Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a monster. It’s true.
My hunger for knowledge is insatiable.
Jokes aside, being a Product Manager or a Researcher only means that there are never enough ideas, facts, or data to support your work. You always wish you had more. And when you do, then you will probably need that extra inspiration for out-of-box solutions for new problems and opportunities you just identified.
Here’s a list of 10 books that I had the pleasure to digest recently, that I found to be of great help in dealing with the challenges of a Product Manager’s life.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield
A memoir that will take you on an out-of-this-world adventure and teach you valuable lessons about problem-solving and leadership. Hadfield’s experiences as an astronaut provide practical insights into dealing with challenges and working as a team. Whether you’re launching a new product or preparing for a spacewalk, lessons on thinking ahead and being prepared will help you achieve success.
How Innovation Works, Matt Ridley
With engaging examples from tech, medicine, and agriculture, Ridley shows how innovation is a collaborative process fueled by creativity, trial and error, and the exchange of ideas. Whether you’re a startup founder or an industry leader, this book offers practical insights into how to foster innovation and drive growth in your organization.
Misbehaving, Richard Thaler
The book serves as a perfect introduction to behavioural economics for anyone wanting to learn how to influence consumer behavior in a fun and engaging way. Filled with hilarious anecdotes and fascinating insights into human decision-making, Thaler shows how a little bit of “misbehavior” can go a long way in getting people to adopt new products or services.
A Little History of Philosophy, Nigel Warburton
While “A Little History of Philosophy” may not seem like an obvious choice, it offers highly relevant insights into critical thinking and decision-making. By exploring the ideas of great thinkers, we gain a deeper understanding of how to approach complex problems and how to think creatively to arrive at effective solutions.
The Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman
Don Norman’s “The Design of Everyday Things” may not be a new release, but its lessons on user-centered design remain as relevant today as ever. In a witty and insightful exploration of the science and art of product design, Norman shows how even the most seemingly mundane objects can benefit from a human-centered approach.
The Anthropocene Reviewed, John Green
“Anthropocene Reviewed” is a fun and insightful book that serves as an extension of the podcast of the same name. It offers a unique perspective on the modern-day human experience, with humorous and thought-provoking essays that will inspire you to approach your product development work with a renewed sense of creativity and curiosity.
The Values Economy, Alan, Williams, and Samuel Williams
With the explosion of social media and the never-ending fight for social justice, modern brands are no longer defined by what they say they are, but more so by what others say they are. This book will help you navigate the storm of value-driven choices and understand the new paradigm we live in. The extensive list of quotes and references is a great bonus!
Rebel Ideas: The power of Diverse Thinking, Matthew Syed
Matthew Syed’s witty and engaging writing style, combined with his mind-blowing examples from sports, business, and politics, will inspire you to ditch conventional thinking and embrace the power of cognitive diversity. Plus, the book is chock-full of practical advice for creating a culture of inclusivity that celebrates differences and drives innovation.
Continuous Discovery Habits, Teresa Torres
Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
Wait, a science fiction book?! Yes! Sci-fi stories are a fantastic source of inspiration and insight. While pop culture is dominated by western ideas, the world is rich in distinct values and enlightening takes on how the world of tomorrow might address the challenges we face today. Cixing Liu’an s books will open your eyes and blow your mind.
So there you go, that’s the list of my favorite books. What did you think? Are there any titles you’d add to this list? What are your favorite books that every Product person should read?