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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

The Aspiring Product Manager’s Reading List

Empowering New Product Managers With Knowledge And Best Practices

Do you aspire to be a Product Manager (PM)? Are you new to the role?

I didn't have a mentor in my early Product Management (PM) days. So, I understand the importance of self-learning. Here are my recommended books and resources for aspiring or new PMs.

I spent 1 hour and 16 minutes writing this post.

Steve Jobs reading books?
Steve Jobs reading books?

I originally published this post on on Jan 31, 2024.

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.

Recommended Books

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:

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.

Recommended Course

Recommended Podcasts And Newsletters

one of the frameworks to analyze and rank content sources from an earlier post.
one of the frameworks to analyze and rank content sources from an earlier post.

Podcasts and newsletters, in no particular order:

I have more resources and in priority order in the analysis of different podcasts and newsletters here.

Recommended eBooks Or Blogs

Recommended Communities

Further Reading

My posts on Product Management resources:

I originally published this post on on Jan 31, 2024.



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