What will happen with "Product Managers"
The same will happen with Product Managers / Growth roles as what we see with "Web Designers". Remember those?
I remember in 1999 when this new website came up to rival altavista / yahoo... Google
"So much white on that page, and only one field, this is cool"
I instantly switched from being an API developer to thinking I want to build Websites. "HTML" - that's easy.
Back then we did everything in one. We designed Websites:
- Ugly Animated Buttons and "Under construction banners"
- Research, analytics (Mainly Google Analytics)
- Everything "design"
But we had no real idea looking back on how to do any of it really well.
Since then progressively new subdisciplines have evolved from the job, for instance:
- Designers and their subdisciplines
- UX Researchers
- Frontend Engineers
- and more...
It's happening to Product Managers as well and some of it... is not good, some is good-ish. What I do witness is that it's already difficult for some PM's to cross over to other specializations if they want. "Once a growth PM always a growth PM"
- Product Owners (Ouff, sorry PO's, you have it rough to go anywhere)
- Product Marketing Managers
- Platform Product Managers
- Growth / Technical / API / Enterprise / Hardware / AI etc. etc.
The problem I see is that when you try to break into product management you should already think in which direction you want to go because you will be getting progressively better offers in that area of specialization. In general, I'd say that startups are better to break in because you will see more.
And then we have afterward the leadership canyon (a term coined by Reforge, see comments), which changes again completely what skills you need with different skillsets for leadership specializations.
It's an exciting time, but there's so much chaos until the titles will have settled as they did back then. And we demand from our young product managers much more than we used to back then, it speaks for the complexity of the field but also has downsides. Impostor syndrome is rampant in a lot of PM's I have the pleasure to meet. <- And people - we need to talk about that as well.
#product #productmanagement #growth #webdesign
Thanks for reading Leah’s Productea Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Why do you think that POs have it rough anywhere?