A Product Leader's Bookshelf

A Listmania! list by Barry Smith (Seattle, WA)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "Over the last 20+ years of working in software and technology firms, I've read dozens of books on product management, marketing, & innovation strategy. Here's my go-to list of books that cover key topics in the realm of defining & delivering great products. Admittedly there's a software-leaning bias here, but what business today doesn't employ technology?"
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
1.  The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity by Alan Cooper
The list author says:
  "One of my all-time favorites, I consider this a must-read for anyone working to build technology products.    Ever wonder why many people find even "simple" clock radios hard to operate?  (Hint:  the problem isn't the consumers.)"
$26.47   Used & New from: $2.22
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers
2.  Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore
The list author says:
  "There's a reason this book is a classic:  its thesis has held up remarkably well for two decades. If you're at all involved in technology development or marketing, you're expected to be familiar with Moore's thesis."
$14.36   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design
3.  Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design by David Verba
The list author says:
  "I approach books authored by consultants with skepticism, since often the book is just a thinly-veiled sales pitch.  In contrast, this is an insightful & crisply written manifesto about applying a user-centered design focus to product and service creation.  Highly recommended."
$18.98   Used & New from: $0.01
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services
4.  What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services by Anthony W. Ulwick
The list author says:
  "If it's your job to define & prioritize product features, read this book.  Now!  It offers a bridge from "how to capture customer needs" to "which requirements are the most important?"  A thoughtful, real-world-based dissertation on how to move from "customer focused" to a far more actionable "outcome focused" innovation process."
$17.03   Used & New from: $4.12
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

The Art of Innovation: Success Through Innovation the IDEO Way
5.  The Art of Innovation: Success Through Innovation the IDEO Way by Tom Kelley
The list author says:
  "Tom Kelley (along with his brother David) is one of the deans of American design.  Long before "innovation" became a business buzzword, their firm IDEO was helping clients bring remarkable new products to market - think Apple mouse, Palm V, Steelcase Leap Chair, to name a few out of hundreds.  Kelley's book is part autobiography, part tutorial, and always inspiring."
Used & New from: $4.02
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition
6.  Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition by Steve Krug
The list author says:
  "If you're working in the Web space - and what company isn't, to some degree? - this is another must-read.  Krug's book is evidence that "common sense isn't so common."  It's one of the clearest expositions about what makes Web interfaces usable.  Every page has great examples and tips, and every time you read one you'll say, "Of course!""
$32.60   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (465 customer reviews) | 4 customer discussions

The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web
7.  The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web by Jesse James Garrett
The list author says:
  "Garrett offers a framework for design that I find simple and compelling.  I think his principles apply well to virtually any product or system with a user interface, not only websites."
Used & New from: $4.52
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Seeing What's Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change
8.  Seeing What's Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change by Clayton M. Christensen
The list author says:
  "Christensen is the Harvard B-school prof whose book "The Innovator's Dilemma" became an instant classic.  That's a great read; but if you're short on time, jump to this 3rd book in the series to get a quick recap of the Dilemma, plus a strategies for getting beyond it."
$26.12   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
9.  The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
The list author says:
  "If you hope to market products successfully, I think it's important to understand the "tipping point" phenomenon and how it influences social behavior.  Read this book first, if you haven't already.  If you're interested, follow up with "Unleashing the IdeaVirus" for marketing applications, and/or "How Hits Happen" for deeper background info."
$12.07   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,991 customer reviews) | 9 customer discussions

Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum
10.  Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum by Mike Cohn
The list author says:
  "If you're not already familiar with Agile tenets, then run-don't-walk to read The Agile Manifesto!  Then, start learning from actual practitioners.  There are numerous good treatments of Agile and Scrum, so it's hard to go too far wrong, but Mike Cohn combines a world of experience with an easily readable style."
$45.15   Used & New from: $21.09
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Myth of Excellence: Why Great Companies Never Try to Be the Best at Everything
11.  The Myth of Excellence: Why Great Companies Never Try to Be the Best at Everything by Ryan Mathews
The list author says:
  "It would seem self evident that no company can be the best at everything (product development, marketing, customer service, distribution).  But how many companies actually pursue clear strategies for dominating on one or two differentiators?  One of those flash-of-the-blindingly-obvious books I wish I'd written."
$13.87   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Unleashing the Idea Virus
12.  Unleashing the Idea Virus by Seth Godin
The list author says:
  "OK, I'll confess:  I'm a big fan of Seth Godin, even if not everything he writes is inspired.  I think this is one his best and least-appreciated books. Whether or not you embrace Godin's specific recommendations, understanding & applying these principles can make you a far more effective marketer."
Used & New from: $2.47
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

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The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
13.  The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson
The list author says:
  "If you're involved in Internet commerce, this is a valuable text.  Anderson (editor of Wired) discusses how the shift from atoms to bits allows the "true nature of demand" to appear.  Yes, having a "hit" product is alwqays a great thing.  But Amazon also sells some copies of the 250,000th best seller.  And the 300,000th, and the 500,000th... detect a trend?"
Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

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The Persona Lifecycle: Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design (Interactive Technologies)
14.  The Persona Lifecycle: Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design (Interactive Technologies) by John Pruitt
The list author says:
  "It's strange that, while most products are supposedly designed for people, the people are often left out of the development process.  Personas are perhaps the best solution to that shortcoming, and this exhaustive treatise will cover everything you could need to know about bringing them into your product design."
Used & New from: $70.30
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Writing Effective Use Cases
15.  Writing Effective Use Cases by Alistair Cockburn
The list author says:
  "I think a good use case is one of a product manager's most potent tools, and Cockburn will give you a thorough grounding.  You may not use all his conventions, but it's worthwhile being familiar with them."
$44.21   Used & New from: $5.84
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Managing Software Requirements: A Use Case Approach (2nd Edition)
16.  Managing Software Requirements: A Use Case Approach (2nd Edition) by Dean Leffingwell
The list author says:
  "Leffingwell's book is pretty much THE basic reference and tutorial on handling requirements from beginning to end   (even though I prefer Cockburn's take on the use cases themselves.)  It's slanted towards the Rational school of, say, "heavy" requirements and won't suit the taste of Agile Development proponents.  But still a thorough treatise worth having, even if you only read it selectively."
Used & New from: $2.71
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Portfolio Management For New Products: Second Edition
17.  Portfolio Management For New Products: Second Edition by Robert G. Cooper
The list author says:
  "Robert Cooper has written a number of books about new product development and portfolio management; this is my favorite.  Not specific to technical products, it's a good reference text."
$38.41   Used & New from: $3.78
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less
18.  The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
The list author says:
  "A good read to help you think about your own personal effectiveness (and happiness)."
$8.84   Used & New from: $2.48
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)

The Product Managers Handbook, 3E
19.  The Product Managers Handbook, 3E by Linda Gorchels
The list author says:
  "Linda Gorchel's book is a good introduction to the broad scope of a product manager's job.  It isn't specific to technology, which is generally a good thing.  Particularly valuable if you're relatively new to product management - or think you might want to move into the role."
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3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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UML: A Beginner's Guide
20.  UML: A Beginner's Guide by Jason T. Roff
The list author says:
  "Even if your team doesn't routinely use UML (Unified Modeling Language) in defining and describing projects, it's worth your while to become familiar with it.  UML offers a framework and toolset for methodically deconstructing complex problems - something that will always serve you in good stead.  This book is the clearest UML tutorial I've found."
$25.82   Used & New from: $0.02
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

How Hits Happen: Forecasting Predictability in a Chaotic Marketplace
21.  How Hits Happen: Forecasting Predictability in a Chaotic Marketplace by Winslow Farrell
The list author says:
  "This book substantially predated "The Tipping Point" and provides a more academic introduction to the topic.  A pretty quick read, it'll give you the background to understand why all customers are definitely *not* equal - and the difference isn't based on how much they spend."
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3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Finance for Non-Financial Managers (Briefcase Books Series)
22.  Finance for Non-Financial Managers (Briefcase Books Series) by Gene Siciliano
The list author says:
  "So the CFO has scheduled a meeting with you to review your P&L, assess the ROI of your product line, and discuss the impact of your product's COGS on its contribution margin.  If your memory from undergrad or MBA Finance classes is a little hazy, it's handy to have a quick refresher at hand."
Used & New from: $0.75
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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