Best Product Manager Books

This is a post that I’ve wanted to write for a long time and it is a list of my favorite Product Management books.  This was important because as someone who never received formal training on being a product manager, but being in a position to run multiple multi-million dollar software companies, learning on my own was key.

Since embarking on that adventure, I’ve had to self teach myself not only the business of software, but the development side too.  I’ve since read countless books on the subject and the below books are truly my most recommended books when people ask me what are the best books for software product managers.

Best Product Management Books

 


Now, this is just the beginning to this list but in time, I will add more.

Dave Chesson’s Video Studio Setup

I’ve had many people ask me about my office setup and how I was able to create video effectively and efficiently. The truth is, the equipment was the most important part.  I went through thousands of dollars trying out all different types of gear until  I finally found the best equipment for making my professional videos as quickly as possible.

But I had two requirements:

1. I wanted the video and sound quality to be pretty legit and professional looking

2. I wanted to be able to start shooting in less than 5 seconds and do it by myself.

So, in order to show you how I did both of these, I’ve separated my equipment discussions into two parts: Making Professional Videos, Setup For Easy Filming.

Please also be aware that all links below are affiliate links.  If you click them, I’ll get a percentage of the money you use to pay for it. That will not cost you anything extra by using my link.  Instead it just goes to help my coffee funds 🙂

How I Set Up My Video Shooting System: 

List of Equipment to Making Professional Videos:

The following are the BEST pieces of equipment that anyone looking to do video should SERIOUSLY consider

Lens: Sigma 30mm


The lens is the most important part for creating an awesome and clear video.  Honestly, any ole DSLR camera will do fine, but the lens is everything and makes the real difference in your picture quality.  This lens specifically gives me that blurry background look and  clear image without a fish eye look.  Believe me, I spent thousands of dollars testing tens until I found this one.

Camera: Canon 5D mark iii


Here’s the thing…you don’t need an top-notch camera.  It’s true.  The lens and lighting and mic are way more important.  However, I definitely recommend you use a DSLR  or something equivalent.  Also, I really like the Canons because they come with a free software that allows me to control my camera from my computer.  I personally choose the Canon 5D mark iii because to prove its capability, the show, “House” filmed their season finale entirely on this camera.

Lighting: Diva Ring Light


This was my FAVORITE find of all.  All of my videos looked yellowish and crappy. I tried doing recessed lights and different bulbs (Kelvins anyone?) and none of it worked.  However, this LED system was the best. It was a real game changer and my #1 recommendation period.

(Option 1) Microphone: Rode NTG3B Shotgun Microphone or Audi


Later on in my YouTube video making, I decided to step up my game and purchase the Rode NTG3B Shotgun mic.  This is expensive but definitely improved my sound quality.  However, in order to use this effectively, you need to also get a Zoom H4N to process the sound.
(Needed): Zoom H4N:  https://amzn.to/3aHZqAe

(Option 2) Microphone: Audio Technica ATR2100


When I first started though, I used the AudioTechnica ATR 2100 USB microphone.  It was good enough and is an extremely cheap microphone…especially for the quality.  I still use the ATR 2100 for podcasts and generally communicating via Skype or Zoom.  Plus because it plugs into your computer through USB, you don’t need the H4N.  So, a much cheaper option.

List of Equipment for Desk Setup – Making it Easy

Being able to have everything setup permanently, was my main goal.  Without the help of anyone else, I just wanted to come to my desk, flick a couple of switches and start recording.

Desk: ApexDesk Elite  Adjustable Standing Desk


This was the best investment I made for myself.  I LOVE the ability to stand up from time to time while working.  But it also allows me to attach the camera to the desk through a monitor mount.  What I love most about this desk is that it’s extremely affordable for its price, it’s more than large enough, and is super sturdy – many other electronic height adjustable desks were not and wouldn’t be able to hold the amount of weight my system puts on them – but this one did 🙂

Monitor Mount: VIVO Triple Monitor Mount


How do I connect the camera to the Desk?  Well, this tri-screen monitor mount did the trick.  First, it’s an amazing monitor mount.  But second, the middle stanchion/pole is hollow and allows for me to stick poles inside of it (see the below next one).  Those poles are what hold the neck that holds the camera.

Poles for Placing Inside of the Monitor Mount: Amazon Light Stand


In order to have the camera sit in the area with the ring light, I needed to get creative.  It needed poles small enough, but strong enough that had the right connectors to fit the Diva light and the Bendable Camera neck (both below).  This is what I found and for the price, it was low enough I didn’t feel bad.  I took the top pole off of each, measure the distance up that I wanted the pole to sit, and sawed off the rest.

Bendable Neck to position the Camera: Stellar Flexible Neck

Finding this took some time.  But thankfully a buddy of mine, Joe Nicoletti, pointed me in the right direction.  This bendable neck is strong enough to hold the DSLR and lens but still be able to move if I want it to.
Stellar Flexible Nickhttp://www.stellarlightingsystems.com/stellar-flexible-neck/

Ballhead Mount for Camera: Joby GorrilaPod Ballhead


Any ole ballhead mount will NOT work.  You need something heavy duty because it not only has to hold your camera, and lens (which are pretty heavy), it also had to be sturdy enough to not move when lowering and raising the desk, plus be able for you to quickly reposition it when needed.  This was by far the hardest find and it worked perfectly for me.

Continuous Power to Your DSLR: Glorick AC Power for Canon


I hated the idea of having to remember to charge the battery for the DLSR. Instead, since the DSLR is now fixed on my desk, I can just directly power the DSLR through the wall outlet with this little guy.  If you don’t have a Canon, no worries. Each company has a power adapter version for that camera type.

Streaming My Videos to FB Live or Youtube Live using DSLR: Elgato Cam Link 4K


If you want to stream your DSLR straight to FB live, Youtube Live or even on Skype and other video software, then you’re going to need the Blackmagic setups.  They are expensive and I only recommend this if you truly intend to make FB Live or other streaming social a priority in your business.
Website to Check Your Camera’s Compatibility for the Cam Link: https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming/cam-link/camera-check

Anything Else?

Here are some of the extra pieces that I used, but aren’t super important for your video creation.

Logo Light Box in the Background: Etsy Saw & Steel

Like that Kindlepreneur logo lightbox?  Pretty cool branding right?  Well I had it custom made on Esty by the below-talented metal worker:
Etsy Logo Light Builderhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/sawandsteel

LED String Lights behind my Book Shelf:


I attached the below lights behind my shelf as well as the monitors on my desk.  With the remote, I can change the colors and thus the mood. Really cool looking for the video (be sure your lens is good enough otherwise it will see strobing. The primary lens above is good, not the secondary) as well as helping to set a mood in my office.  Plus these are really cheap.

Clips to Hold All of my Cords and String Lights

Here are the clips I used to hold my wires and string lights in place. They were perfect and one of my favorites.
eBoot 100 Pieces Adhesive Cable Clipshttp://amzn.to/2wX08oy

Software for Editing:

My absolutely favorite is ScreenFlow, however it only works on Mac.  Therefore, if you have a PC then you should use Camtasia.
ScreenFlow (MAC): https://kindlepreneur.com/click/screenflow
Camtasia (PC): https://kindlepreneur.com/click/camtasia

Bookcase in the Back: Multiple Cubed Bookcase White


It’s funny, but I get asked this a lot: What is my bookcase in the background of my videos. Well, it’s the Multiple Cubed Bookcase which you can find on Amazon here. I’m a pretty bit fan.

Modern Passion is what Kills Modern Entrepeneurs

Every time I hear some entrepreneur guru say “find what you’re passionate about and do that for business” I roll my eyes. This is usually the worst advice out there and if you take that advice, your chances of failure increase exponentially.

Now before you go get your pitchforks and burn me at the stake, let me explain.

Currently, we think that passion means “that which we love, and feel motivated to do.”

But notice something very important in that definition. If you use that as a basis to start your business, you’re starting with the idea that it’s all about you and what you want. The right kind of business is about serving others and that’s never easy.

So, is having passion wrong?

No no no…It’s not that Passion shouldn’t be a part of our calculus to start a business, and in truth, the entrepreneur gurus aren’t wrong either when they say to do what you’re passionate about.

It’s actually our definition of what Passion is that is wrong.

There is another definition that is right for us and will be the difference maker between success and failure in business. It’s old and long forgotten, but truly, it is exactly what we as entrepreneurs desperately need to ask ourselves before we create another failed attempt at virtual freedom.

The Passio of the Christi?

The original meaning of the word “Passion” didn’t use to be about self-interests. Far from it actually.

The word Passion comes from the latin word “Passio” which means a willingness to suffer for others.

The word Passio was created after hearing the telling of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. He so loved the church that he was willing to suffer and die for mankind. This wasn’t about self-interests or what motivated him. It was about serving and he was willing to die for those that he served.

It’s for this reason that the famous movie by Mel Gibson was called “Passion of the Christ.” Something I thought was very odd at the time but now I fully understand its true meaning and why it was selected – the word “Passion” came from that one act.  It was the originator!

And so, the original meaning of Passion used to be about being willing to suffer in order to accomplish one’s goals. Being truly motivated that no matter the cost or hardships, you’ll do whatever it takes.

That’s the real definition of passion that we entrepreneurs must take for practice.

Passio doesn’t work Without Ethics and Principles

Passio is about the suffrage for others, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be for your customers specifically.In truth, it wasn’t teaching others to market their books that was my passion. Instead, it was about being home with my family and being able to support them as much as possible.

That was my passio.

That’s what I was willing to suffer for. That’s what got me up at 4am every morning. That’s what kept me going, even when things got really tough – and they did. I was not going to let my children down or miss another Christmas. I was going to do whatever it took!

However, this isn’t to say that I don’t care about those I teach.  I would have failed if this wasn’t the case.

It’s definitely not to say that I have cheated people because my followers are not my passio. I do right by anyone who places trust in me. Because of my core ethics and principles (both of which are strongly rooted in each of my businesses), I will work hard for anyone who places trust and respect on myself, for I fear only God and dishonor.

So, I have passion for my family, but because of my ethics and principles and desire to be a real man to my children, I’ll bend over backward to maintain my honor and truly create products that help and deliver.

So, have your passion, but ensure it’s deeply rooted in your ethics and principles as you move forward.

Passio vs. Passion

So, the real question for you as an Entrepreneur is whether or not you’re ready to suffer for the cause.

If you start your business due to self-interests, will you stick with it when the going gets tough? Will you keep at it, hustling as hard as you can when it no longer interests you or isn’t fun anymore?

No. Like many other entrepreneurs before you, you’ll stop. You won’t go that extra mile and you’ll quit.

So, ask yourself:

Are you ready to suffer for the purpose of your business?

If the answer is no, then find something else. If yes, then get started. But whatever you do, don’t use the modern version of Passion to decide the purpose of your business.