The 12 Best SaaS Product Management Books for Unlocking Success

Dayana Mayfield profile image

By Dayana Mayfield

Last updated on Thu Mar 21 2024

Contrary to popular opinion, being a product manager doesn’t have to be lonely, arduous, and scary. Thousands of successful product managers have come before you, and many of them have documented their secret sauce for success in books. 

We found the best SaaS product management books for efficiently building valuable products that sell. If you also want to write such books with ease, you can use an AI book writer.

Here are the books that made our list.

1. The AI-Powered Product Manager: Combining Strategy and Technology by Luis Jurado


This insightful book shows product managers how they can leverage artificial intelligence to overcome old and new product management issues. Its pages are full of real-world case studies and practical examples of applying AI to complete SaaS product development efficiently.

It also delves into strategies for optimizing old-school product management processes with cutting-edge techniques and AI-powered products. In summary, get this book if you want to become an AI-powered product manager equipped to build user-centric, future-proof solutions.

2. Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value by Teresa Torres


Continuous Discovery Habits is a highly valuable book that proves the criticality of repeatedly iterating with customer feedback to build truly user-centric products. The book points product managers toward the right questions to ask to ascertain they have a viable product idea, an interested market, and value to deliver. Product teams who can’t answer these questions risk building solutions with little to no product-market fit, resulting in failure.

Besides proving the benefits of continuous discovery, Torres provides efficient, easy-to-execute steps for performing discovery. So, if you’ve been building products blindly, grab this book to learn how to leverage consumer feedback to iterate and build desirable, high-value SaaS products.

3. Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value by Melissa Perri


A single mistake can derail product development, resulting in a final product that target users find unappealing. Escaping the Build Trap teaches readers to identify and avoid such errors during product development. One of the book’s biggest highlights is its warning to avoid launching features to meet deadlines. Instead, product teams should focus on building features that satisfy identified customer needs.

Grab this book to learn realistic steps for producing valuable, user-centric products through continuous iteration. Perri also teaches product managers how to build a work culture that prioritizes solving customer problems over all else. Such a work culture increases your likelihood of releasing a product that makes customers happy, ensuring product-market fit. While the book isn’t specifically for SaaS product managers, its tips are relevant for small and large organizations across various niches.

4. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olsen


The Lean Product Playbook is an all-time favorite among product managers. The SaaS product management book covers everything from customer and product-market fit research to prototyping and iterative development. It recommends a lean approach to product development to minimize waste and maximize value at every point of the process.

Some of the lean principles shared by Olsen include building MVPs to validate ideas and adapting product development to match changes in customer preferences. The book also shares actionable low-cost product discovery tactics for saving money and getting better returns on investment. These features make this book a must-read for SaaS product managers who want the most effective route to achieve product development success.

5. Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp


While you shouldn’t rush SaaS product development, the process shouldn’t take longer than necessary, especially if you have a set timeline. Jake Knapp provides an effective solution for completing product development on time with his New York Times Bestseller, Sprint. The book provides a step-by-step guide for executing product development with speed, efficiency, and accuracy.

It includes a practical framework for solving complex problems, testing new ideas, and innovating within short timeframes, leading to fast iteration. Product managers and teams guided by this book can streamline product development, reduce risk, and accelerate time-to-market. Also, since Sprint makes for easy reading, first-time product managers can easily grasp and apply its concepts and tips.

6. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries


Several CEOs and founders, including leaders at Facebook and General Electric, have spoken highly of The Lean Startup for good reasons. Among these reasons is the book’s tangible solutions to various problems today’s product managers face. For example, Ries shares processes for understanding customers’ needs, preferences, and desires, and using the insights to provide real value through your product.

The book also teaches product managers to stay flexible and adapt product development to match changes in target users. Another reason we consider this one of the best SaaS product management books is its lean approach to iterating, prototyping, and utilizing customer feedback. Following the book’s lean approach simplifies making data-driven decisions to optimize resources, prioritize features, and accelerate product development cycles. All of which are crucial to being an efficient SaaS product manager.

7. INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan


Are you looking for a comprehensive playbook for becoming a SaaS product manager who leads teams to success? If so, you need a copy of INSPIRED. Filled with numerous “Aha!” moments, Cagan’s book shares proven strategies for creating successful products.

You’ll find several pages of real-world examples, case studies, and practical advice that will help you navigate the intricacies of managing product teams. There’s also an effective framework for understanding user needs to innovate customer-focused, problem-solving SaaS products. Cagan especially emphasizes empathizing with users to develop a product management process that prioritizes building features that satisfy identified user needs.

8. The AI Product Manager's Handbook by Irene Bratsis


Almost every SaaS product that exists today has incorporated AI to some degree. However, you don’t want to be the product manager who spearheads building a product with valueless AI features. In the AI Product Manager's Handbook, Bratsis teaches product managers how to effectively incorporate AI into their tech. You will discover product management software (including AI tools) and proven tactics for ensuring product development success.

Bratsis also shares pitfalls to avoid and best practices to adhere to develop an AI product that resonates with target users. Even if you are uncertain about what to build, this handbook will teach you to identify opportunities and gaps where AI can be a solution.

9. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz


Would you like to know how some of the most successful SaaS founders made it? If so, this is one of the best SaaS product management books for getting answers. Horowitz, a Silicon Valley legend, shares his battle-tested and proven advice and tactics from running a startup and leading product teams to victory.

You will discover practical solutions to typical problems startups face bringing their product to market. By the last page, you’ll have a realistic picture of what it takes to lead a team, survive in a competitive market, and launch desirable, market-ready SaaS products.

10. Universal Principles of UX by Irene Pereyra


A bad user experience (UX) is one of the leading causes of churn in SaaS products. Pereyra solves this problem by showing product managers the path to developing products with interactive, easy, and enjoyable interfaces.

The Universal Principles of UX introduces readers to the 100 laws of UX design and the negative impacts of ignoring these laws. Its pages feature clearly illustrated examples of each law in action in real life, simplifying grasping each concept. Add this book to your read list to acquire a user-focused mindset that prioritizes customers’ needs and preferences at every stage of product development.

11. Product Management for Dummies by Brian Lawley and Pamela Schure


If you are new to product management, Product Management for Dummies is a fun place to start. The book covers all the essentials product managers must know but doesn’t delve deep enough that it becomes overwhelming. It starts with a definition of product management, letting you know what you’re getting into before diving into the role’s importance.

Next, you’ll learn about product life cycles, market research, competitive analysis, product roadmaps, management skills, and much more. By the end, you should know the basics for creating winning product development strategies, leveraging customer feedback, and managing teams and resources. The book presents all its information in simple, friendly writing that eases digesting the knowledge it provides.

12. Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug


Don’t Make Me Think may be the oldest book on our list, but everything it shares remains very relevant for today’s product managers and teams. Krug shares valuable user experience (UX) design principles that you must incorporate into your SaaS product to ensure desirability.

The book emphasizes keeping your product’s design intuitive and user-friendly to prevent cognitive overload. If navigating your product is simple, users can experience value faster, reducing the likelihood of churn. But it doesn’t just tell you what to do. Don’t Make Me Think tells you how to do it with practical tips and guidelines SaaS product managers can apply during development. It also doesn’t hurt that the book is witty and fun.

All the books that made our list mention leveraging user feedback to build SaaS products that customers desire. Do you want the easiest and most efficient way to collect and leverage user feedback? Try Frill today!


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