Navigating the Hierarchy of Product Needs in the Metaverse


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 14, 2023

4 min read


Navigating the Hierarchy of Product Needs in the Metaverse


As the metaverse continues to evolve and digital spaces become more prevalent, the concept of owning digital real estate and metaverse land has gained significant attention. At the same time, the role of product managers in driving decisions and shaping the future of digital products has become crucial. In this article, we will explore the connection between Kwan's Hierarchy of Product Needs and the value of digital real estate in the metaverse. By understanding the different levels of product management and the factors that make digital real estate valuable, businesses can make informed decisions to thrive in this new digital frontier.

Level 1: Shipping - Meeting the Basic Product Needs:

At the foundation of Kwan's Hierarchy of Product Needs is the need to ship features. In the metaverse, this translates to the development and release of digital products and experiences. Initially, smaller companies can rely on their tech leads or first product managers to handle this responsibility. From collaborating with design teams to testing features with customer input, shipping features is essential for establishing a product-market fit and gaining early traction.

Level 2: Planning - Aligning the Vision:

Once a product has gained traction, senior product managers step in to continually challenge product-market fit and align the team on a mid-term vision. This level requires a deeper understanding of customer needs and effective stakeholder management. Drawing out real customer needs through surveys and interviews becomes an art form, and experience plays a vital role in building a product vision that guides the team's efforts.

Level 3: Strategic - Paving the Way to Success:

With product-market fit established and a sufficient runway, strategic product managers take the reins to envision the future of the product. They align the company's vision with a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) and lay out pathways to achieve it. By raising debates on the validity of each pathway and exploring ways to test and de-risk them, strategic product managers steer the company towards sustainable growth. Stakeholder management and decision-making become critical at this level.

Level 4: Strategic Partnering - Building a Strong Foundation:

At the peak of Kwan's Hierarchy of Product Needs is the role of the Chief Product Officer (CPO). As a strategic partner, the CPO helps the company bolster its competitive advantage and solidify its position in the metaverse. This involves designing an organization for growth, forging strategic partnerships, and telling a powerful product story to secure funding and drive revenue. A CPO's ability to navigate the digital landscape and identify key product holes and opportunities is crucial for long-term success.

Connecting Product Needs with Digital Real Estate Value:

The value of digital real estate in the metaverse lies in the unique experiences and opportunities it offers compared to the physical world. While teleportation eliminates the need for long commutes, digital spaces become valuable when they provide experiences that are not available in the physical realm, such as virtual adventures or exploration. Web3 and the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) enable individuals to own specific pieces of digital real estate, further enhancing its value.

Understanding the Value of Proximity and Planning:

In the metaverse, the value of digital land and real estate depends on local proximity and the activities it facilitates. Just like in the physical world, people are more likely to engage with spaces that are nearby, leading to increased activity and attention. However, the metaverse offers the possibility of teleportation, reducing the significance of long distances. Entrepreneurs can create thriving hubs within digital spaces by developing novel amenities or resources that attract users and encourage them to build around them.

The Importance of User Experience and Platform Selection:

Creating intuitive and consistent digital spaces is vital for maximizing the user experience. While some level of planning is necessary, guidelines that group complementary activities near each other can enhance the overall user experience. Additionally, the choice of platform to build in the metaverse is crucial. Web3's ability to bring personal digital assets across platforms allows users to accrue identity and status, making certain platforms more valuable than others.


As the metaverse continues to evolve, businesses must align their product management strategies with the unique needs of the digital landscape. By understanding Kwan's Hierarchy of Product Needs and the factors that make digital real estate valuable, companies can make informed decisions to thrive in this new digital frontier. Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Assess your product needs: Determine where your company stands on the hierarchy of product needs and identify the level of product management required to drive success.
  • 2. Embrace the metaverse's unique opportunities: Explore the possibilities that digital spaces offer, such as creating experiences that are not possible in the physical world, and leverage digital real estate to enhance your product offerings.
  • 3. Prioritize user experience and planning: Focus on creating intuitive and consistent digital spaces that maximize the user experience. Consider the proximity of activities and plan the layout of your digital space to optimize engagement.

By incorporating these strategies, businesses can navigate the metaverse with confidence and seize the opportunities presented by digital real estate and product management.

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