A product managers reading list

I often talk with startups and product managers from larger companies about how we work, how they work and how we would all love to work. Often in our talks, their dream process and workplace is quite close to how we work at Trustpilot. Our conversations are often short and not really in depth so I leave them with a list of books and blogs to read, my full list is long, but below is a list of four books that are must read for all product managers and everybody working in a product organization.

I would love to hear what books I should read next! Shoot me a tweet at @nikstep.

Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love

by Marty Cagen

This is the bible. Marty Cagan is a product veteran, former VP Product at eBay, AOL and Netscape today he is running Silicon Valley Product Group where he teaches tech companies like Google, Facebook, Etsy, PayPal and of course Trustpilot how to run product and ensure that we create products that our customers love.

Marty’s great book is a bit of a heavy read but contains only gold. He is also right now working on a second edition that will be out this winter, you can already preorder it here.

You should also read SVPG’s blog and subscribe to their newsletter, another goldmine for us product managers and leaders.

Find the book on Goodreads.

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses

by Eric Ries

More of a general startup book, many of the principles in discovery is described on Erics Build, measure learn loop described in the book. No matter if you are co-founding a startup or working in a large company many of elements of Eric’s approach can still be applied with great results.

Find the book on Goodreads

Getting Real

by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Ah, Getting Real, old and amazing. This book was the first book I read about building a software business back in 2010. The book itself is from 2006 and they have later written er newer version called Rework. I think the original self and free book is still the best.

The book contains 91 short essays about building a SaaS company. Everything from getting started to hiring, coding and prioritizing. The book will not give you a deep dive into every topic, but a general kick in the balls that will make you think about how you build a company that you what to still be working in 40 years from now.

The team behind Basecamp (former 37signals) also publish an amazing blog that I still read every week.

Find the book on Goodreads and read it for free here.

Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results

by Christina Wodtke

Setting goals and following up on them is one of the most important parts of product management. The best toolset to do this that I have met is called OKR’s, short for Objectives and Key Results. Invented by Intel and made popular by John Doerr OKR’s are used to set goals and track them in companies of all sizes from Google to a small startup.

The book is a good lightweight introduction to OKR’s. If you or your organization is not yet using OKR’s, this is now your highest priority to implement, stop reading this blog and go and read Radical Focus.

Find the book on Goodreads

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