A Reading List for Aspiring Product Managers

Looking to break into product management? Here are some pointers

Over the years, I’ve given advice to quite a few people who were interested in breaking into product management. Amongst other things, I’ve always left them with a list of books and articles to read — there is a lot of great content that can shed more light on the job of product management and give tangible advice on getting into product management.

Great books for aspiring product managers

Reading great books is a high leverage activity: In a relatively short period of time, you can meaningfully improve your skills and therefore increase your future productivity. This increased productivity will yield compounding results over time, generating a very high return on the initial time invested. Of course, not all books are great, and that is especially the case in the realm of business books, where quite often you will find books that could have been a blog post instead. All books recommended below stand out from the crowd. I’d advise reading them in advance of trying to land your first product management job.

The Lean Startup (Eric Ries)

Competing Against Luck (Clayton Christensen)

Principles of Product Management (Peter Yang)

Cracking the PM Interview (Jackie Bavaro and Gayle Laakmann McDowell)

Great articles for aspiring product managers

The great thing about product management is that a lot of posts are written about it online and free to access. Of course, that also makes it difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Especially for someone new to the field, the deluge of content can feel quite overwhelming. To help you out, here are some suggestions for articles for aspiring product managers.

Product Management: Start Here (Marty Cagan)

How to Get Into Product Management (And Thrive) (Lenny Rachitsky)

Why the Heck Can’t We Change Our Product? (Steven Sinofsky)

Great newsletters for aspiring product managers

There are a lot of newsletters for product managers. Even if you only include the ones that are really worth reading, there are still more than I would recommend subscribing to if you are just thinking about breaking into product management… So here are just a few highly selected ones.

Lenny’s Newsletter (Lenny Rachitsky)

Product Talk (Teresa Torres)

Bring the Donuts (Ken Norton)

Who to follow on Twitter

Another great aspect of product management today is that you can easily engage in a conversation with experts on the topic all around the globe on Twitter. Here are some of the accounts to follow where are you will be able to learn a lot about the bleeding edge of product management. I am intentionally keeping this list short, there are of course many other product people on Twitter that are worth following, but as first steps, these accounts below will definitely be worth your while.

Shreyas Doshi

Shreyas Doshi works in product management at Stripe and was previously at at Twitter, Google, and Yahoo. Shreyas has perfected the art of the Twitter thread as a means for sharing product management content.

John Cutler

John Cutler is Head of Education at product analytics company Amplitude and one of the most prolific writers on product management. On his Twitter, he frequently shares thoughts on product management practices as well as discussion prompts.

Janna Bastow

Janna Bastow is founder of the product management community Mind the Product as well as CEO of product management software company ProdPad. She also invented the time horizon based (now/next/later) product roadmap.

Experienced product leader, previously at 8fit, Yammer, BCG. Currently working on something new.