This is the second of a 3-part series on awesome books for product lovers and managers. Enjoy!
OK, so you read all of the books recommended in the first part of this series on building great products. You checked that your idea is great, and believe that the problem it solves goes beyond a bigger market size than your mom and your significant other. Awesome!
Now go build it.
As many others in the past, you will find that growing a product from idea to reality (even if it is digital :)) is much harder than just adding lines of code to a program or hiring a good industrial engineer. There are many elements to take into account, from business strategy to understanding the timing of the launch, what competitors are doing, etc. Luckily for us, there’s plenty of amazing books written by seasoned product experts to help us achieve our goal.
Growing a product from idea to reality is much harder than just adding lines of code.
Product books – Building the actual Product
Probably the two most important books you may read at this stage are Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, and Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm. What they say is that, basically, an innovative company that wants to disrupt a market belongs to a different breed of organizations than growing one, as the latter will tend to prioritize current customer satisfaction and, therefore, focus on incremental innovations.
This causes quite a few issues. To startups trying to become big companies (crossing the “chasm” mentioned in Moore’s title). But also to corporations that see how the few startups overcoming that chasm are able to steal their market share at an incredible pace before they can do anything to avoid it.
Moore’s second book is Inside the Tornado. You can see how visual and engaging Moore is just by looking and his book titles, right? Here, the author focuses at the great-but-challenging moment when a startup starts to become a big organization. Though almost every entrepreneur wants to reach that stage, the company can also crash right there if growth is not managed correctly.
Another must-read is Jim Collins’ Good to Great. Related to Moore’s chasm, Collins structures the key elements behind product success in a clear way. It is a great companion to Moore and, in some respect, more down-to-earth.
As it typically happens, Collins wrote a second book, Built to Last, about how to make this greatness last. Quite good as well, and with very good insights even if the reader is at an earlier stage of product development.
With these five books you can start your journey into building amazing products. But don’t forget our “How to build great products” bookshelf, where you will find many more amazing writings around this topic!
If you missed it, check the first part of this series!