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Sep 06, 2022

Top 10 great books for pre-product-market fit (PMF)

Enzo Avigo

99% of the product management books are not relevant at pre-Product-Market Fit startups.

This has disastrous effects on startups.

Startups reading the wrong resources waste months with the wrong methods. Time goes by, runway decreases. Eventually they run out of cash and shut down.

If only books on product management had labels that say “pre-PMF” or “post-PMF".

Until then, here are 10 great product books in pre-PMF environment!

🎧 1. Learn who to listen to: “The Mum test” (Rob Fitzpatrick)

This book will teach you that they’re some people you should never listen to, like your mum.

It also teaches you the importance to talk to the right niche for your product.


✍️ 2. How to write a user interview: "Lean startups" chapter 2 only (Eric Ries)

The second most important thing is to understand how to ask questions.

Questions asked with a bias will bring useless answers.

Poor questions yield little value.


📈 3. Competitive analysis: "Blue ocean" (Kim, Mauborgne)

Don’t get stuck into consulting matrixes.

Blue ocean shows you how a circus can be #innovative.
It gives you a way to identify your value propositions to differentiate.


👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 4. Build a community: "rosie.land" (Rosie Sherry)

Until your product is ready you want your product team to engage with potential users in a valuable way.

For that you can start your #community. Rosie is the best.


🛠 5. Build a MVP: no readings

Airbnb's #MVP was a Google sheet, a Google sheet!

To build your first product you don’t have to read anything. You have to roll up your sleeves and build it.


🛣 6.Plan your product: "story mapping" (Nielsen Norman Group)

Often teams rely on lengthy requirements documents to move from a vision to a product. These documents usually fail. No one has the time or attention to read them.

User story maps outline the interactions that users ned to go through to complete goals in your #product.


🎨 7. Design the product: "Don’t make me think" (Steve Krug)

This book teaches you that great designs are obvious.
It’s full of examples that you can pick from.


🚀 8. Launch: "The 18 Mistakes that Kill Startups" (Paul Graham)

If you haven’t launched something you're ashamed of yet, then you need to read this article.


👩‍💻 9. Work with engineers: "Agile Product Management with Scrum" (Roman Pichler)

There are zillions ways to apply #scrum. In this book you’ll learn how to build a backlog, organize a sprint, #QA, respect deadlines.


💜 10. Build a great product culture: "ReWork" (Jason Fried, DHH)

This book is full of gems to set up a healthy culture that supports your product delivery.


🔁 11. Iterate: "Lenny’s Newsletter" (Lenny Rachitsky)

Lenny shares benchmarks and other ways to measure success. This will help you figure out if you're into something or not.


These books really helped me building June. Most of them were recommended to me by very successful founders and PMs.

Hope you they'll help :)

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