Books for complete beginners

If you’ve just heard about product management and are considering it as your next career move, your goals at that stage are:

  • to explore what product managers do, and what skills are important;
  • to assess your own skillset and understand what your strengths and gaps are; and
  • to decide if it’s the right path for you.

In my opinion, this list of books and articles is a good starting point.

Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology by G.L.McDowell, J.Bavaro

This piece helps you to prepare for a PM interview and at the same time clearly explains what PMs do and what skillset they should have.

The Lean Startup by E.Ries

Use this book to dip your toe in the water and learn about the basics: such concepts as startups, MVP, “Build-Measure-Learn” framework, experimentation, and so on.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by J.Knapp, B.Kowitz, J.Zeratsky

One of the best books not only to learn about the core principles of product management but also to fall in love with the profession.

Mindset by C.Dweck

A short but inspirational read that concludes 20 years of research and proves that all the limitations are in our heads.

No hard feelings by L.Fosslien, M.W.Duffy

No change is ever easy but, if you understand how to recognise and control your emotions, it becomes manageable.

First, break all the rules by D.Clifton

This book gives a new definition to “strengths” and “weaknesses”, and helps you understand and evaluate yours.


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