The Essential Reading List For Clever Product People

This is a reading list for Product Managers. The list was created many years ago after a talk we heard.

Nigel Dalton’s keynote speech at Product Camp Melbourne 2011 encouraged participants to spend 1 hour each week reading books.

As a result of his wise words, participants kick started a reading list.

Please continue to add to the list… (through the comments function or by dropping us a note at, @brainmates)

24 August 2011

  1. Scrappy Project Management by Kimberly Wiefling
  2. Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug
  3. What Customers Want by Anthony Ulwick
  4. Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play by Luke Hohmann
  5. Business Model Generation by Alex Osterwalder et al
  6. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
  7. Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity by Michael Michalko
  8. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin
  9. Reimagine! Excellence in a Disruptive Age by Tom Peters (my personal fav)
  10. Product Strategy for High Technology Companies by Michael McGrath
  11. The Product Managers Desk Reference by Steven Haines
  12. The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing by Nagle et al

25 August 2011

  1. Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
  2. Roadmap to Revenue by Kristin Zhivago
  3. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank
  4. Discovery Driven Growth by Rita Gunther McGrath
  5. The Ten Faces of Innovation by Thomas Kelly

30 August 2011

  1. Rapid Problem Solving with Post-It Notes by David Straker
  2. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
  3. Good to Great by Jim Collins
  4. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Ries and Trout

6 October 2011

  1. Users Not Customers by Aaron Shapiro
  2. Managing Product Management by Steven Haines

4 January 2012

  1. The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam
  2. Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
  3. Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray
  4. Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World by Warren Berger
  5. The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen
  6. Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
  7. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath
  8. Say It With Charts: The Executive’s Guide to Visual Communication by Gene Zelazny

29 April 2013

  1. Humanize, How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant
  2. Look and Flow by Enric Fort, Prashanth Padmanabahn & Eduardo Salamanca de Diego
  3. Resonate by Nancy Duarte
  4. Business Model Renewal by Linda Gorchels
  5. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
  6. Little Black Book of Innovation by Scott Anthony
  7. Winning at Innovation by Philip Kotler and Fernando Trà­as de Bes
  8. Marketing 3.0 From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit by Philip Kotler

12 July 2013

  1. Universal Methods of Design by Bella Martin and Bruce Hanington
  2. Designing for Growth by Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie
  3. 101 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk
  4. Ten Types of Innovation by Larry Keeley

5 February 2014

  1. Your Brain and Business by Dr. Srini Pillay (This author is inspirational!)
  2. The Knowing-Doing Gap by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton
  3. Dealing With Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of Their Evolution by Geoffrey Moore
  4. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  5. Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights by Steve Portigal

25 February 2016

  1. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  2. Value Proposition Design by Alex Osterwalder
  3. Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal
  4. Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate and Think by Mona Patel
  5. Running Lean by Ash Maurya
  6. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  7. Simple Rules by Donald Sull and Kathy Eisenhardt
  8. The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen
  9. The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  10. The Art of Product Management by Rich Mironov

18 September 2019

  1. Escaping The Build Trap by Melissa Perri
  2. A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger
  3. Sense and Respond by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
  4. Hidden in Plain Sight by Jan Chipchase
  5. Badass: Making Users Awesome by Kathy Sierra
  6. The Mom Test, by Rob Fitzpatrick
  7. Product Roadmaps Relaunched by Bruce McCarthy
  8. Sprint, by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky
  9. This is Service Design Doing by Marc Stickdorn
  10. Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle McDowell & Jackie Bavaro

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