“When you stop going to school, you’ve only given-up on formal education. When you stop learning, you given-up on living.” ~ George L. Peters, Sr.
Not a week goes by now when I receive a request from an active or aspiring product person looking to up their product management game. I am both humbled and honored to respond with this semi-definitive, subjectively categorized, and stack-ranked mix of both recent and historic podcast and book titles whose collective influence has helped transform, evolve, and improve my understanding and practice of modern product management over the past two decades.
Let me know if you find any of these helpful as well.
Podcasts in 3 Categories that Count
Each of these three lists is ranked in order of my own recent listening preferences and download queues. Just for giggles, let’s quantify this highly opinionated enumeration along the lines of my personal preferences of content relevance, frequency of download, and sound quality … let’s arbitrarily set the ratio of influence at 40%-40%-20%. Of course, your mileage may vary.
FYI, the ‘*’ denotes podcasts offered by a Raliegh local. Way to represent y’all!
1 — Podcasts on the practice of product management
- Deliver It Cast — Cory Bryan* (highly recommended)
- Product Love | Pendo.io — Eric Boduch*
- H2R Product Science Podcast — Holly Hester-Reilly
- The Art of Product — Ben Orenstein & Derrick Reimer
- The Accidental Product Manager — Jim Anderson
- Product Chiefs Podcast — Product School
- The Product Experience — Mind the Product — Lily Smith & Randy Silver
- Roman’s Product Management Podcast — Roman Pichler
2 — Podcasts on building that perfect product culture
- Unlearn Podcast — Barry O’Reilly
- Meta-Cast, An Agile Podcast — Bob Galen* & Josh Anderson*
- Agile for Humans™ Podcast — Ryan Ripley
- Badass Agile Podcast — Badass Agile — by FuseChamber
- Agile and Project Management — DrunkenPM Radio
- To Be Continuous — Heavybit Industries
3 — Podcasts that touch on product leadership & value delivery
- HBR IdeaCast — Alison Beard & Curt Nickisch
- Freakonomics | The hidden side of everything — Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
- Follow your Different — Christopher Lochhead
- How I Built This with Guy Raz — NPR
- Negotiate Anything Podcast — Kwame Christian
- Robinhood Snacks — Jack Kramer & Nick Martell
- The Pitch — Gimlet
Books in 3 Categories of Equal Importance
Somewhat different than the above podcast lists, I’m going to set up each of these three categorical lists in a way that helps move one’s mindset away from doctrinal prescriptions of 1991 and more towards becoming a successful 2021 product practitioner of continuous discovery through continuous delivery as nature intended.
1 — Books that help you practice product management
- EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products — Marty Cagan
- Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value — Melissa Perri
- Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love — Marty Cagan
- The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback — Dan Olsen
- Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters — Ryan Singer
- Scrum Product Ownership: Navigating The Forest AND The Trees — Bob Galen
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products — Nir Eyal
2 — Books that help you build the right thing
- Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results — Barry O’Reilly
- Niche Down: How To Become Legendary By Being Different — Lochhead, Clancy, & Elrod
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses — Eric Ries
- Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster — Croll & Yoskovitz
- UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design — Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden
- The Paradox of Choice — Barry Schwartz
- The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition — Don Norman
- Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability — Steve Krug
3 — Books that help you build an effective product culture
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable — Patrick Lencioni
- Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? — Aaron Dignan
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It — Chris Voss & Tahl Raz
- The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win — Kim, Behr, & Spafford
- Lean Enterprise: How High-Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale — Humble, Molesky, & O’Reilly
- Death March (2nd Edition) — Edward Yourdon
- Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them — Gary Hamel & Michele Zanini
As mentioned in the title, this is a semi-definitive list. So clearly, I would love y’all to leave comments of other titles you’ve found influential, helpful, transforming, and even fun.