The Future of Product Management: Personalization and Human Intensive Experiences


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 28, 2023

4 min read


The Future of Product Management: Personalization and Human Intensive Experiences

In the world of product management, there are various approaches to getting the job done. However, only one leads to true success. The first approach is when product managers escalate every issue and decision up to the CEO, essentially making them nothing more than a backlog administrator. Many CEOs admit that this model is not effective. The second approach is design by committee, where the product manager calls a meeting with all stakeholders and lets them fight it out. Unfortunately, this rarely leads to anything beyond mediocrity.

To achieve success, product managers need to focus on doing their job. They need to collaborate with design and engineering teams to solve real problems for users and customers while meeting the needs of the business. The key is to find a balance between commonality and differentiation. Users choose their devices and platforms because of what's different, not the same. It's important to understand the value of what's unique and leverage it to create a better platform-specific solution.

One company that exemplifies the importance of understanding customer needs is Netflix. The team realized that their service wasn't compelling enough to get people to change their media consumption behavior. They needed to create a blend of expensive and less expensive titles that would appeal to customers. This led to the development of the queue, ratings system, and recommendation engine, which became the foundation of their successful business model.

Another example of a product manager working across the entire company to find solutions is Jane at Google. She faced strong resistance from both the ad sales team and the engineering team when she proposed a self-service advertising platform. The sales team feared that it would diminish the value of their work, while the engineers were concerned about ads interfering with search results. Jane had to advocate for a solution that addressed these concerns while providing a more effective advertising solution for small businesses.

In the ever-changing landscape of technology, companies must be willing to adapt and embrace change. Lea at Adobe understood this when she led the transition from a desktop-based Creative Suite to a subscription-based model supporting all devices. She knew that some customers would resist this change, so she focused on clearly articulating a compelling vision and strategy. She emphasized the benefits of the new model and communicated continuously with stakeholders.

The future of product management lies in personalization and non-scalable, human-intensive experiences. Customers crave personalized experiences tailored to their preferences. AI can play a significant role in delivering these experiences, but it can never replace human creativity. In fact, the value of human creativity will likely increase in the age of AI. People will seek out rare and highly crafted versions of basic and luxury needs, driving the demand for non-scalable experiences.

As the value of human creativity rises, executives will need to focus on ingenuity and customer impact rather than just productivity. They will need to develop skill sets that leverage their unique abilities and deliver value that AI cannot replicate. The most effective creativity will be the kind that moves us emotionally and creates a connection.

In conclusion, product managers play a crucial role in the success of a company. They must collaborate with design and engineering teams to solve real problems for users and customers. They need to understand the value of differentiation and leverage it to create compelling solutions. As the world becomes more personalized and human-intensive experiences gain value, product managers must embrace change and lead their organizations towards innovative solutions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the power of personalization: Understand your customers' preferences and tailor experiences to their needs. Invest in technologies that enable personalization.
  • 2. Foster collaboration across functions: Work closely with design and engineering teams to find innovative solutions. Break down silos and encourage cross-functional collaboration.
  • 3. Develop leadership skills: Aspire to be a great product manager by leading your organization towards change. Be persistent, creative, and smart in your approach. Lead by example and inspire others to embrace new ideas.

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