I have been curious about how economics and finance affect our day to day lives for a quite some time. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the reverse. As a product manager, how do I currently influence my organization’s financial future?

In a product leadership role (something I want to grow into), it is especially important to understand the impact that the big and small decisions you take everyday have on your company’s bottom line, it’s growth and profitability.

I felt that I was at a disadvantage here as I have neither an MBA nor any background in finance, so I resolved to learn. The one thing about finance that always puts me off is the intense web of jargon, practices and hieroglyphics that no one bothers to explain. When it comes to personal finance there are many writers out there who try to simplify things but I’ve haven’t come across any writing that does the same for corporate finance.

That is until I stumbled across Financial Intelligence.

The single biggest thing I’ve learned from this book

On any financial statement, all the numbers reflect assumptions and estimates. Accountants decide what should be shown here and not there and how to estimate this or that. That is the art of finance

I would recommend this book to all product managers (or really managers of any kind). If you don’t have an MBA, I would even go so far as to say it should be mandatory reading.