PH #3: Here in my garage 🚗
Just bought this new Lamborghini here. It’s fun to drive up here in the Hollywood hills. But you know what I like more than materialistic things? Knowledge.
Hey, this is Igor from Product Highlights. This week we're covering essential books every product person should read (or at the very least claim to have read).
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
An all-time classic covering the lean approach to building a product without spending all the money in the world. This book is all about starting small and working in small increments, giving you that 'MVP mindset'.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
A near-complete antithesis to The Lean Startup. It's more of a checklist of what you need to do before making a product/company that has the potential to take over the world. A great read to bring a slightly different perspective on how one can build things.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
A book that coined the "customer development" term. Just like the Zero to One, this gives you a handful of ready to use frameworks and canvases and teaches you to use them. When you have some/all the answers, executing on your product or marketing turns an unpredictable nightmare into a walk in the park.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Ben is spitting straight facts here. This book teaches you to recover from failure, fire your close friends, and become this mythical thick-skinned entrepreneurial demigod. Ideology aside, it holds an enormous amount of common sense and 'startup wisdom' that might get one from crack to rap to corner offices.
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
You might have heard about the 'early adopters' or even read about the technology adoption life cycle. Having stood the test of time, this book teaches you to think bigger and explains how to take your innovative product to every household in the world, instead of a bunch of geeks.
Done with the first five? Here are a few more:
Inspired by Marty Cagan
A jam-packed collection of real-world examples of how companies like Apple, Google, and Netflix create digital products with millions of evangelists. Marty is finding similarities in these companies hiring policies, culture, processes, and discovery techniques that lead to their success.
Hooked by Nir Eyal
A must-read for everyone building the next Facebook or just introducing gamification mechanics into your products. This one teaches you to create viral loops that your customers will want to come back to over and over again.
Beautiful Evidence by Edward R. Tufte
A brilliant illustration of how and why good design works. It features hundreds of gorgeous historical illustrations, all of which serve to deconstruct the idea of design and the qualities that make good design so powerful. A critically important book for product managers who want to create better products.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
This book states that success doesn't happen in a vacuum. It isn't based on intelligence, but on a variety of factors, and uses multiple examples to demonstrate it. In fact, he shows that hard work and opportunity in almost all cases are more important than intelligence. The book is significant, easy to read, and extremely thought-provoking.
Free by Chris Anderson
This one forces the reader to re-imagine how one should price their product by looking at alternative monetization strategies and ways to earn more by not charging anything upfront.
Lesser-known ebooks/compilations/whatever you wouldn't want to miss:
North Star Playbook by Amplitude
The book covers the North Star Metric framework so beloved by product managers all over the world. This will give you a sense of impact and coherence in your work and help you focus on what matters most.
Intercom on Product Management by Intercom
An all-in-one guide on building products customers will enjoy using. More of a collection of blog posts, it handles some of the most important aspects of product management, making it a good place to start or refresh your knowledge.
Lovability by Aha
Love is the surprising emotion that company builders cannot afford to ignore. A must-read for innovators everywhere, this book reveals an intriguing, human-centric approach to building products and organizations.
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend. Or your mom. Preferably both.
Have a great weekend!