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2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report

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Thanks for reaching out! While you wait for confirmation from an Apptentive team member, you may find these free resources to be of interest:

Guide

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Guide

The Five Stages of Reducing Mobile Customer Churn

Retention is a top priority for mobile marketers. Our new five-step framework is here to help you improve your existing strategy.

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Guide

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Guide

2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report

Apptentive’s annual mobile app engagement benchmark report serves as a baseline to help app publishers across categories understand their app’s engagement strengths and areas for improvement.

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Product Management

20 Top Product Management Books for 2021

Ashley Sefferman  //  October 22, 2020  //  13 min read

If you’re in digital product management, 2020 has been a roller coaster. Going back to basics to find inspiration has been one way expert product managers adjusted their strategies to meet rapidly-shifting consumer needs. Solving problems quickly, efficiently, and with customer needs as the north star separated the great brands from the good ones in a year that has completely changed the way we digitally engage with brands we love.

Brilliant product management decisions made in 2020 have shaped the course of the future for companies across all industries. But where do these ideas come from? How do PMs apply innovative techniques across their own products, especially if they’re new to their discipline or industry? The best way is by learning from experts who have been there and want to tell us all about it.

And, let’s face it, most of us are ready to move quickly through the rest of 2020 and focus on the possibilities 2021 holds. As you organize your reading list for the new year, consider adding a few of our favorite product management books to your queue. The first 10 books focus solely on product management theory and strategy, while the last 10 books focus on general problem solving and business strategy.

Best Product Management Books

Hooked

Hooked

How to Build Habit-Forming Products

by Nir Eyal

Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

Buy it here.

value proposition design

Value Proposition Design

How to Create Products and Services Customers Want

by Alexander Osterwalder

Value Proposition Design helps you tackle the core challenge of every business―creating compelling products and services customers want to buy. This highly practical book, paired with its online companion, will teach you the processes and tools you need to create products that sell.

Buy it here.

The Lean Product Playbook

The Lean Product Playbook

How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback

by Dan Olsen

The Lean Product Playbook is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful products through clear, step-by-step guidance and advice.

Buy it here.

Shape up

Shape Up

Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters

by Ryan Singer

Written by one of the founders of Basecamp, Shape Up is for product development teams who struggle to ship. If you’ve thought to yourself “Why can’t we ship like we used to?” or “I never have enough time to think about strategy,” then this book can help. You’ll learn language and techniques to define focused projects, address unknowns, and increase collaboration and engagement within your team.

Read it here.

The Product Book

The Product Book

How to Become a Great Product Manager

by Product School

“Nobody asked you to show up.” Every experienced product manager has heard some version of those words at some point in their career. Think about a company. Engineers build the product. Designers make sure it has a great user experience and looks good. Marketing makes sure customers know about the product. Sales get potential customers to open their wallets to buy the product. What more does a company need? What does a product manager do? Based upon Product School’s curriculum, which h
as helped thousands of students become great product managers, The Product Book answers that question. Filled with practical advice, best practices, and expert tips, this book is here to help you succeed!

Buy it here.

Statistics Done Wrong

Statistics Done Wrong

The Woefully Complete Guide

by Alex Reinhart

Scientific progress depends on good research, and good research needs good statistics. But statistical analysis is tricky to get right, even for the best and brightest of us. You’d be surprised how many scientists are doing it wrong. Statistics Done Wrong is a pithy, essential guide to statistical blunders in modern science that will show you how to keep your research blunder-free. You’ll examine embarrassing errors and omissions in recent research, learn about the misconceptions and scientific politics that allow these mistakes to happen, and begin your quest to reform the way you and your peers do statistics.

Buy it here.

Cracking the PM Interview

Cracking the PM Interview

How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology

by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Cracking the PM Interview is a comprehensive book about landing a product management role in a startup or bigger tech company. Learn how the ambiguously-named “PM” (product manager/program manager) role varies across companies, what experience you need, how to make your existing experience translate, what a great PM resume and cover letter look like, and finally, how to master the interview: estimation questions, behavioral questions, case questions, product questions, technical questions, and the super important “pitch.”

Buy it here.

Escaping the Build Trap

Escaping the Build Trap

How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value

by Melissa Perri

To stay competitive in today’s market, organizations need to adopt a culture of customer-centric practices that focus on outcomes rather than outputs. Companies that live and die by outputs often fall into the “build trap,” cranking out features to meet their schedule rather than the customer’s needs. In this book, Melissa Perri explains how laying the foundation for great product management can help companies solve real customer problems while achieving business goals. By understanding how to communicate and collaborate within a company structure, you can create a product culture that benefits both the business and the customer. You’ll learn product management principles that can be applied to any organization, big or small.

Buy it here.

How to Speak Machine

How to Speak Machine

Computational Thinking for the Rest of Us

by John Maeda

Technology is already more powerful than we can comprehend, and getting more powerful at an exponential pace. Once set in motion, algorithms never tire. And when a program’s size, speed, and tirelessness combine with its ability to learn and transform itself, the outcome can be unpredictable and dangerous. Take the seemingly instant transformation of Microsoft’s chatbot Tay into a hate-spewing racist, or how crime-predicting algorithms reinforce racial bias. How to Speak Machine provides a coherent framework for today’s product designers, business leaders, and policymakers to grasp this brave new world.

Buy it here.

Outcomes Over Output

Outcomes Over Output

Why Customer Behavior is the Key Metric for Business Success

by Joshua Seiden

In the old days, when we made physical products, setting project goals wasn’t that hard. But in today’s service- and software-driven world, “done” is less obvious. When is Amazon done? When is Google done? Or Facebook? In reality, services powered by digital systems are never done. So then how do we give teams a goal that they can work on?Mostly, we simply ask teams to build features—but features are the wrong way to go. We often build features that create no value. Instead, we need to give teams an outcome to achieve. Using outcomes creates focus and alignment. It eliminates needless work. And it puts the customer at the center of everything you do.

Buy it here.

Best Problem Solving Books

Range

Range

Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

by David Epstein

Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.

Buy it here.

Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know

by Malcom Gladwell

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true?mMalcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers—and why they often go wrong.

Buy it here.

Inspired

Inspired

How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

by Marty Cagen

How do today’s most successful tech companies—Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla—design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than the vast majority of tech companies. In Inspired, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love—and that will work for your business.

Buy it here.

Management Challenges for the 21st Century

Management Challenges for the 21st Century

by Peter F. Drucker and Mark Blum
Management Challenges in the 21st Century looks afresh at the future of management thinking and practice. The content revolves around two fundamental issues that are occuring simultaneously: changes in the world economy, and shifts in the practice of management. These developments, especially in developed countries are crucial in exploring and understanding the challenges of the future.

Buy it here.

Thinking Fast and Slow

Thinking Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

In his mega bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, world-famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Buy it here.

Multipliers

Multipliers

How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

by Liz Wiseman

We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and always needs to be the smartest person in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people’s heads; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers. And the world needs more of them, especially now when leaders are expected to do more with less.

Buy it here.

Start with Why

Start with Why

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

by Simon Sinek

In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY—the third most popular TED video of all time. Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

Buy it here.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.

Buy it here.

High Output Management

High Output Management

by Andrew S. Grove

The essential skill of creating and maintaining new businesses—the art of the entrepreneur—can be summed up in a single word: managing. Born of Grove’s experiences at one of America’s leading technology companies, High Output Management is equally appropriate for sales managers, accountants, consultants, and teachers, as well as CEOs and startup founders. Grove covers techniques for creating highly productive teams, demonstrating methods of motivation that lead to peak performance—throughout, High Output Management is a practical handbook for navigating real-life business scenarios and a powerful management manifesto with the ability to revolutionize the way we work.

Buy it here.

Measure What Matters

Measure What Matters

How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

by John Doerr

Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.

Buy it here.

Crossing the Chasm

Crossing the Chasm

Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers

by Geoffrey A. Moore

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle—which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are willing to sacrifice for the advantage of being first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in productivity. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment.

Buy it here.

About Ashley Sefferman

Ashley Sefferman is Head of Content at Apptentive. A digital communication and content strategy enthusiast, she writes about multichannel engagement strategies, customer communication, and making the digital world a better place for people. Follow Ashley on Twitter at @ashseff.
View all posts by Ashley Sefferman >

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