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12 Books You Should Add to Your 2020 Product Marketing Reading List

Picture of Emily Dumas
Emily Dumas on Mon, Dec 30, 2019

Happy New Year! Now it’s time to get ready for the year ahead, put together your resolutions and goals, and start the year off strong. One resolution I’m sure is on everyone’s list - read more. This seems to be on my list year after year, and I’m constantly asking for recommendations from my friends and colleagues. To give you a head start on your 2020 reading list, we rounded up 12 of the best books that will help you better yourself and progress in your career this year. Bonus, many of these books are recommended by the experts featured in our Product Marketing Spotlight Series.

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Tech Humanist by Kate O’Neill 

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil 

Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson 

“I just read Tech Humanist by Kate O’Neill, and it raises important questions about the kind of future we should be creating and incentivizing in the technology we encode. Similar reads that I’d recommend: Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil (no relation to Kate as far as I know). And any writing or talks on Algorithmic Bias by Joy Buolamwini. Also, an older one, but I loved Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson for a more uplifting view on the capacity of tech to make us better.” - Meghan Keaney Anderson 

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Mindset by Carol Dweck 

“I finally got around to reading Mindset by Carol Dweck, and now I wished I did a long time ago. I encourage everyone to read it. It teaches to look at everything as a challenge, learn from failure, experiment and take risks, and let go of the fixed mindset to really grow professionally and as a person.” - Jake Godgart

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Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam

“Recently, I read Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. It talks about how America has changed over time, how we socialize, and how we think about our families. It talks a lot about social constructs at work. It helped me a lot because I could think about, how has the world that we live in changed over time, and what would it look like for us to recreate communities online?” - Brianne Kimmel 

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So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport              

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker  

“A great book by Cal Newport, also titled So Good They Can’t Ignore You. The basis of the book pushes back on the trendy notion that everyone should quit their corporate jobs and pursue their respective “passions.” Newport’s advice is instead to grow into your current role and develop your passion to the point where you’re impossible to ignore.

I also recently read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and was blown away. Most people are getting less sleep than their body needs (8 hours per night - consistently), and the repercussions of this, health-wise, is beyond concerning. Sleep is your friend!” - Andrew McCotter-Bicknell 

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Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna 

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle 

“Two new favorites on my leadership reading list are Reboot and Trillion Dollar Coach. Reboot is written by former VC turned executive coach, Jerry Colonna, and pushes you to take self-reflection to a new level as the path to becoming a better leader. I’m still in the middle of Trillion Dollar Coach, but I’ve already been impressed by all of the practical lessons for leading teams. It’s about Bill Campbell, football coach turned business executive turned executive coach, and the principles he employed in coaching executives and teams at Google, Apple, Intuit, and so many more.” - Ellie Mirman 

Bonus, sourced from asking a couple of colleagues: 

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Obviously Awesome by April Dunford 

Obviously Awesome came out in 2019, and is a book that every product marketer should read. As the person who is responsible for your product’s positioning, you want to ensure you’re crafting the perfect messaging and positioning that will engage and retain your customer base - this book will tell you everything you need to know! 

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Crossing the Chasm by Jeffrey A. Moore 

Crossing the Chasm tells you everything you need to know for your go-to-market strategy and reaching the right customers. This book is recommended by nearly every product marketing expert and will be an essential resource for your future product launches. 

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Competing Against Luck by Clayton M. Christensen

Competing Against Luck is about building and launching products that customers actually want, and using Clay Christensen’s “Jobs to Be Done” framework to drive successful product innovation efforts. 

Want even more resources to add to your list? Check out these 20 Product Marketing Resources, and these 20+ Competitive Intelligence resources

What’s on your 2020 reading list? Let us know in the comments below! 

Product Marketing Planning Kit 2020

Topics: Product Marketing

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