The 20 Most-Read Books by Top Product Managers

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Author: Product School

January 9, 2023 - 9 min read

Updated: January 24, 2024 - 9 min read

Why are Product Management books important? When Product was first developing as a field, the only way to learn was side-by-side with another professional. They would tell you the secrets of the trade, and you would learn through doing.

All Product Managers have to learn through doing, but they don't have to make ALL of the mistakes that early Product Managers did. There's so much information out there! Take advantage of it to get a head start with knowledge thought leaders and practitioners in the Product industry.

Here is a list of the best books on Product Management, by topic:

  • Hiring and interview process

  • Product fundamentals and thought leadership

  • Customer-centricity

  • Product frameworks

  • Leadership

  • Product-adjacent skills

Navigate the topics with the table of contents at the top of this page, and happy reading!

Hiring and interview process

1. Hired: How to Get a Product Management Job

Hired book Product School

Land your next job with ease, by learning from the best of the best.

It is not often easy to understand the dynamics of career transitioning and job searching in the product sphere. This dedicated guide makes sure to provide information about the most common and uncommon transitions; getting a job in particular tech companies; and providing direct interview advice. It is all backed by the wise experiences of Product Managers who have worked for companies like Google, Airbnb, Facebook, Apple or Amazon.

Get it here

2. Cracking the PM Interview

Cracking the PM interview book

For hopeful Product Managers looking for their next role

Cracking the PM Interview is the #1 interview prep book for aspiring product managers. Learn how the ambiguously-named Product Manager role varies between companies, what experiences you need, how to make your existing experience translate, what a great Product Manager resumé and cover letter looks like, and then how to master the Product Manager interview questions

Get it here

PS - Co-author Jackie Bavaro did a podcast with us on their follow-up book, Cracking the PM Career. Check it out!

3. Decode and Conquer

decode and conquer book cover

Understand the toughest Product Manager interview questions

Lewis Lin gives an industry insider’s perspective on how to conquer the most difficult Product Manager interview questions. Covering frameworks for tackling product design and metrics questions, the biggest mistakes, and answers to the top Product Manager interview questions.

Get it here

4. The Product Manager Interview: 167 Actual Questions and Answers

The Product Manager Interview book cover

For practicing for the Product Manager interview

Another one from Lewis Lin, who does a great job of continuously updating this book with a comprehensive list of questions from real Product Management interviews. Bonus: Lewis Lin's Interview Community is a great place to find community and practice product management interviews with other product jobs seekers.

Get it here

PS - You can also find a comprehensive list of Product Manager interview questions here!

Product fundamentals and thought leadership

5. The Product Book

The Product Book

An all-encompassing guide for Product Managers at any levels

Subtitled “How to Become a Great Product Manager”, this book by Josh Anon (former Pixar Product Manager) and Carlos González de Villaumbrosia (Product School CEO) is all about the Product Manager life. With practical examples supported by theoretical innovation (rather than the opposite, which is the usual!), The Product Book will help you take your first steps in product. For experienced Product Managers, it will help them review the essential concepts in the discipline.

Get it here

6. Ship It: Silicon Valley Product Managers Reveal All

Ship It book cover blog

All the best-kept secrets from Silicon Valley

Even the best Product Managers cannot work through instinct alone. You’re not psychic. You need to gather data. You need to systematically understand your users. And you need to learn how to effectively communicate this understanding to your team, so they are inspired to share your vision and stay on track. Inside ‘Ship It’ you will find specific advice and general wisdom about Product Management.

Get it here

7. Product Analytics Economy

Product analytics economy book cover blog

Drive revenue growth through data

Delivering an exceptional digital experience is the only way to earn trust and drive revenue growth. In this book, learn the fundamentals of Product Analytics, discover how to implement Product-Led Growth, and uncover how YouTube is preparing to onboard its next billion users.

Get it here

8. Swipe to Unlock

swipe to unlock book cover

A primer on technology and business strategy

A guide which enables anyone to understand the core concepts of tech and the business strategy behind it. This is perfect for Product Managers, who live at the intersection of technology and business, to understand how one affects the other.

Get it here

Customer-centric thinking

9. The Mom Test

The Mom Test book cover

Get more learning and sales out of your customer conversations

People won't give you an honest evaluation of your business or product idea is good if you don't know which questions to ask. Like a mother to her child, customers are likely to say that an idea or experience is wonderful even if they secretly are harboring a pain point. This book guides you to real answers and feedback.

Get it here

10. Product Mindset: How to Get Inside Your Customer’s Mind

Product Mindset book cover blog

Because the best Product Manager is a customer-obsessed Product Manager

To build products that people love, you need to understand the conditions of their lives, and the intricacies of their state of mind. Learn drive sustainable growth through obsessing over your customer – lower cost of customer acquisition, and increase retention, and drive revenue.

Get it here

11. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked book cover

Nir Eyal gives us a practical guide to building better products

Eyal’s aim with this book, was to create the guide he wished he’d had at the start of his career in Product. The Hook Model helps companies to encourage customer behavior without aggressive (and expensive) marketing campaigns. This comprehensive guide explains how to create products that become your customer’s habit, always bringing them back for more.

Get it here

12. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Drive book cover

Understanding motivation, both your customers’ and your own

Described as provocative and persuasive, this book by Daniel H. Pink deep dives into the concept of motivation. Dividing motivation into three parts – autonomy, mastery, and purpose – Pink succinctly tackles things like job satisfaction, and our desire to do good in the world. Not only will this be insightful in terms of our own personal motivations, but also for better understanding our users.

Get it here

Product frameworks

13. Measure What Matters

Measure What Matters book cover

The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework broken down

Learn how a simple goal setting technique called OKRs can keep your product aligned with business goals. This framework helped tech giants attain explosive growth, and has helped countless other products achieve success.

Get it here

14. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

design sprint book cover

How to come up with innovative solutions through an intensive design sprint

Learn the secrets to the five-day process used by three partners at Google Ventures to move from prototype to decision. Sound impossible? You’ll have to pick up this book and find out for yourself…

Get it here

15. The Lean Product Playbook

The Lean Product Playbook

Every contemporary Product Manager's go-to guide

The Lean Product Playbook provides specific, step-by-step guidance on how to apply Lean Startup ideas. The author, Dan Olsen, is a seasoned tech-consultant and he has developed an actionable model for product-market fit. It consists of a 6-step process that explains how to rapidly iterate based on customer feedback, illustrated with real-world examples. 

Get it here

16. When Coffee & Kale Compete

When Coffee & Kale Compete book cover

See the Jobs To Be Done framework in a whole new light, and get better at building products people love

You might think you know everything about Jobs To Be Done, but Alan Klement’s insights will help you look at then in a whole new way. The aim of this book is to ultimately help you build products that people want to buy, reduce waste within your organization, and help your company stay competitive. And the best part? It’s even free! There’s no excuse not to check it out!

Get it here

Leadership

17. Dare to Lead

Dare to lead book cover

“A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential.”

Brené Brown is one of the most influential speakers on leadership around. In this book, she talks about how leaders become strong, take risks, and lead with courage. If you find yourself wanting to build on your soft skills like communication, this is the book for you. A wonderfully profound read, equipping you with bravery you can take into the boardroom, and out into your everyday life.

Get it here

18. The Making of a Manager

THE MAKING OF A MANAGER book cover

“I learned then one of my first lessons of management—the best outcomes come from inspiring people to action, not telling them what to do.”

Sometimes Product Managers focus too much on the Product part and less on the Management part. That’s where Julie Zhuo’s book comes in. Julie Zhuo spent over 11 years as a VP of Product Design at Facebook, and is widely considered to be a product design leader. In this bestseller, she reveals her tactics for being the best manager possible, and getting the most our of your teams. Learn how to lead, and how to inspire.

Get it here

Product-adjacent skills: design and marketing

19. Well Designed

Well Designed book cover

Up your Product Design knowledge and become a better Product Manager

You don’t need to be an artist, but as someone who builds products which need to be designed… You should know at least a bit about design! In this book, Jon Kolko explains how to determine product-market fit, identify behavioral insights, sketch a product strategy, and polish product details.

Get it here

20. This is Marketing

This is marketing book cover

Once you build your product, you need to let potential users know about it!

Product Managers are expected to work across many functions, and it's worthwhile for them to dip their toes in marketing. In this book, marketing expert Seth Godin unpacks how marketing is integral to every part of a business.

Get it here

top read books product managers

Even more Product Management resources

Hungry for more? After reading most of these books, you will be a Product Management master. However, it is possible that you might want more. There are some things you can do to increase your Product Management knowledge:

Updated: January 24, 2024

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