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Indus Khaitan @1ndus
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Here are my top 5 books for Product Managers to read and why.

I’m assuming PMs already know how to PM and are trained in the art/science of product creation, so my recos are around behavioral/cognitive.

(not in order) 👇
1/ Checklist Manifesto by @Atul_Gawande

Building s/w products is an inexact science comparable to medicine.

Though this practice can be taught, each product has its own mix of market, people, timing. Similar to doctors, Product Managers use expertise & a series of checklists.
1.1/ I chanced upon the imp of checklist while interviewing a PM candidate, in 2013. Then, I was a temp frontline PM supporting my VPP. When asked about a launch plan for @bitzermobile, he shared his checklists built over time and narrated a discovery, cure, and release.
1.2/ Good PMs know the science & art of Product Management—Great ones have chiseled their set of checklists from mundane to strategic.

Let’s keep in mind that Prod Mgrs job is 20% innovation and 80% orchestration of a creative process comprising of People, Product, and Market.
2/ Thinking fast and slow by Dan Kahneman.

This book is a 101 on our biases, emotions, irrational behavior and logical decision making.

As Product Managers understanding people behavior, how our memory works, and how it influences decision making is a must.
2.1/ As I learned more about decision making and biases, I have started to appreciate people better.

Because now I tag limitations, label emotions (and mine too!) and give a raincheck to everybody involved.
3/ Influence by Robert Cialdini.

This book taught me nuances of human interactions (w/o going into the why and its psych theory). This is a must for engineers that become PMs. Engineers hate interactions/small-talk and are bred around binary decision making vs multiple shades.
3.1/ Influence is foundational applied psychology at its best. It is laden with eg of the author's research w/six principles: Reciprocation, Commitment & Consistency, Social Proof, Authority, Liking, Scarcity.

Skip if you have been a car salesman in your prev life before PM 😀
4/ Crucial Conversations by Patterson, etc

While Influence covers the application of foundational techniques of persuasion, this one covers conversations that are tough, heated and emotional. Provides examples that could get the job done w/o burning bridges.
4.1/ Individuals either avoid these tough conversations or do it poorly for themselves and others. Thank me if your feature vs technical debt prioritization discussion with engineering goes +ve with them loving you more and accomplishing both!
4.2/ In 2004-ish, I did a 3-day wk'shp on Crucial Conversations covering topics from this book.

This book taught me to not apologize for candid opinions, either to soften the blow now or cover up later. But present it by separating the person you r from the opinion you present
5/ On Being Certain by Robert Burton.

This book was referred by @vkhosla at the @NASSCOM_Product conclave in 2012. This book is basically a research-driven thesis on Steve Jobs-ian thought process--on the value of intuition for groundbreaking products.
5.1/ This book is the perfect Yang for the Yin of data, process, and checklist-driven decisions a PM makes.
5.2/LST Enjoy the books. Share your reasons. Read 'em slowly. Absorb, re-read, bookmark, dog-ear, flag, annotate, gorge, shred, bring the book to dust until you have digested the last drop of the ink. 😀😀😀
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