Best Product Management Books for 2024: Essential Reads for Aspiring PMs

Looking for the best product management books for 2024? This list covers everything a product manager needs to stay ahead in the ever-evolving field. From understanding user needs to mastering agile practices, these books offer valuable insights and practical advice. Whether you're new to product management or looking to refine your skills, these books are essential reads.

The UltimateProduct Management Guide by the The Product Folks

Super-Useful ebook for people who

  • Want to break into Product Management and accelerate their product journey
  • Want to execute their ideas from zero to one and build amazing products
  • Want to get insights of how Product Managers work at big companies like Mixpanel, Swiggy and more

Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan


Marty Cagan's book, "Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love," is all about making things that people actually want to use. He's been in the game for a long time and shares what he's learned about getting to know what customers need, coming up with product ideas that will sell, and working well with your team.

Here's what you'll find inside:

  • Simple steps to figure out what product to make next, how to check if people will buy it, and deciding what's most important to work on
  • Tips on talking to users, trying out your ideas, and making changes based on what you learn
  • Advice on how to get your team excited about the product and how to work together effectively
  • Stories from big tech companies about what worked for them and what didn't

At its heart, "Inspired" tells us that making a great product is all about understanding and caring about your users. It's not just about the features; it's about creating something that fits into their lives and solves a problem for them. This focus on really getting what users want is what makes this book so helpful for anyone looking to make something people will love.

In short, this book is a straightforward guide to making products the right way. It's packed with useful advice and real stories that make it a great read for both newbies and seasoned pros in product management.

Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen

"Competing Against Luck" by Clayton Christensen gives readers a fresh way to think about innovation and creating products that really hit the mark with customers. Christensen believes that companies often miss the mark on innovation because they're too focused on beating the competition instead of really understanding what their customers need help with.

Here are the main points from the book:

  • Figure out the "jobs-to-be-done" that customers are looking to complete. Getting what customers are actually trying to do can open up new chances to meet their needs.
  • Aim your innovation at helping customers move forward in their lives, rather than just adding more features to your product. True innovation comes from knowing what your customers are going through.
  • Use the "jobs" idea to sort out different ways you can innovate, like making things easier to use, adding functionality, or making improvements that customers will feel emotionally. Different kinds of innovation will appeal to different customer needs.
  • Don't go overboard with innovation by adding things customers don't really need. Only innovate when it helps customers with an important "job". Adding new features just because you can often doesn't work out well.

"Competing Against Luck" suggests that focusing on the customer's needs first is the key to innovation. By understanding the important "jobs" customers need to do, product managers can create products that truly fit into and improve their customers' lives. This shift in thinking is crucial for any product leader who wants to stay ahead in today's fast-moving world. Knowing and meeting the real needs of customers is what makes the best product teams stand out.

Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres

"Continuous Discovery Habits" by Teresa Torres is all about getting better at understanding what users really need, so you can make products that solve their problems. Here's a simple breakdown of what you'll learn:

  • Keep asking "why" until you really understand what users are trying to do. Dig deep by asking what good it does them and why that's important.
  • Look out for guesses in your ideas and check them. For example, find out if users actually like a feature or if they'd be willing to pay for your product.
  • Try things out with quick, small tests instead of just going with your gut about what users want. Even a simple test with a few people can tell you a lot.
  • When you talk to users, really listen. Don't just hear what you want to hear. Be open to learning something new.
  • Use a method like the Kano Model to figure out what users absolutely need, what they expect, and what would really make them happy. This helps you focus on what's really important.

The big idea of "Continuous Discovery Habits" is to always be curious about your users and not jump to conclusions. By asking questions, testing your ideas, and listening, you can find out what makes a product successful and loved by users. It's about making sure you're solving the right problems in ways that really help people. Teresa Torres shows how any product manager can get better at this, making sure they're working on things that matter.

Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Steve Krug's book "Don't Make Me Think" is a must-read if you're working on making websites or apps easy to use. Even though it first came out in 2000, the ideas about making things easy for people to use are still super important today.

Here are some main points from the book:

  • Everything on your site or app should be easy to understand. People shouldn't have to guess how to use it.
  • Keep things simple. Too many choices can confuse users.
  • Test your ideas with real people early on. You can even use paper to sketch out your ideas and see if they work.
  • Stick to what people are used to. Using common designs helps users feel at home right away.
  • Always focus on what users need to do. It's more about helping them than showing off new tech.

"Don't Make Me Think" is a quick read at just over 200 pages and mixes funny stories with solid advice. Even though the internet has changed a lot since the book was first published, the tips on focusing on the user are timeless for anyone making digital products.

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Don Norman's book, "The Design of Everyday Things," talks about why we find some things easy to use and others hard. Even though it was first written in 1988, it's still really useful for anyone making products or designing how they work.

Here's what the book teaches us:

  • Affordances - Things should make it obvious how to use them. Like, if a door has a bar across it, you know you should push.
  • Visibility - The important parts should be easy to see. You shouldn't have to guess how something works.
  • Mapping - It should be clear what each control does. For example, moving a switch up to turn right and down to turn left.
  • Feedback - When you do something, the system should let you know what happened. Like pressing a button, and it lights up.
  • Conceptual Models - The way something works should make sense in your head. If it doesn't, it can feel confusing.
  • Standards - Using designs that are familiar makes things easier because you don't have to learn everything from scratch.

Even though technology has changed a lot, understanding how people think and what makes something easy or hard to use is still super important for digital products.

Norman's book tells us to focus on what users need and make things simple and intuitive. A lot of his examples are about everyday objects, which helps show how small design choices can make a big difference in whether something is a joy or a pain to use.

"The Design of Everyday Things" is a must-read if you want to get the basics of good design that makes products easy and enjoyable to use. It's about looking closely at why some things work really well and others don't, and applying those lessons to what we make.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup

Eric Ries's book, "The Lean Startup," is all about trying things quickly and learning from your mistakes when you're building a new product or business. It's been really influential for people starting new companies and for those working in big companies too.

Here's what the book covers:

  • Testing Ideas Quickly - Instead of guessing what customers might like, you should make a simple version of your idea and see how people react to it. Change your plan based on what you find out.
  • Starting Small - Begin with just the basics that you need to see if your idea has potential. You can add more features later once you know people are interested.
  • Learning from Real Data - Pay attention to real feedback and numbers that tell you if people actually find your product useful. Ignore numbers that look good but don't really mean much.
  • Quick Cycles of Learning - Keep trying new things, seeing how they work, and deciding what to do next. Do this over and over to improve quickly.

Even though it's mostly for startups, big companies can learn from "The Lean Startup" too. It's all about experimenting and making decisions based on what you learn from real customers.

For anyone who wants to make products the smart way, this book is a great guide. Eric Ries encourages you to get your ideas out there as soon as you can and learn from what happens.

To get the book, you can find "The Lean Startup by Eric Ries on Amazon" here.

Sprint by Jake Knapp

"Sprint", written by Jake Knapp and his team, is all about a quick, five-day way to tackle big problems and test out new ideas. Here's what it's about:

  • Gives you a day-by-day plan for running a quick and effective design sprint
  • Includes stories and examples from real life to show how it works
  • Teaches you how to make a prototype fast and find out what users think about it
  • Talks about common issues you might run into and how to solve them
  • Highlights how working together with people from different parts of your company is key

I've started using design sprints in my work to quickly see if an idea is worth following up on. This book showed me how to put together a simple version of my idea, get feedback from actual users, and decide if we should move forward with it. By getting everyone involved from the start, we can make decisions together and move faster. In short, "Sprint" has been a big help in making our process of trying out new ideas more organized and effective.

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz

"Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster" is a book by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz that helps startups use numbers and facts to grow smarter and quicker. Here's a simple breakdown of what the book talks about:

  • It explains the different stages a startup goes through and which numbers (metrics) are important at each stage.
  • The book highlights the kind of metrics that actually help you learn and make smart choices.
  • It warns about common mistakes startups make when looking at their data.
  • You'll find stories from real startups that used data to do well.
  • The authors talk about how to pick the right things to measure for your own startup.
  • They also share tools and ways to understand what your users are doing.

This book is all about focusing on the right problems by looking at the right data, so you don't waste time and resources on things that don't matter. It gives you a step-by-step guide on what to measure at different points in your startup's life. Whether you're just starting out, trying to get more people to use your product, or looking to grow, "Lean Analytics" shows you how to make choices based on facts, not just guesses. Even if you think you know about analytics, this book can help you see data in a new way.

In short, "Lean Analytics" is a must-read for anyone involved in a new startup who wants to use data and analytics to create something that users really want. It's like a new set of glasses for looking at your progress and learning from what your users do.

Data Science for Business by Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett

"Data Science for Business" by Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett is a book that helps product managers use data to make smarter decisions. Here's what it's about:

  • It breaks down what data science really means in a way that's easy to get.
  • It teaches you how to think about business problems so you can solve them by looking at data.
  • You'll learn about different data science methods like sorting things into groups, predicting outcomes, suggesting options, and others.
  • The book shares stories from different fields like healthcare, shopping, and banking to show how data science is used.
  • It talks about how to bring data science into your product planning and the choices you make.

The book is really good at explaining things without making them too complicated. You don't need to be a math whiz to understand it.

"Data Science for Business" dives into important ideas without making your head spin. Whether you're just starting with data science or you want to get more from it, this book can clear up a lot of things. Using what you learn from it can help you make choices that are backed up by real data.

If you're curious, you can check out the book "Data Science for Business" on Amazon here.

Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal

"Team of Teams" is a book by General Stanley McChrystal where he talks about how to be a good leader and make your organization better at handling challenges. He uses examples from his time leading special operations teams to share these ideas.

Here's what the book suggests:

  • Let small teams make decisions: Instead of having all decisions go through a long process, let smaller groups handle them. This helps things move faster and smoother.
  • Share information with everyone: Make sure everyone knows what's going on across different parts of the organization. This helps people trust each other and work together better.
  • Leaders should support, not control: Instead of trying to control everything, leaders should support their teams by giving them what they need to succeed.

"Team of Teams" shows how the military changed its usual way of doing things to be more flexible and quick. The book talks about how to share power, keep everyone in the loop, and lead in a way that encourages teamwork. These ideas can help not just in the military but in any place that wants to do a better job of working together and adapting to new challenges.

Enhancing User Experience and Design Thinking

Making products easy and fun to use is super important. That's what user experience (UX) and design thinking are all about. If you're a product manager, knowing how to make your product feel good to use can really set it apart. Here are some books that can help you get better at this.

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

This book by Don Norman talks about why some things are easy to use and others aren't. It teaches you how to:

  • Make designs that people can understand easily
  • Show users how things work without making them guess
  • Give clear signals when users do something right
  • Make sure users have a good idea of how your product works

Even though it's an older book, the ideas are still super useful for anyone making products today.

Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Steve Krug's book is all about making websites and apps easy to use. He says:

  • Keep your design simple so people don't get confused
  • Use clear words and signs to guide users
  • Stick to what people already know
  • Test your product with real people to find problems

This book is great for making sure your product is easy for everyone to use.

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Yes, this book is listed again because it's that important. Don Norman shows us how to:

  • Use common designs so people know how to use your product right away
  • Make sure users can see and understand how to control your product
  • Let users know when they've done something right
  • Help users understand how your product works

It's a must-read for anyone who wants to make their product easy and enjoyable to use.

Mastering Agile and Lean Practices

Agile and lean methods are all about making your team work smarter and faster, focusing on what really matters. Here's a list of books that are great for learning these techniques.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Eric Ries's book teaches you how to:

  • Quickly test your product ideas with real customers
  • Make decisions based on actual data, not just guesses
  • Change your plans based on what you find out
  • Avoid spending time and resources on things people don't want

It's a key read for anyone interested in agile methods and starting new projects or businesses.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland

Jeff Sutherland's book talks about scrum, a way to get more done quicker. Here's what it covers:

  • Splitting projects into small, quick tasks
  • Having a short meeting every day to see how things are going
  • Regularly checking and adjusting your plan
  • Helping team members solve problems

This book is full of practical advice for teams using scrum.

Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf

Jeff Gothelf combines lean startup methods with design thinking. This book is about:

  • Getting the team involved from the start
  • Testing ideas quickly
  • Starting with the problem
  • Validating ideas with experiments

It helps teams create the right things quickly and together.

Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke

Christina Wodtke's book is about setting clear goals and achieving them. It includes:

  • Choosing the most important goals with your team
  • Making those goals into specific objectives
  • Making sure you're hitting those objectives
  • Finding and fixing what's not working

This book helps keep teams on track and focused on results.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Data is super important when you want to make smart choices about the products you're working on. Here are some awesome books that can help product managers (PMs) use data to make their products better.

Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen

This book by Clayton Christensen talks about focusing on what users are really trying to achieve with your product. Key points:

  • Think about the goals users have, not just about adding new features
  • Help users move forward in their lives with your product
  • Use the "jobs" idea to find new ways to be helpful

Understanding the "jobs" users need done can lead to new and creative ways to make your product better.

Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres

Teresa Torres's book is all about keeping in touch with what your users need. It teaches:

  • Keep asking "why" to get to the bottom of what users really want
  • Check your guesses by talking directly to users
  • Run small tests instead of just going with what you think
  • Really listen to what users say, not just what you hope they'll say

Making it a habit to constantly learn about your users helps teams avoid working on the wrong things.

Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll

This book is great for startups that want to focus on the most important numbers. Key ideas:

  • Pick the right numbers to watch depending on where your startup is at
  • Use these numbers to make smarter choices
  • Stay away from numbers that look good but don't really help

"Lean Analytics" helps teams pay attention to the numbers that really show if they're creating value.

Leadership and Team Collaboration

Being a good leader and working well with others is key to making awesome products. Here are some important books that share insights on how to bring teams closer, inspire people, and lead organizations through tough times.

Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal

General McChrystal talks about the lessons he learned about leading and teamwork while in charge of special forces in Iraq. Main points:

  • Let small teams make their own decisions for faster responses
  • Sharing more information helps build trust among teams
  • Leaders should help teams instead of trying to control everything

He shows how changing the way teams work together made the military more adaptable.

The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo

Julie Zhuo shares advice for people new to managing others, based on her own journey. She covers:

  • Moving from doing your own work to guiding others
  • Being clear about what you expect and giving helpful feedback
  • Creating trust with honesty and care
  • Finding and supporting great team members

Zhuo emphasizes that learning to manage well comes from practice and being open to learning.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Kim Scott explains that being genuinely caring towards your team while also challenging them is the way to go. She suggests managers:

  • Really care about team members' lives
  • Offer both praise and criticism to help people get better
  • Let teams share their thoughts and discuss ideas
  • Make sure any criticism is gentle, clear, and meant to help

Getting to know your team and talking straight with them can bring out their best.


The books we've talked about for product managers in 2024 are packed with useful ideas and methods. They're great for anyone working in product management, no matter if you're just starting out or have been in the field for a while.

Some of the main points these books cover include:

  • Really getting what users need and what they're trying to do
  • Trying things quickly and learning from what happens
  • Working well with people from different parts of your company
  • Making decisions based on data
  • Thinking about the impact of your product on people and society

As product management keeps changing, it's important to stay up-to-date with new ways of thinking and doing things. The books we've listed are full of advice and tools that can help you make better products, lead your team more effectively, and keep growing in your career.

By reading these books, you can learn a lot about how to make products that people love and that are good for your business. Keeping up with these books means you're ready to handle the challenges of making products in a world that's always changing.

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