Over the last months, I have spoken with many product managers with MBAs. They confirm that MBA gives an organized and structured path for learning. They also commonly emphasize the importance of networking.
Unfortunately, MBA is a no-go for people starting their careers. Most MBA programs require candidates to have some experience in managerial roles. Also, not everyone can afford it.
That's why I prepared a list of 24 books you can read or listen to as audiobooks in 12 months. All it takes is 30 min/day.
Before I jump to the list, let me give you some advice:
- When it comes to experience, there are a lot of PM internships available, for example, on LinkedIn, in the job search. An internship does not cost you a fortune like MBA. What's equally important is that you can validate whether the career is the right fit for you (being a Product Manager is not the role for anyone).
- Regarding networking, I believe there is nothing more potent than LinkedIn. Over the last years, I connected to more than 19K people. Many of those relations are deep. It often starts with a conversation in a chat, but then we meet on Zoom or sometimes in person. My LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pawel-huryn
12-Month MBA for PMs (books for Product Managers)
- Leadership: Empowered by Marty Cagan and Chris Jones
- Business models: Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
- Product Discovery: Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres
- Setting goals: Measure What Matters by John Doerr
- Scrum: The Professional Product Owner by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham
- Teams: Team Topologies by Manuel Pais and Matthew Skelton
- Negotiating: Never Split the Difference by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz
- Making decisions: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Effectiveness: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen M. R. Covey
- Networking: Superconnector by Ryan Paugh and Scott Gerber
- Marketing for tech: Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
- Financial intelligence: The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
- Accounting: Accounting for Non-Accountants by Wayne A. Label
- PM Career: Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle McDowell
I do not doubt that reading them will 10x your PM career. All it takes is to read or listen to the audiobooks for 30 min/day.
Anyone can do it, but only a few will try. Take the first step and thank me later.
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