We have come to the end of Q2 2015. Usually, Q2 is my learning quarter where I read anything & everything I get my hands on to. This year, I had focussed on competencies for building “Successful Data Products”.
At the end of the quarter, if I look back, my studies can be classified into 3 topics:
- Product Management
- Data Science
- Being Successful
I didn’t really have this clarity when I started out, but hey, it matches the theme.
Here are some of the best books which I read. Some of these are hands-on and I would highly recommend each of these books. While I read a few other books and lot of blogs, these were simply the best.
At the end of the day, product management is a fundamental principle behind building awesome products. It doesn’t matter what the underlying technology is. Principles remain the same. Getting a good strong hold on “Product Principles” is a must for any product thinker, business leader and even a CEO. Over the last decade or so, multiple successful products have been built and slowly the thought process is becoming mainstream. What remained in the heads of great product managers are now out in the open. The following two books are great.
Lean Analytics: Simply the best book of this year and it has changed the way I think about products. Metrics based thinking is amazing.
Lean Startup: It is a good book, but it is a bit dry. I couldn’t turn the pages over night to read the book. Still worth the read.
Every product today has an element of Data Science. A good product guy should understand the technical complexities of building one such product. Hence having a good working knowledge of Machine Learning is a must to understand what can and can’t be achieved. I have been reading on this topic for a while, but nothing beats this book.
ML using R: What a masterpiece this is for product managers. I have trying to get a decent book which is simple enough that it doesn’t scare you at, the same time, introduces you to all the important concepts. Another great find for the year. I would strongly recommend reading the book in 2 turns. First round, read the book. Second round, reread the book by doing all the exercises in R.
Data Visualization using Lattice: Another good one. More than ML, it is actually data analysis, interpretation and visualization where a PM can add value to the team. This book opens your eyes to possibilities.
Being Successful: Last but not the least, you are in this game to succeed. Succeed as a team / organization and also succeed as an individual along the way. Some of the books which I read are:
Good to great
How successful people think
Magic of thinking Big
Building successful business requires leadership skills and some of these are good books. Of course, this area is an ocean and there are plenty of good books to choose from.
Hope you found this list useful. Enjoy!