15 Essential Product Management Books for 2023

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Jenny Romanchuk
Jenny Romanchuk


With over 40,000 workers in the U.S., product management is one of the hottest positions in the tech industry.

woman reads product management books on the couch

But let’s face it: being a product manager isn't easy. You’ve got to juggle customer research, product roadmaps, software development, and keep up with trends. So, how can you stay ahead of the curve?

There are resources out there, like webinars, podcasts, and courses. But, nothing quite beats the most traditional and tried-and-true method of advancing your skills — reading books written by industry experts.

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Not sure where to start? Let’s dive into the top books out there about product management.

15 Essential Product Management Books

1. Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love - best product management books

This piece is one of the most popular product management books. Marty Cagan resolves major concerns faced by modern tech companies and dives deep into product strategies for all types of tech companies.

From the development to the launching stage, Cagan reveals how the biggest companies work on their products behind everyone’s eyes.

Author: Marty Cagan

The number of pages: 375

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • Ideal for tech products, management, and development.
  • Offers case studies of Netflix, Tesla, Amazon, and Google.
  • Gives a product journey to boost your PM game.
  • Solves all customers’ issues through singular products.

Rotem Lambez, the head of product at Insoundz, says this book has had a profound impact on his work. This includes how he and his team develop a product, determine what is essential, choose the next step, and assess where they see themselves two years from now.

2. When Coffee & Kale Compete

When Coffee & Kale Compete - product management books

When Coffee & Kale Compete is a rare product management book that revolves around a common industry term: Job to be done (JTBD).

According to Klement, this term describes the situation when customers want to change their current life but face obstacles preventing them from doing so.

This is where your product(s) come to the rescue. They should provide solutions to help customers overcome these constraints.

With detailed charts and graphics, author, Alan Klement, takes you into the minds of your customers. He argues that customers care less about your products and more about how they will improve their lives.

Author: Alan Klement

The number of pages: 227

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • Examples of applying JTBD to create successful products.
  • A great explanation of the four forces that shape customer demand.

Brian Haveri, Director of Engineering at TrainingPeaks and TrainHeroic, recommends this piece as a clear introduction to the Jobs To Be Done framework.

The book challenges software engineers and product managers to think beyond surface-level feature requests. Instead, they should focus on the underlying customer problem they’re trying to solve.

John Ozuysal, co-founder and CMO of Datapad, says that this book teaches product managers to kindle innovation. It offers guidance to visualize a roadmap of your customer’s journey so that you can have an understanding of the progress they’re making.

If you know what people want to achieve next after using your product, you can create better features or new products for your audience.

3. Decode and Conquer

 Decode and Conquer - best product management books

Decode and Conquer is the must-have guide for anyone seeking a PM position. Written by the leading expert on PM interviews, it provides frameworks, insider tips, and sample answers to tackle the toughest interview questions.

This book covers the famous CIRCLES Method™, AARM Method™, and DIGS Method™ for design and metrics questions. Learn from common mistakes PM candidates make and avoid them in your interviews.

Author: Lewis C. Lin

The number of pages: 199

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • Has comprehensive coverage of PM interview strategies, insider tips, and sample answers.
  • Provides the latest thinking and practical advice for tackling metrics and execution questions.
  • Endorsed by top PM executives from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

On his YouTube channel, Liam Bolling, a product manager at Google Maps, endorses this book alongside other impressive titles about PM interview preparation.

4. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

 Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time - product management books

Scrum is another notable product management book. Essentially, it’s a team performance framework that takes a refreshing approach to delivering optimal results faster and more cost-effectively.

Though the book is rooted in software development, it has proven results in other domains, too. The four factors of the Scrum approach are growth, planning & priorities, team, and cutting down waste.

Author: Jeff Sutherland

The number of pages: 256

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • The methods in this book can boost productivity in teams by 80%.
  • Is a versatile read for non-tech, educational, governmental, and other domains.
  • Introduces three roles of product owner, Scrum master, and teams.

Mateusz Trawiński, a Senior Scrum Master at Qurate Retail Group, included this book as one of the top three resources for learning the fundamentals of Scrum and Agile Transformation.

5. Crossing the Chasm

 Crossing the Chasm - product management books

Crossing the Chasm shows in detail why some products make it big while others fall behind.

With decades of seasoned expertise, Moore gives plenty of examples of digital products. Referring to the book’s name, he says the secret lies in crossing the chasm rapidly. The chasm he’s referring to is the point where the pioneering market intersects with the mainstream market.

For any PM who is curious about how certain products can significantly disrupt their target markets, let this book be your holy grail.

Author: Geoffrey A. Moore

The number of pages: 288

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • Despite being written before the digital revolution in the ‘90s, the principles in the book have stood the test of time.
  • It is the Bible for product teams to build innovative development strategies.

Product leader Kyle Evans highly recommends Crossing the Chasm for its timeless principles on adapting marketing, sales, and product development to reach the mainstream market and avoid failure.

6. The Lean Product Playbook

 The Lean Product Playbook - best product management books

This guide explains the art of building products to make your customers fall head over heels. Whether you are a product head at a prominent company or just a startup, you can learn practical roadmap examples and tactics for your career.

Olsen unveils the details of product design, product features, user experience, and target market to benefit the reader. Using simple language, he explains how to develop a product to resonate with your audience.

Author: Dan Olsen

The number of pages: 336

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • The author addresses the issue of not achieving a “product–market fit.” The guidebook emphasizes customer needs that aren’t usually fulfilled.
  • It presents the principles of agile development.

D. Ben Woods, owner and principal consultant at Covalent Studio, gives The Lean Product Playbook a glowing review in UXMatters.

He praises the emphasis on the value of cross-disciplinary collaboration in the product-design process.

Serhiy Pomazan, delivery director at Allvue Systems, suggests not following all the book’s advice blindly but leaning back and thinking of your current setup first.

7. Shape Up

 Shape Up - product management books

Shape Up, written by the strategy head at BaseCamp, is another impressive book on product management.

The author, Ryan Singer, describes the tactics, product strategy, and workflow that have been perfected at BaseCamp over the past 15 years. Singer emphasizes the importance of “shaping” a project and then “betting” that it will be completed within six weeks by a small, independent PM team.

Shape Up is a must-read to familiarize yourself with Agile processes and well-structured development strategies at any workplace.

Author: Ryan Singer

The number of pages: 176

Buy here: BasecampWhat we like:

  • The book reveals the PM practices of famous BaseCamp products.
  • It elaborates on Agile project management which can help readers develop successful team-wide strategies.
  • It helps PMs derive value by boosting collaboration and engagement.

Timon Ruban, the founder of Luminovo, praises Shape Up for its thought-provoking and easy-to-read content, stating that it provides a new vocabulary for discussing product delivery.

Singer’s precise language is evident throughout the book, with Ruban citing examples like “The meaning of a bet” and “Appetite starts with a number and ends with a design.”

8. Escaping the Build Trap

 Escaping the Build Trap - best product management books

Escaping the Build Trap cements itself as a premium product management book. Perri argues that companies are often a victim of the “build trap” by prioritizing output. They waste time and resources by adding too many unnecessary features to their products that customers don’t really care about.

That’s why the author has put a focus on user experience and its connection to the role of a PM. The book offers valuable insights by emphasizing the need for integrating both concepts to achieve results.

Author: Melissa Perri

The number of pages: 200

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • The book touches upon outcome-centric planning.
  • It’s categorized into five parts so the reader can digest it easily.
  • It cultivates a customer-centric product culture.

Alex Freemon, a seasoned PM at Microsoft, shared his two cents on the guide: “This book is phenomenal, and I will be buying it for my other Product Leaders. It should be reviewed yearly by those who strive to be Great PMs.

9. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

 The Hard Thing About Hard Things - product management books

The Hard Thing About Hard Things stands out among product management books for its unique approach. Unlike other business reads that solely focus on PM frameworks, author Ben Horowitz shares his personal experiences in finding and operating his own business.

While the book may be more in-depth than others, the author’s personal touch adds an engaging and worthwhile dimension to the read.

Author: Ben Horowitz

The number of pages: 304

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • The book presents a fresh glance at the real business world.
  • An ideal read for PMs, startups, and CEOs.
  • It guides you in making complex business decisions.
  • A blunt yet humorous narrative.

As an experienced product manager, Brandon Keao recommends this read for its valuable insights on product vision, persistence, hiring, team culture, and working toward greater success.

10. The Making of a Manager

 The Making of a Manager - best product management books

For any PMs wondering how to repeat or boost their success and accomplish bigger product goals, there’s no better book than this one.

Zhuo expresses her concern that PMs focus too much on the product, which makes the management suffer.

This is the death recipe for poor collaboration and coordination within a team. So, how can you make yourself a dependable product manager? This book provides the answers and reveals the secrets.

Author: Julie Zhuo

The number of pages: 288

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • Valuable for PMs struggling to craft an ideal product team.
  • It helps you know what leadership qualities are necessary to have for your specific product.

Scott Brady, an engineering manager at ClearBank, recommends this book for those considering a switch to the management track. He finds the first few chapters to be particularly valuable and suggests multiple readings to extract the most benefit.

11. The Influential Product Manager

 The Influential Product Manager - product management books

The Influential Product Manager is a great book to improve your role for your products and company. In each stage, the author shows how to be above average as a PM.

He also explains how a product manager can make positive efforts to fulfill customers’ needs.

Author: Ken Sandy

The number of pages: 384

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • Current and new PMs can easily master the tactics.
  • The book explains how PMs can influence stakeholders and team members to drive success.
  • It’s a great “tool” for learning how to connect with customers.

Chad McAllister, the Product Mastery Now Podcast host, also recommends this piece, as it provides a comprehensive perspective on the product management journey, including thinking like a product manager, building influence, implementing tactics, and structuring career growth.

12. Product Manager’s Sacred Seven

 Product Manager's Sacred Seven - best product management books

Product Manager’s Sacred Seven is an upscale resource in the form of a product management book. It lays down the skillset needed to become a high-achieving PM.

The book is a treasure trove of interviews from 67 flourishing service and tech corporations. It provides an invaluable foundation for understanding how these organizations achieved success in product development.

Authors: Neel Mehta, Aditya Agashe, and Parth Detroja

The number of pages: 685

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • The book shows how to influence others in the same niche.
  • A perfect read for both current and new PMs.
  • The authors discuss how different companies approach product management and identify common themes among them.

As Jetro WILS, product and solution manager at Proximus, attests, the book is an amazing read that provides great product management anecdotes while expanding your product management world.

13. The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager

 The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager  - best product management books

The Product Book is not only a high-value product management book but an Amazon bestseller as well. This comprehensive training resource caters specifically to project managers and those aspiring to become one.

It features enlightening courses taught by instructors from renowned tech companies such as Netflix and Facebook. The invaluable content consists of expert advice, actionable insights, and invaluable tips.

Authors: Josh Anon & Carlos Gonzalez

The number of pages: 316

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • It comes with an audiobook version.
  • It explains how to excel as a product manager by focusing on effective communication strategies.
  • It provides tips for nailing interviews.

Juan Rodriguez, ex-senior program manager at Utopia, shared his thoughts on this piece. He recommends it for all product managers, especially those in tech companies. According to Rodriguez, this book is full of practical tips that can improve skills and the decision-making process.

Finally, he points out that it’s one of the best product management books he has come across in this niche.

14. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked  - product management books

Hooked has become a beloved product management book not only among PMs but also among a diverse group of business professionals. Its popularity extends to budding entrepreneurs, designers, and marketing experts alike. The book explains why some products end up getting more fame than others.

A company with a declining sales rate, a huge corporation, and even a startup can all benefit from Nir’s fantastic piece.

Author: Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover

The number of pages: 256

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • This book introduces the best of the Hook Model framework.
  • It shows the art of making addictive products based on reward, investment, trigger, and similar customer psychology.
  • Easy-to-follow strategies.

Asaf Ronat, the vice president of product at Pixellot, spoke highly of this book and its impact on his product design process over the years.

He emphasized the book’s importance in providing him with a clear and engaging high-level target for each new product initiation. Furthermore, Ronat credited the book with helping him ask the right questions to guide his product design effectively.

15. My Product Management Toolkit

My Product Management Toolkit - best product management books

My Product Management Toolkit is the ultimate product management book for all the PMs who desire to know the ins and outs of the field. It dissects the varying roles of product management and explains all the responsibilities that come with this profession.

The author teaches about stakeholder management, how to target your customer base, and how to direct product development. All these are basic skills for unlocking your highest potential as a product manager.

Author: Marc Abraham

The number of pages: 150

Buy here: Amazon

What we like:

  • This resource provides practical techniques that help product managers complete tasks faster.
  • The author offers effective solutions to common problems in the field.

In one of his LinkedIn posts, Jason Knight, the founder of One Knight Consulting, also recommends this remarkable book. As he mentioned, “No book can turn you into a product manager overnight,” but this book is one of his top recommendations for its excellent guidance for achieving desired results.

Finding the Right Book

Whether you have years of experience in the field or are just getting started, the right book can help you achieve your goals. Make a short list to add to your bookshelf and start learning.Product Marketing Kit

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