A list of books and articles that have changed how I think.
Empowered by Marty Cagan
Another classic of Product Management, recommended for Product Leaders.
Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
Trust me. Just read it.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, Jim Huling
If you’re an executive and you haven’t read this book, you’re missing out. I personally use many of the techniques and recommendations explored in the book. From day-to-day management, roadmap and personal focus this is a book you should have read at least once.
Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I recommend this book to most entrepreneurs. There aren’t many directly usable pieces of advice in this book, but it shows how systems can be architected to be resilient to failure; or better yet, get stronger through failures. Used in conjunction with the “Field guide to understanding human error, it shows how to resiliency can be built directly into product management, for example.”
Driven to distraction by Edward M. Hallowell M.D., John J. Ratey M.D.
I needed to read this book to recognize how deeply ADHD had influenced many events in my past.
Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
Most startup have a vision, a product roadmap and product teams working hard. However, I’m shocked at how often they’re missing a product strategy. This fantastic book walks through the fundamentals of good product strategy. A must read.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Another classic for entrepreneurs. It’s an important book to read as many of the concepts described are often misunderstood.
The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
Every Product Manager must read that book to understand why customers, colleagues, bosses lie about how good a product idea is.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Classic book for a reason, the checklist manifesto is a must-read for product managers and engineers. You don’t need to build airplanes like Boeing to benefit from great standards for what to build/how to launch safely.
The field guide to understanding human error by Sidney Dekker
Good product teams should aspire to become anti-fragile; great teams use errors as opportunities to improve. Blaming errors on individuals stands in the the way of success. This book is a practical guide to see issues as systemic vs individual failures. It’s a great read for product leaders who want to understand the root cause of product failures.
What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz
Culture is a key influence on what people do when you’re not looking. Wise leaders recognize that to scale you need a great culture.
Inspired by Marty Cagan
If you’re a product manager and you haven’t read this book, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman
This book is important to read at least once. We all benefit from different perspectives, Oliver Burkeman invites us to reconsider our relation with time. If you suffer from chronic fear of missing out, or simply feel that life is passing by too quickly, I invite you to check this one out.
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Cautionary tale for entrepreneurs
- Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews
I rarely read health related books, as they are generally full of shoddy science and takes disproven a few months after their publication. This book, however, had a simple formula. Try to stick to the best science available and don’t make extraordinary claims.
Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh
Solid account from a veteran entrepreneur of the stages of growth of a startup. For entrepreneurs, it allows you to anticipate the painpoints to come.
- Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
Enlightenment now by Steven Pinker
While the book is a bit too long in my opinion, I enjoyed the attempt at fighting against the constant negativity barrage.
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Who would have thought I’d enjoy this book… and yet, I’d recommend it!
Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined by Stephen Fry
A fun take of greek mythology.
- High Output Management by Andrew S Grove
No Rules, Rules by Erin Meyer, Reed Hastings
A thought-provoking book on what happens if you crank empowerment to 11. It requires only two ingredients. First, you hire the most talented people you can find, and second, you relentlessly remove controls from the organization. It’s a great read if you’re in a position of leadership and can influence company culture.
On Having No Head by Douglas Harding
I am not sure what to think about it so far.
On writing well by William Zinsser
Unless you are a natural genius writer, I can’t recommend this book enough. I go through it once a year as a refresher. Great writing will benefit your communication on Slack, product specs, engineering designs etc… There’s no shortage of places where good writing will help you.
- Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross, Marylou Tyler
Principles by Ray Dalio
A provocative take on how to create a culture of innovation and resilience. I enjoyed the take on psychometrics. There’s a lot of unproven science behind them, but it takes courage to be willing to try. This book is worth a read as a leader.
- Reboot by Jerry Colonna
Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It by Scott Kupor
Good book for entrepreneurs. It teaches the basics of raising money. You’ll be able to avoid many mistakes by going through that book once.
The Alliance by Reid Hoffman
Good read for founders and managers. Employees yearn for meaningful work while companies need to prepare for short employee tenures. This book tries to offer a compromise for employers and employees.
The coddling of the american mind by Greg Lukianoff, Johnathan Haidt
As a french person, this was a not very surprising, yet very provocative book about the state of society. Even if ten or twenty percent of it is true, we should feel some concern about the independence of academia in the future.
- The five dysfunction of a team by Patrick M. Lencioni
Mythical man month by Frederick Brooks Jr.
I can’t say it was truly influential on how I approach projects. It’s a good book nonetheless. Is it useful to read? Yes, probably, if you’re an engineering manager.
- Tribe by Sebastian Junger
- Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg
Will read soon
- A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russel
- An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey, Matthew L Miller, Andy Fleming, Deborah Helsing
- Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- One Blade of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, a Zen Memoir by Henry Shukman
- Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit
- Sprint - How to solve big problems and test new ideas in five days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz
- Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
- The Art of Action by Stephen Bungay
- User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product by Jeff Patton, Peter Economy
- Work rules! by Laszlo