Best Books for Product Managers (Introvert In Product Edition)
Reading is a big part of my life and career, though it has its ups and downs.
When I was a young kid, probably the only 3 things that would keep me hyper focused in a "flow" were crafting (painting, making stuffs), video games, and books. You might have guessed it, the books were mostly fiction and comic books. With a few exceptions. (Hey, no judging ok :) ).
I began losing the habit of reading, however, since middle school when academic stress started piling on, because I would already spend most of my day reading text books for the endless exams. I only wanted to use my free time rescuing princess in my video games or throwing elbows at other kids in basketball matches. As ways of letting the stress out. And my book-less life would go on well into my adult life. Until I realized the power of knowledge. And that happened to be, when I was serious about my product management career. That was also when I wish I either have 10x the amount of time to read, or if I could read 10x faster.
I've since benefited from a number of book recommendation lists some established product leaders shared - in how I selected and prioritized books from a wild ocean of them, and looking back, man the collective takeaways and their impacts on me have been immense. I would have otherwise wasted my (slow) reading time on books that were not as useful to my career and growth.
So I'd like to give back. In this post, I'm sharing my top 10 books that helped me the most in my product career so far. I wouldn't be surprised if you see overlaps with other recommendations, because they're good for a reason. On the other hand, many of them are not strictly "product books", but they regardless are what I would strongly recommend to you - part of the Introvert In Product community - for your pursuit in your own product careers.
Quiet - The Power of Introvert in a World that Can't Stop Talking
This book is a must read for all introverts in product (and those of you who want to learn more about your introverted friends and colleagues). The book literally helped me understand myself and kicked off my confidence to do well in product management. As an introvert. (link)
Mindset - The New Psychology of Success
You've probably heard so much about growth mindset, and I've personally experienced and advocated how important it is for aspiring or new product managers to thrive through challenges and frustrations. Look no further, this book is it. (link)
This book explains the importance of deep work especially in the modern internet era and highly distracting work context, and how you set up to perform deep work that's essential to the "craftsmanship" in product. Can't resonate more as an introvert in product. (link)
Cracking the PM Interview
There are quite a few PM interview books out there. Personally, this one is the most helpful as a complete introductory guide to help you get started preparing for the product interviews. Most focus areas and frameworks still apply to PM interviews at major tech companies. (link)
The Pyramid Principle
This timeless book by an ex-Mckinsey consultant teaches a valuable framework for structured communication - one of the most important core skills of a good PM. In fact, a valuable skill that gets you that first/next product manager job you desire. (link)
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 habits describe by Stephen Covey, or in fact valuable life principles if you will, that will transform your effectiveness as a product manager, as well as your life. It's one of the books that influence me the most profoundly. Professionally and personally. (link)
The Design of Everyday Things
Another timeless book, and specifically on product design. The insights will arm you with the design thinking fundamentals which will go on influence how you assess products, as well as how you design products. On top of the insightfulness, it's also fun to read as well (link)
High Output Management
Andy Grove shared valuable lessons on management, including how you prioritize your time, how you view meetings and best management them, and how to best work with your teams. This applies to both people management and product management (which includes managing people) (link)
The Innovator's Dilemma
The strategy focused book provides in-depth and systematic analysis on how established companies are prone to disruptions from younger innovators and the strategy to prevent it. Look to hone your strategic thinking and business sense? Look no further. The sequel "Innovator's Solutions" is highly recommended too. (link)
Blue Ocean Strategy
Another great book that helps with developing structured strategic thinking. The frameworks described in the book are crisp and helpful by themselves, but I find it even more valuable when it stimulated my thoughts about my own framework facing various strategic topics. (link)
Obviously, there are still so many great books out there, and I'm still catch up.
What are you thoughts on these books if you have read them? What other books would you recommend? Please share with us in the comments below!
Like this article? Subscribe to join the community and receive free weekly posts!
[jetpack_subscription_form show_subscribers_total="false" button_on_newline="false" custom_font_size="16px" custom_border_radius="0" custom_border_weight="1" custom_padding="15" custom_spacing="10" submit_button_classes="" email_field_classes="" show_only_email_and_button="true"]