If you’re a seasoned product manager, a new one, or a soon-to-be one, you need to learn about the proven skills and best practices that have worked for other successful product managers. How do they learn these skills? Through their own experiences—yes, of course. But one of the top-supported learning mechanisms for product managers is learning through product management books.

We spoke to product experts, including Rose Yao, Director of Product for Google Maps, Sam Goertler, Director of Product Management at theSkimm, and David Packles, Director of Product at Peloton Cycle, and compiled a list of the best product management books across seven categories:

  1. Lean product management (5 books)
  2. Analytics for product managers (3 books)
  3. Leading as a Product Manager (2 books)
  4. Early Stage Startup Product Management (4 books)
  5. Product Innovation and Disruption (3 books)
  6. Product Manager Skills Development (4 books)
  7. User-centric Product Management (2 books)

Without further adieu, let’s dive straight into it.

Best Lean Product Management Books

Keep it lean! Lean product management is e likely a practice you’re already aware of , but how do you accomplish this? The following books are all about keeping your product process tight, and getting the flow right to help your product team operate with more speed and flexibility.

1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

About the book:
Framing a startup as a “an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty,” the concepts in this book apply to a wide range of businesses from the smallest, scrappiest startups to Fortune 500 giants. Ries offers strategies for companies that are focused largely on utilizing human creativity to drive success.

Who should read this book:
Grab a copy of Ries’ book if you’re looking to leverage human ingenuity and innovation to produce results with minimal expenses. Learn to tap into the innovation within your team to create flexibility and adaptability, and gain the greatest value for your costs.

Why this is a top product management book:
As Jimmy Muldoon, Director of Insights at Red Badger, puts it, “The Lean Startup is all about starting small and working in sensible, incremental batches” as an “experimental approach into building products.” A former chemist, Muldoon draws parallels between lab science research and lean product management in terms of the iterative learning that needs to happen before you fully invest resources into one product.

2. The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen

About the book:
Olsen brings together his experience in product management, UX design, coding, analytics, and marketing to offer readers a simple-to-follow guide. Culminating insights from his work with clients such as Facebook, Hightail, Medallia, Epocrates, and Box, Olsen has useful lessons for everyone from executives to marketers, designers, and developers.

Who should read this book:
This book is geared towards anyone looking to learn about lean principles and how to apply them to their product team. With tactical steps and clearly defined methodology on how to implement lean product management for a variety of products, you’ll close Olsen’s book feeling equipped with the know-how to switch your team to fast, iterative learning.

Why this is a top product management book:
This new perspective on this topic helps bring fresh ideas into a concept that’s already considered a classic topic for PM books.

3. The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald G. Reinertsen

About the book:
Examining the next progression in practicing lean principles, this product management read focuses on reevaluating best practices for applying lean principles. Rather than advocating for a one-size-fits-all process, Reinertsen puts the product development flow first and highlights the importance of maintaining flexibility in your process to pivot and adjust when necessary.

Who should read this book:
If you are struggling with efficiency in your process and this is having an impact on product development and performance, taking control of queue management and making it a daily routine will help ensure that tasks and goals are managed properly. Reinertsen’s book will help you understand how to leverage lean product management principles in the ever-changing environment of product development.

Why this is a top product management book:
The Principles of Product Development Flow will teach you how to reduce the product development lifecycle and speed up the time to completion, as well as improve efficiency in developing these tasks.

4. The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions by Mary Poppendieck & Tom Poppendieck

About the book:
This book will give you a behind-the-scenes tour of leading companies including Spotify, Pixar, and Intel by explaining how these businesses use research and case studies to drive success. You’ll learn how to look at data to discover patterns that can help development lean principles as your grow your own product.

Who should read this book:
The Lean Mindset will give you real-world insights into different lean frameworks and mindsets that support success. Learn how to develop a mindset that values purpose, team productivity , customer satisfaction, and efficiency .

Why this is a top product management book:
This book goes beyond the “what” and “why” questions by examining how to develop good habits and approach situations with lean principles.

5. Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams by Jeff Gotheif & Josh Seiden

About the book:
Lean UX highlights team agility as the core centering principle necessary for success in today’s product management environment. Expanding on principles, tactics, and techniques from the first edition, Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden’s next installment examines how user experience information can be applied by product development teams to continuously learn, adapt, and create success with every product iteration.

Who should read this book:
Seiden’s book will help you use insights to identify your most significant roadblocks , focus on outcomes that will create substantial solutions, and develop iterative experiments that help your product team isolate successes and key product learnings.

Why this is a top product management book:
While many product management books focus on product design and development, this book approaches the concept from a user experience angle to challenge you to think about product development from the customer’s point of view.

Best Product Management Books for Analytics and Data Analysis

If you’re a data monster and analytics are a key component to your core product management strategy, these books will explain how to turn that data into a useful stream of actionable ideas.

1. Dataclysm by Christian Rudder

About the book:
In the modern era of social media and data collection, the polling and surveys that have been traditionally used are becoming outdated. Now, the majority of data collection happens online. With the prevalence of online information, including insights and reactions, there is an increasing amount of direct information that researchers can organize and analyze to get unfiltered and uncensored data. Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm examines this shift and how it can be utilized by product managers to revamp their traditional sources and methods of data collection and analysis.

Who should read this book:
If you want to learn about the intersection of online media and data analytics, Rudder’s book should top your reading list. Focusing on the new digital age, this New York Times Bestseller examines the digital transformation of product management data collection. Throughout the book, Rudder draws from real-life examples to illustrate how digital data collection removes filters and bias from analytics.

Why this is a top product management book:
Sam Goertler, Lead Product Manager at theSkimm recommends this book, “[Rudder] does a great job of mining various data sets to understand human behaviors and biases that most people wouldn’t readily admit to. As PMs, we often have to anticipate and reconcile the differences between what users say vs. what they actually do. This book taught me how to strengthen that muscle.”

2. Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide by Alex Reinhart

About the book:
Alex Reinhart’s Statistics Done Wrong covers the all-too-common practice of using flawed statistics in product design and development. This data-focused book thoroughly examines common mistakes with data collection, management, and applications of analytics.

Who should read this book:
If you learn best from hands-on experience and real life knowledge, this book is a great resource. Reinhart will teach you how to draw more meaningful and valuable insights from your data by highlighting the most common data analytics pitfalls that product managers face.

Why this is a top product management book:
This book is essential to learning how to precisely collect data while measuring your daily active users, and ensure accuracy so that your data is actually valuable to you. It will teach you to translate your insights into meaningful results.

3. Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster (Lean Series) by Benjamin Yoskovitz

About the book:
Lean Analytics examines how to build a successful startup faster by using momentum to your advantage. Lean Analytics will teach you how to generate and validate ideas, identify your target customers, and build and develop a product. With six different business models and over 30 case studies, you’ll learn from real applications of data analytics.

Who should read this book:
Yoskovitz’s book is ideal for early-stage startups looking to identify opportunities for product innovation. Read this book if you’re looking for a product management framework for ideation, implementation, and development for young companies.

Why this is a top product management book:
This book will teach you how to produce a product that is valuable and marketable through developing a thorough understanding of the analytics draw from your product.

Best Product Management Books for Leadership

If you’re new to management at all, or recently realized you need to up your game, these books focus on what it means to be a good leader, how to inspire those you’re leading, and how to connect your team and your vision.

1. The Book of Beautiful Questions: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead by Warren Berger

About the book:
This book contains hundreds of questions—big and small—to challenge your thinking about situations you’re bound to face. Going outside leadership into the realms of relationships and general work, these questions will help any aspiring leader get a handle on tackling difficult decisions by gaining a better understanding of their convictions.

Who should read this book:
Berger’s book is a fantastic read for any product manager who feels confronted with demanding situations that require quick decision-making. The skills gained from this book will help you think about how to make a good decision to improve your decision-making speed and confidence.

Why this is a top product management book:
According to Shayna Stewart, Product Manager at Y Media Labs, this book will teach you “how to get over being scared to ask hard questions. Also, how questions really push you from just continuing down the same road that you’ve always been going down.”

2. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman

About the book:
A smart leader invests time in building a team of smart, empowered individuals, rather than putting all the spotlight on themselves. This book takes the stance that being ‘the smartest person in the room’ isn’t requisite for being a great leader. Instead, Wiseman teaches you how to strengthen your team—and therefore your product potential—by investing in the skills development of individual team members.

Who should read this book:
You don’t need to feel like a genius — you want to be a genius-maker. If you’re leading a talented team and you know there is unlocked potential in them, the skills in this book will help you push them to the limit of innovation.

Why this is a top product management book:
Sameer Karim, Product Strategy & Analytics Expert at Slalom, shares that Wiseman’s book taught him about what pragmatic product management truly entails. “It’s really about building a team of force multipliers and being a force multiplier for your team, rather than being a detractor,” Karim shares. “The most exciting concept and reminder in there is really giving your team and giving your organization direction on where you want to go. It’s kind of the mission-based leadership and then being there to support them in that.”

Go-To Product Management Book for Early Stage Startups

If your product is part of a new startup, the resources at your disposal are more limited compared to a large company. To grow your product and business, you need to be smarter and more strategic about how you allocate your resources. These books will help you confront the challenges of building a company head-on by teaching you how to create a winning product strategy.

1. The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

About the book:
Running a business is tough, and there’s no way around that. Learn from Horowitz’s experiences like stealing his competitors, firing his friends, and knowing the right time to cash-in.

Who should read this book:
Check out this book if you love the brutally honest truth..This book will teach you how failure, hardships, and the difficulties you face will mold you as a leader, and improve your process, rather than detract from it.

Why this is a top product management book:
Rose Yao, Director of Product at Google Maps, personally recommends this book. She says , “I enjoyed The Hard Thing About Hard Things because it’s a book about how to recover from failure vs. a glowing review.”

2. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore

About the book:
Everyone in product management knows the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, where consumers can be sorted into five groups: the Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. This book looks at the gap between the Early Adopters and Early Majority, and techniques that attract the adopters won’t work on the more risk-averse Early Majority. Learn how your product strategy can flow to prevent missing out on your biggest target audience.

Who should read this book:
Read this book if you’re in a high-tech industry and need to learn how to bring a cutting-edge product to the ever-changing market. Moore’s book will be particularly helpful if you know your product has a clear appeal to those in tech, but you need to learn how to bring that appeal to the masses.

Why this is a top product management book:
Dan McGaw, Founder & CEO of Effin Amazing says this book “speaks to this important problem of building something before it’s ‘ready.’ It’s something that I’ve experienced a few times — creating a product or a service before the rest of the market was really there, before even the people the product was for necessarily knew they needed it.”

3. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

About the book:
This book teaches a key lesson: all the best innovators and successful people—people like Martin Luther King Jr., the Wright Brothers, or Apple Computers—were successful because their vision starts with the why of their vision. Why are we different? Why are we doing what we’re doing? Think about your purpose here, not what you’re trying to sell.

BONUS: For a concise look into what this book is about, check out Sinek’s TED Talk here.

Who should read this book:
Read this book if you’re a product manager who needs to articulate the vision of your product to your team.

Why this is a top product management book:
This classic is considered a must-read for founders, CEOs, and A-level leaders to understand their own motivations. You can’t lead a team if you don’t know exactly what you’re leading them toward. This book will help you clearly articulate your vision and motivation.

4. High Output Management by Andy Grove

About the book:
This book is a must for any Silicon Valley startup. Written by Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and one of the company’s first employees, High Output Management works as a handbook for kickstarting a new business. Drawing on his decades of experience in product and leadership, Grove’s books covers all the basics of managing a team includinghow to build your team, how to start a company, how to motivate people to achieve peak performance.

Who should read this book:
Grove’s book is a must-read for any entrepreneur eager to learn the basics of building and running a company. Refer to this book as your guide to building a high-functioning team at a young company.

Why this is a top product management book:
Andrew Wynn, Product Manager at Looker (and formerly Instacart) calls it a “classic tech-focused business-book.”

The Most Inspiring Product Management Books for Innovation and Disruption

Are you a mover and shaker? Is your product going to change the game of your industry forever? If so, these books help you hone your vision, with examples from other top innovators and ground-breaking companies.

1. The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen

About the book:
Coming from Harvard Professor Clayton M. Christensen, this best-selling product management book uses case studies to show how businesses that seem to have done everything right still lose out in their market because of leadership. Christensen believes (and proves quite well) that a company with a top product can still be pushed out of the market if they don’t follow the rules for capitalizing on your disruptive tech in the exact right way, at the exact right moment.

Who should read this book:
You know that your tech is disruptive, and you see yourself among the likes of Intel or Honda. Read this book to learn how to tell when to listen to your users, and when to ignore their criticisms, and you need to focus on user retention.

Why this is a top product management book:
This book will teach you when to throw traditional management practices out the window, and focus on a strategy that will make your product a winner.

2. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

About the book:
Unsurprisingly all about Amazon, this book takes a look at how Jeff Bezos took his lack of content with selling only books, and turned it into one of (if not the most) successful stories tech has ever seen. Learn through Bezos’ corporate culture how he built Amazon into what it is today through in-depth and personal accounts from Bezos, his family, and his contemporaries.

Who should read this book:
If you’re a hands-on manager and want to build the culture of your company through your personal leadership, read this book.

Why this is a top product management book:
No one can argue with the success of Amazon, so why not learn from one of the best, and how he compared to other tech elites like Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg. Using a semi-biographical style, this book differs from many others like it. If bio is your style, this is a must-read.

3. Diffusion of Innovations by Everett M. Rogers

About the book:
Everett M. Rogers, Professor & Chair of the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico, uses this book to expand on his theory of the Diffusion of Innovations, which states that four main elements influence how new ideas are spread:

  1. The innovation itself
  2. Communication channels
  3. Time
  4. Social system

These four facets rely on human capital, and the innovation must become widely adopted, lest it disappear from the market altogether. This theory tries to explain the rate at which new ideas will spread, and provide context for why they do.

Who should read this book:
This book is ideal for teams building a product that is hard to sell to some groups of adopters. Whether the tech is too complex, the product seems too expensive, or the value it brings is hard to express to the average person, this book will help you target the areas you need to sell to by understanding how to spread your company’s “why.”

Why this is a top product management book:
The Internet was adopted by people, possibly faster than any other technological development in human history. Every product that can learn a lesson about how the Internet was understood by so many—so quickly.

Top Product Management Books for Skills Development

If you’re a new manager, skills development is probably a big area of focus for you. Learn how to improve habits, understand and express your own vision better, and how to use your influence more productively ways.

1. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher

About the book:
Negotiating is an art that every product manager should master. This book contains tactics for negotiating properly and how to hone persuasive skills

Who should read this book:
Everyone. Negotiating is just a part of your daily life—whether that’s with your team, or when it comes to building your product over time.

Why this is a top product management book:
This best-seller teaches a skill that all leaders need. There’s no way around it, and the only way to get better at negotiating is to learn about best practices to test out in your day-to-day.

2. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

About the book:
This book became an instant classic because it proved how successful businesses like Procter & Gamble or Alcoa used pattern recognition to transform their businesses seemingly overnight. Using psychology to explain our habits, Duhigg relies on narratives to teach lessons about how to change your habits.

Who should read this book:
You know you have the capacity to be a great leader, but you find yourself procrastinating, or having trouble motivating (yourself, or your team). You know you need to change, and want to implement a system that will make you a great leader.

Why this is a top product management book:
This book demonstrates that success comes from focussing on the patterns that shape our lives. David Packles, Senior PM at Peloton Cycle calls this “an immersive book relating to human behavior.”

3. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

About the book:
In this classic read by people in absolutely every industry, Dale Carnegie turns his former lecture series into a book that teaches you exactly what the title sells: how to influence people. Carnegie’s book distills lessons on management, leadership, and building teams that are as relevant today as in 1936, when the book was originally published.

Who should read this book:
You know you have great ideas, but sometimes have difficulty getting people to follow your leadership. If you want to learn how various types of reinforcement, and why classic management techniques either work or don’t, this book is for you.

Why this is a top product management book:
This book was originally published in 1936, yet it has remained one of the most popular self-improvement and management teaching books. The lessons on getting people to like you as a manager remain true, and are universal, no matter what product you’re selling.

4. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder

About the book:
A self-proclaimed handbook, this product management book targets visionaries who know they have a great product, but aren’t certain exactly where it fits in the world. It aims to show you how to build a business of tomorrow by ensuring your vision is always moving forward, and looking at what needs to be done next—always.

Who should read this book:
You know your company needs to adapt to the new reality of the market, but you haven’t yet figured out which strategy will get you there. You consider yourself a “do-er” and want to take action with your product strategy.

Why this is a top product management book:
Using practical techniques from some of today’s leading companies like Deloitte, 3M, and others, this book will help you ditch the outdated ways of thinking, and learn how to create value within your product in ways the market hasn’t yet seen, but is certainly ready for.

The Best Books for User-Centric Product Management

If your product is all about understanding the users, the issues you face on a daily basis are unique to you. These books teach you how to turn user feedback into a real strategy for your product, when to listen to your users, when to stick to your true vision, and how to identify your successful product features.

1. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

About the book:
Think about the principles of web design, not the technology behind it. This, according to Krug, is what will help your product sell. The users need to understand what you’re selling, and those users need to go beyond your own developers.

Who should read this book:
This book will help you if your tech is complicated and you need to learn how to explain its value to the general public, as well as if you know your product needs some work. Krug will guide you though the principles of web design to make your site/app/product more accessible.

Why this is a top product management book:
Anyone in high tech can benefit from the lessons taught in this book. If you need your product to go from unusable to mainstream, this book will show you how to make it happen.

2. Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value by Melissa Perri

About the book:
Perri believes that success in today’s world can only come from companies that put a real focus on developing customer-centric practices that take a good hard look at what the user wants, and combines it with the vision the company has for where it wants to go. Learn how to turn user-feedback into actionable product management practices.

Who should read this book:
Be sure to check out this book if your product must focus on the user to grow in the right way, and you’re willing to experiment and test to build the product that the users really want, rather than fall out of the market by strictly adhering to the original idea.

Why this is a top product management book:
Any organization, big or small, needs product management that helps them scale, connects with the vision of the company, and pursues the right opportunities when they arise. This book teaches you how to identify those key components within your product, and develop the perfect product to bring to market.