Curated Collection of Books, Courses, and Resources for Emerging PMs
Do you aspire to be a Product Manager (PM)? Are you new to the role?
Not every Product Manager has a mentor. If you don’t have a mentor, you will benefit from self-learning. We recommend these books and resources for aspiring or new PMs.
4 Reasons Reading is Key for Aspiring Product Managers
1 - Don’t wait for a mentor: Don’t delay learning until you find a mentor. Books offer a self-guided learning path. Successful PMs and thought leaders have written books to share their knowledge.
2 - Accelerated Learning vs Projects: You learn a bit from each project. Each project takes a few months to a year. So, you learn only a few things every year. But, to learn a few things every month, not every year, read about best practices. Reading the best practices arms you with theoretical knowledge. Use this knowledge to trial on a small scale in your project. It’s about getting the reps in.
3 - Theory to Practice: Whether you're currently in a PM role or not, apply the theories you learn to your work or side projects. This approach enables you to test principles and techniques in real-world scenarios. For instance, if you discover a new roadmapping technique, use it in a small project. If you don’t have the buy-in to change the team’s roadmap, make a personal version of the roadmap for your understanding.
If you are not in a PM role, you can still discover side projects that aid your growth in Product Management. Reading about PM will open your eyes to side projects - that may be useless to grow in your role but - amazing to learn Product Management.
4 - Preparation for Interviews: When you read and apply a best practice PM framework, you also create learning experiences. You will have a more impactful story for interviews when you seek your next (or first) PM role.
A Book about the PM role:
Marty Cagan’s Inspired: If you could read only one book on Product Management. This helps you see the most ideal version of the PM role.
Books on PM hard skills, ordered from easy to hard reads:
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman: Start to take a user-centric approach to products.
The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick: The basics of talking to your customers.
Jake Knapp’s Sprint: Fast approaches to go from idea to market validation.
Nir Eyal’s Hooked: Learn to improve user retention.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
Deploy Empathy by Michele Hansen: Learn to talk to users with advanced scripts and tips. Your users could be colleagues, independent developers, or Fortune 500 companies.
Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres: An advanced book for PMs with a few years of experience. Use this to build a new impactful process to stay up to date with customer pain points.
Books on PM soft skills:
A Book on job search and career decisions:
The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman: Use this to energize your career search. Guide your thinking to find the intersection of your interests, your skills, and the interests of potential employers.
University of Virginia’s Design Thinking for Innovation course: Learn design thinking and use it in your customer discovery.
Recommended Podcasts And Newsletters
Podcasts and newsletters, in no particular order:
You can find more resources and in priority order in the analysis of different podcasts and newsletters here.
Recommended eBooks Or Blogs
More posts on Product Management resources:
Tips to Consume all this content: Text to Speech Arbitrage