In product development, so many of our ideas will not work. With product discovery, product teams can limit waste and rebuilds by up to 50%. It is much cheaper to build the right thing the first time by having a clear understanding of the problem and co-creating the solution with customers. Product teams are able to go faster and build greater products by following the right product discovery processes. Here are seven product discovery books that teach you everything you need to know.
7 Product Discovery Books You Must Read
1. Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
In this book, Marty Cagan provides a framework for creating successful products, which involves understanding the customer, identifying a market opportunity, and building a great team to execute on the opportunity.
Cagan’s book is essential reading for anyone in the technology industry who wants to create products that customers will love. This book is an essential read for every product manager. Some people call it the product management bible.
2. Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres
In her book, Teresa Torres shares a framework for developing habits that lead to building successful products. According to Torres, there are four main habits that every product development team should adopt: focus on the customer, embrace change, fail fast, and learn constantly.
By following these habits, teams can continuously improve their product development process and better meet the needs of their customers. She offers as structured and sustainable approach to continuous discovery and opportunity mapping. She also points out that it is essential to interview your customers regularly (ideally weekly).
3. The Mom Test: How to Talk to Customers & Learn If Your Business Is a Good Idea When Everyone Is Lying to You by Rob Fitzpatrick
In this book, Rob Fitzpatrick shares a set of simple rules for crafting good customer interview questions that even a person’s mom can’t lie to them about. The measure of usefulness of an early customer conversation is whether it provides concrete facts about their lives and world views. These facts, in turn, allow us to improve our business.
Eventually you do need to mention what you’re building and take people’s money for it. However, the big mistake is almost always to mention your idea too soon rather than too late. The book advises that you shouldn’t ask your mom whether your business is a good idea because she loves you and will lie to you. It is the ultimate guide for interviewing your customers.
4. Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice by Tony Ulwick
In his book, “Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice,” Tony Ulwick lays out a framework for understanding customer behavior and designing products that meet customer needs. Ulwick’s framework is based on the idea that customers don’t just purchase products, they “hire” them to do a job.
By understanding the “job” that a customer is trying to get done, companies can design products that are more likely to be successful. In summary, he shares in the book that people don’t buy products. They “hire” them to do jobs. He also provides insights on how to define and prioritize customer needs.
5. Sprint: How to solve complex problems and test ideas in just 5 days by Jake Knapp
This book by Jake Knapp that lays out a framework for solving complex problems and testing ideas in just five days. The sprint process includes four main steps: brainstorming, sketching, deciding, and prototyping. By following this process, companies can quickly and efficiently come up with solutions to complex problems.
The book describes a specific Product Discovery technique invented in Google. It is recommended that the ideas in it are compared with Teressa Torres’s approach, particularly interviewing your customers before ideating. You may want to combine those approaches.
6. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olsen
This book by Dan Olsen that lays out a framework for designing and developing successful products. Olsen’s framework is based on the Lean Startup methodology, and it emphasises the importance of validated learning, customer feedback, and continual iteration. By following Olsen’s framework, companies can increase their chances of developing successful products. Key insights from the book include the complete Lean Product Process – discovering and creating products while minimising waste and rework. The author also shares insights around Business Model, Value Proposition, MVP, Product-Market Fit, Product Discovery, and more.
7. Testing Business Ideas: A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation by Alex Osterwalder
In this book, Alex Osterwalder provides a framework for testing business ideas quickly and efficiently. Osterwalder’s framework is based on the Lean Startup methodology, and it emphasizes the importance of validated learning, customer feedback, and continual iteration. By following Osterwalder’s framework, companies can increase their chances of developing successful products.
Some lessons from the book include, starting from an idea, then using the design loop to improve it, using discovery experiments to examine your assumptions and information about dozens of tools and techniques anyone can easily apply.
Conclusion: What Next After Reading These Product Discovery Books?
As you go through these books, you will gain a deeper understanding on how to perform effective product discovery, but your next question might be, what next? Now, it’s time to turn your data into actionable insights with this free AI tool.