I read a twitter tread recently that hypothesised that a lot of PMs are at risk of losing their jobs because they use cookie cutter frameworks thinking and are not really creative.
I think the real reason the number of PM jobs will go down over time is not because of emphasis on frameworks thinking, but because most PMs don’t actually care about the craft of building products.
It has become a status seeking day job for people who want a generalist role.
When I was a new PM a decade back, people who entered this domain used to care about the art of PM’ing. I myself was obsessed with becoming a good product manager. I remember putting keyword alerts on Google to get updates on competition. Obsess over playstore reviews. Track competition to know what they are upto. Understand the space I worked on. Have a thesis. I have been writing online on product management for a decade.
If you have followed me for long on Twitter, you would remember how many links on design and strategy I used to post there. And links I posted were my favourites on the topic. In reality I used to read 10X of that. Not just reading, I cared about moving fast. Shipping fast. I tracked the impact of my features. Read quarterly updates of companies.
When was the last time you as a developer or a designer met a PM and were like wow this person has thought deeply about this problem statement they are working on?
When you, as a PM, work based on implied authority without anyone reporting to you, you have to put in the work.
When was the last time you installed aa new app to understand how they do onboarding? Paid for an app to understand their payment flow? Tried to understand how a free app upsells their users to their premium plan? Do you take screenshots of your favourite UIs? Do you debate why a particular UX is better than the other? When was the last time you understood a new ecosystem? Be it Fintech or Crypto or AI or on-demand marketplace. Anything? Tried to understand your own company’s PnL?
I have so many friends who want to do product after their banking/ consulting/ MBA and I always ask them why? I have never seen any of them discuss products with me before. I am sure they don’t care about tech. They just want in because the role sounds good. And pays well. Most of these people will fail to build a meaningful career in this domain because they don’t care about the craft of product management. They just want the status of a well paying tech job.