Best Books for Product Management

It’s true that the best way to learn about product management is through experience. However, the best way to prepare for real-life experience is to read high quality books by seasoned experts.

Product Management Books to Read

Below is a list of books that will help you up your product management game.

Beautiful Evidence
By Edward Tufte

Design is one of the most important aspects of product management. And just as it’s important to understand why design matters, it’s also vital to understand the major principles behind good design.

In Beautiful Evidence , Edward Tufte deconstructs the design of historical images and charts such as ancient paintings, book covers, and Victorian botanical diagrams, in order to expose what makes each design compelling or successful. This approach helps to illustrate the power of design to the reader, rather than simply listing design and product management principles.

Tufte also includes some choice words about sources of questionable modern design, namely Microsoft PowerPoint. The author takes aim at the popular presentation program, stating: “The PP slide format has the worst signal/noise ratio of any known method of communication on paper or computer screen.” According to Tufte, the design options in PowerPoint and its workflow can be blamed for many poor presentations.

Product designers and managers will derive great value from this book.

The Team That Managed Itself: A Story of Leadership
By Christina Wodtke

In The Team That Managed Itself , Author Christine Wodtke guides the reader through the process of building and leading a high-performance product management team. Her suggestions and guidance come from her own experiences in the trenches of Silicon Valley.

Her story is highly engaging and provides the reader with plenty of actionable takeaways to put into practice throughout their product management career.

Using a fable storytelling format, Wodtke’s fictional main character, Allie, tackles questions like:

  • How do you work if the work environment is not healthy?
  • How should you deal with work pressure and deadlines?
  • How can different individuals work in harmony?
  • How should you set and achieve achievable goals?

If you’re the kind of person who asks yourself these questions, you’ll love the answers offered in this book. Allie’s compelling story and the anecdotes shared in this book will help you get a fresh perspective on the day-to-day challenges you face as a product manager.

The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager
By Josh Anon and Carlos González de Villaumbrosia

This book is a must-read for beginners and experienced product managers alike. It’s loaded with practical and actionable suggestions and presents innovative ideas along with the best methods of execution. The Product Book is a treasure trove of product management lessons shared by people from companies like Netflix, Google, and Facebook.

Whether you’re an aspiring product manager or already working in the field, you’ll have something to learn from this book.

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
By Marty Cagan

Why do some products succeed in getting customer approval while others fail? Product managers have a major role to play in answering this question, and this book outlines how. According to the author, product management expert Marty Cagan, you need to have both the confidence and evidence that your product will do well before putting all of your resources into building it. Researching and analyzing the opportunities for your product is the important first step that product managers should not ignore.

Cagan also explains how to strike the right balance of sales, customers, marketing, engineering, and design to achieve success. She introduces the term “product culture”, which is crucial to the entire process of product creation and management. Her shared experiences in the tech industry will help you to up your game in the product management industry and help you learn to create products your customers will love.

High Output Management
By Andrew Grove

What’s the one biggest factor that successful businesses and commercially successful products have in common? According to Andrew Grove, author of High Output Management, the word you’re looking for is “management”. This book is like a crash course in product management.

Grove tells you how to create and manage highly productive teams, how to motivate team members, and how to take their performance to the next level. You’ll also get to know the mistakes you should never make in your career as a product manager. This book might just revolutionize your way of working. For managers, it will provide new perspectives and possibly even boost your career.

Bill Campbell, former coach to Steve Jobs, has said about this book, “ High Output Management is a bible that every entrepreneur and every manager in the country should look at, read and understand.”

The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
By Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz’s reputation as co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz precedes this product management book. His insights will provide you with all the information you need to start a business. Anyone can encourage you to start your own business, but Horowitz’s book will prepare you for the real challenges that you may face, should you choose to follow this path. Drawing from his own experiences, he explains everyday problems in the fields of investing, managing, buying, selling, and marketing: all key stages of a product life cycle, and essential to product management.

Horowitz discusses real incidents from his life where he’s had to fire people, poach competitors, and learn how to be a good CEO. The book is highly recommended for beginners, however even veteran entrepreneurs will benefit from reading about Horowitz’s journey and achievements.

Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value
By Melissa Perri

This is the product management book that popularized the term “the build trap.” In simple terms, the build trap refers to when businesses focus on building just anything for the sake of it rather than focusing on building something with quality or meaning. According to author Melissa Perri, a lot of product teams are stuck in it. That’s why it’s important we endeavor to build valuable things, instead of simply maximizing production of product. Perri is opposed to the idea of a linear process, instead favoring a product development process guided by the needs of customers. Companies should not blindly go on producing unnecessary products.

Perri considers three factors the most important in the internal functioning of any business: process, strategy, and culture. If these three are implemented correctly, then product management becomes a piece of cake. Focusing on solving the problems of customers is ultimately what will add value to the business.

My Product Management Toolkit
By Marc Abraham

Written in a personal and practical style, this resource outlines Abraham’s vast experience in the product management field. Having worked for a range of different digital companies, Abraham encourages aspiring product managers to retain curiosity and pursue a journey of continuous learning.

The book is well-structured. Each chapter includes goals, related tools and techniques, in-depth look, key takeaways, and how to apply these takeaways. Abraham focuses on how to define a product vision, think strategically, and create shared product goals.

My Product Management Toolkit is perfect for both established veterans and professionals just starting out. You can contact the author or visit his website for further information.

Product Management’s Sacred Seven
By Parth Detroja and Neel Mehta

This best seller is not just good for project managers, but any non-PM professional seeking a deeper understanding of the subject. The content remains engaging and accessible, despite discussing complex areas like economics, psychology, and marketing. There’s also plenty of real-life strategies that can be implemented.

Product Management’s Sacred Seven is well organized, and includes case studies, visualizations, and solid interview advice throughout. For example, the book explains how employers often ask candidates to identify an important metric for a company like Uber. Most candidates fail to realize this is a trick question designed to see if you know that Uber is a two-sided marketplace. A correct response would be to weigh up the pros and cons of a driver side metric vs a passenger side metric.

This resource is ideal for data scientists, designers, engineers, or anyone else involved in the product lifecycle.

Books to refer to for a Product Manager

Product management is a very multi-disciplinary profession that necessitates a diverse set of skills. The best novels expand our horizons and remind us of lessons we learned earlier. I read (and reject) many business books, but these are the ones that passed my first and second reads. Because I dislike filler content (why tell me the same thing ten times? ), you’ll notice a preference for shorter, more valuable books below.


Richard Rumelt’s book, Good Strategy, Bad Strategy — There are a lot of strategy books out there, but only a few of them are helpful enough for me. In this situation, I liked the author’s clarity.

Hamilton Helmer’s 7 Powers — This book is thicker than the preceding recommendation, but it is profoundly intellectual and well worth the effort.


Madhavan Ramanujam’s Monetizing Innovation — According to product people, pricing and revenue models are crucial to building in lockstep with the product. This is arguably the best “beginning” book for getting your wheels rolling on the subject.

Product Management

Melissa Perri’s The Build Trap — Although you’ve definitely heard of Marty Cagan’s Inspired, the classic PM 101 book, The Build Trap has become my go-to recommendation. It perfectly encapsulates current product management, with its focus on creating things that matter, cross-functional teams, and the requirement for agility and fluidity.


Ed Catmull’s Creativity Inc — A fascinating look at how Pixar works, as well as a motivational look at how to create a culture and business that promotes exceptional creative execution.

Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden’s LeanUX — While the title suggests that this book is about design, I believe it is about how cross-functional teams may collaborate effectively and decrease waste.


Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers — One of the most difficult lessons for a new PM to learn is how to lead through influence, which includes lifting rather than pulling their teammates. This book was intended for all types of managers, but the message is especially crucial for project managers.

Andy Grove’s High Output Management — This book, written by Intel’s previous CEO, has stood the test of time and impacted many aspiring leaders. It’s still well worth your time.


Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things — You can’t be a competent product manager unless you improve your design sensibility, and this now-classic book is a wonderful place to start.

Jeff Patton’s User Story Mapping — In my opinion this book is a blend between a UX and an agile process book, in my opinion. Although the author is pragmatic and tactical, his tactics force you to be strategic.

Steve Krug’s Rocket Surgery Made Simple — A handy guide to usability testing. It’s worth reading to remind yourself of the need for usability testing and how to perform it quickly but efficiently.


Eric Ries’ book, The Lean Startup — It has a tremendous impact on how the corporate world views fresh ideas. It explains why it’s important to test ideas before going all-in on them.

Giff Constable’s book Talking to Humans — is a short, practical guide to testing new business ideas by getting out of your mind and talking to potential clients.

Giff Constable’s Testing with Humans — This helpful book explains how to utilise experimentation to explore new company concepts.


Daniel Kaneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow — is one of the only huge and difficult books on this list, and it will help you grasp how the human mind works, particularly our cognitive biases.

Hooked, by Nir Eyal — This book will start you thinking about habit formation and recurring engagement.