A Product Strategist’s Favorite Books

Updated on
April 19, 2024

Building the industry bookshelf one recommended read at a time.

Reading should be an experience — something you can relate to on multiple levels, an emotional excursion, and one that keeps you wanting more. I often struggle to find books that hit on those three areas, but my go-to reads stand out from the rest. Like a good movie, they are filled with witty quotes, memorable anecdotes, and highly relatable main characters.

I’m lucky to have had these books in my life. They’ve all changed my mindset in more ways than one and helped me grow beyond measure — and for that, I am thankful.

Dare To Lead, by Brene Brown

In her latest book, the queen of vulnerability and empathy arms you with unique strategies on how to be a braver and more daring leader, while embedding the value of courage into company cultures. This is a new favorite of mine because, upon reading it, I immediately felt more empowered, more prepared, and more invigorated than ever before to be a better leader — both in and out of work.

“Daring is not saying ‘I’m willing to risk failure.’ Daring is saying, ‘I know I will eventually fail and I’m still all in.’ ”

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch

Prior to his passing from pancreatic cancer, Randy Pausch, a professor of human and computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon, gave his final lecture on “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” The lecture was filmed and immediately went viral. It was later turned into this book which expanded on his story and key takeaways from his famous ‘last lecture.’ I’ve read this book probably fifteen times cover to cover and have laughed, cried, cried some more, and always left feeling more inspired to do more and be better. 10/10 would recommend to everyone.

“Don’t complain. Just work harder.”

The Book of Questions, by Gregory Stock

I grew up frequently sifting through my Mom’s copy of this book. I’ve since purchased it at least 5 different times and gifted to like-minded inquisitive people. It’s filled with the most random questions to ask yourself, ask friends or strangers. Whenever I’m feeling the need to reset my thinking capacity, I grab this trusty paperback which helps get my brain power moving.

“If you had the power to go any distance into the future and return a year later with whatever knowledge you could obtain during your visit, would you? What would be the most valuable things to find out? What might they be worth to you?”

What Do You Do With An Idea, by Kobi Yamada

As a new Mom, I’m constantly reading kids’ books and this one stands out from them all. The concept is pure and the execution is stunning. It teaches kids (and adults) the importance of nurturing our ideas — no matter how big or small — and that we can make a permanent impact on the world through them. It is an inspiring and powerful message for all.

“… and then I realized what you do with an idea. You change the world.”

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