven Product Manager
Toucan Toco X Product School bring you the ultimate guide for making the most of your data environment, and transforming how you manage products so that you achieve optimal alignment between user needs and product delivery.
You’ll learn how to find hidden pain points, prioritize development, and better communicate your value proposition. You’ll also learn how to create and arm product champions, empower users with data, and accelerate your release timelines.
3. Web UI Design for the Human Eye
True, you’re a Product Manager and not a UI Designer. But only foolhardy PMs underestimate the value of good UI. Learning more about it will help you to communicate with your design team and strengthen your contributions.
Web UI Design for the Human Eye by UXPin comes with 33 case studies from various companies to help you better understand any UI concepts which may be completely new to you. Topics include the practical use of Gestalt, applying similarity & contrast, creating relationships with space, emotions of color, and more.
4. The Heap Book of Questions
“As a Product Manager, your job isn’t just to build your product—it’s to provide value to your users and drive your company’s larger objectives. What’s the best way to do this?”
The Heap Book of Questions aims to tell you exactly which questions to ask about your product. This eBook will show you product use cases, behavioral segmentation, conversion, and more. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your product works which will lead you to become a more exploratory builder of products.
5. The Principles of Product Design
InVision’s Principles of Product Design will help you to rebuild your understanding of design thinking from the ground up. Picking up a copy of this free eBook will give you a better awareness of the best practices in product design.
Most helpfully for Product Managers, the book explains how to go about bridging the gap between product, engineering, and design. It will also help you to understand the way designers think, which is crucial for empathizing with them.
6. Ship It: Silicon Valley Product Managers Reveal All
Great Product Managers cannot do great work all on their own. You need research, data, customer insights, cross-functional communication, and so much more.
In Ship It (recently updated for 2020), brings you specific advice from product leaders at the top of their game. Gibson Biddle, former VP of Product at Netflix, is here to tell you how to delight customers in margin-enhancing ways. Joris Van Mens, Product Manager at Google, tells you about Google’s approach to growing to 100 million users.
And as if it couldn’t get any better, there’s loads more inside. Grab your free copy here.
7. Designing for The Internet of Things
You don’t need to spend $$$ on expensive textbooks only to find that one chapter is useful to you. This book takes the best chapters from O’Reilly’s design library.
Product Management is a rapidly growing role ion a variety of industries, including the Internet of Things (IoT). This book shows you a variety of topics surrounding IoT design. In particular for Product Managers, we recommend checking out Discussing Design: Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique.
8. The State of Product Analytics
How are product teams measuring, analyzing, and utilizing data?
Mixpanel, along with Product School, surveyed over 450 product managers, leaders, analysts, and designers in six regions around the world to uncover the latest trends, focuses, and struggles. We found a handful of findings that surprised us, and others that confirmed what we always suspected.
This report will help you to discover the metrics that matter and help you to build better products.
9. Prototyping for Product Managers
Here we have another great read from UXPin. Have you always just left the prototyping to the design team? You’re missing out, and so is your product!
This guide gives you step-by-step prototyping exercises to give you some hands-on experience. You’ll also learn how to prioritize user stories for prototyping, simplify requirements, and minimize risk.
10. Your Guide to Product Roadmaps
Even the most seasoned product professionals can pick up new roadmapping techniques, so no matter which level you’re at, there’s something new out there for you. Roadmaps help you to track your product’s progress and to make important prioritization decisions. They also help you to gain alignment from your cross-functional teams.
This eBook from ProductPlan shows you how to develop a winning product strategy, best practices for building your roadmap, and 9 example roadmaps to get you started.
Did we miss any of your favorite free eBooks? We have an entire thread dedicated to good reads in our Slack channel! Come and join the fun.
Updated: April 6, 2023