5 Books to Level Up Your Product Management Skills

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We all love books. And if you’re looking to pick up a new read and you’re in the product management field, this is the list for you.

We’re going to start off with some more broad topics in product management, and then we’re going to work our way down to product design, strategy, and customer development.

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

So let’s start off at the top. And the first book that I want to recommend for new product managers is inspired how to create tech products customers love.

If you are a brand new product manager and want to understand what it’s all about, this is a good book for you. It’s a pretty high level overview of product management and is a great way to learn you’re about to get yourself if you choose a career in product.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Revised) by Robert Cialdini

As product managers, we do communicate a lot. And unfortunately, sometimes we don’t have authority — just influence. This book covers six different influence strategies that you can use to persuade people to come over to your side.

So if you’re a product manager who needs a little bit more influence, but doesn’t have a ton of authority, this is the one for you.

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renée a Mauborgne

This is one of my favorite books ever. If you’re in software or really pretty much any internet business right now, it’s getting pretty competitive.

When you’re in a competitive market, you’re kind of stuck in this red ocean and the waters are bloody. Everyone’s competing for market share.

What you really want to do is you want to find yourself a blue ocean where competition is irrelevant. This book is going to help walk you through how to do that. I’d recommend going through some of the exercises to find ways you can do to get to a blue ocean.

The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick

Next up is customer development. Okay. And for this, I’d definitely recommend checking out The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. It’s how to talk to customers and learn if your idea is good, even when everyone is lying to you.

Our moms all love us and they want the best for us. If we were to tell them an idea that we think is really awesome and we’re really excited about, of course, they’re going to go like, “yes honey, that’s a great idea, you should totally do that”. But the only thing is that Mom has no idea what she’s talking about.

This book teaches you how to, to find the right people and ask the right questions so that you get the unbiased information that you need to determine if your idea actually is good or if people are just lying to you.

Designing Products People Love by Scott Hurff

Designing Products People Love is one of the only physical books I actually have held on to. It takes you from the ideation process through designing and building to actually shipping it and getting feedback.

If you’re looking for a new product read, and if you do decide to pick one of these up, let me know how it goes. Stop it in the comments, or give me an email at corinn@getspeckled.com. I’d love to hear how it went.

And in the meantime, happy reading.

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