Almost every day, I get an email from someone asking me for recommendations about product management resources. Rather than writing the same email over and over again, I maintain this list here.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every resource. There are plenty of those around the web. Rather everything on this list has been vetted by me and comes highly recommended.
Before contacting me about your recommendations, please see the note at the bottom of this page.
There are many books on product management and most of them don’t do the role justice. However, a well-read product manager should read all the books on their profession. They are easy enough to find here.
I prefer books that are not directly about product management, but contribute to a strong foundation of knowledge that I would expect a product manager to know. These include:
- Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath – This book is a summary of the current research on good decision making. A product manager’s job is to decide what to build next. This is a must read.
- Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – If you want to build products for human beings, then you need to understand how human beings think and behave. This is required reading.
- Nudge by Richard Thaler and Case Sunstein – This is an evidence-based design book. There aren’t many books that can make that claim. The authors provide a clear framework for how to apply research on behavior to design decisions. Go read it.
- Influence by Robert Cialdini – Product managers have to influence users to use their products, stakeholders to support their decisions, and their teammates to do the work. This is the book on influence.
- Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal – Do you think your organization is too big or slow for truly autonomous, cross-functional, dedicated product teams? Read this tale of the U.S. military’s transformation and tell me again why it won’t work in your organization. This book is a great read.
- Marty Cagan’s How to Create Products Customers Love
- Jeff Patton’s Passionate Product Owner Training
- My Own: Master Class: Continuous Discovery Habits
- The SVPG Blog
- The Grasshopper Herder by Tristan Kromer
- Users Know by Laura Klein
- Product Bytes by Rich Mironov
- Rapid Prototyping and Product Management by Tom Chi at Mind the Product SF 2015
- Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast by Tom Wujec at TED Global 2013
- Nordstrom Innovation Lab: Sunglass iPad App Case Study
I don’t listen to many podcasts and don’t have any recommendations at this time.
Product Management Certifications
I don’t have experience with any of the certification programs. This includes 280 Group, Pragmatic Marketing, General Assembly, and whichever certificate program you are considering.
My only advice regarding certificates is this:
- Don’t choose a certificate program because you think a certificate will act as a valuable credential in the hiring process. It won’t. I’ve never met a hiring manager who thinks a credential makes someone qualified to be a product manager.
- Do choose a certificate program because they teach something specific that you want to learn.
- If you are concerned about the expense of a certificate vs. the value you’ll get from it, don’t do a certificate. Generally, these programs are priced as if a company is paying for it. I can’t think of any situation where it makes sense for an individual to pay for one of these certificate programs out of their own pocket.
IMPORTANT: If you know of a resource that you think I should consider, please do not email me. I will not consider additions that come through email. Instead, reach out to me on Twitter @ttorres. And please don’t be offended if your resource doesn’t make the list. I don’t have time to read every book or blog article, listen to every podcast, watch every video, or take every course, let alone vouch for all of them.