What a year 2022 was.
In the tech and software industry, we saw some of the most turbulent macro-economic conditions that many of us have ever experienced. At the same time, we saw exciting new developments in fields like artificial intelligence and big product bets from some of the top names in tech.
In the spirit of looking forward and preparing for our best year yet in 2023, we wanted to ask some of our friends in product orgs across the industry to weigh in on their predictions for the upcoming year.
Many of these guests also appeared on the LaunchNotes Podcast or our this year. And plenty of them hang out with us in the LaunchAwesome Slack community, a free community with over 300 of the industry’s top product operators.
We'll be discussing all these predictions during a special edition of our weekly live show, Office Hours Live, on Dec. 15. Check it out below! Hit the notification bell to watch live.
To get a head start on one common prediction (the growing importance of AI) we asked ChatGPT to summarize these predictions. Here’s what we got!
The top three predictions in this text are:
1. Product management will need to prioritize with a new rigor in 2023.
2. Product management will need to become proficient in using collaborative whiteboarding tools like Figma and Miro.
3. Product management will need to understand the practical limits and reality of AI in order to incorporate it into product visions and plans.
So without further delay, here are their top product predictions for 2023!
Lead Product Manager at Google’s Core Machine Learning team
The key discussion seems to be around "return to work" and questioning the efficacy of roles in teams (based on the Twitter workforce gutting). There will be a trend to try to add a lot of productivity monitoring, especially for remote workers, which will inevitably fail because it doesn't actually track effectiveness. To do that we need to have a stronger understanding of objectives (and hard choices) by leaders which I've often found to be lacking.
If there is something I hope for in the next year is that people will take more care with async work practices. This includes reviews of PRDs and decision making through review docs. There is a lot for us to learn about effective discussion that comment free-for-alls in docs isn't the final iteration. This will mostly be of benefit to teams that are bigger than a handful of people.
Hear more from Chris:
Group Product Manager at Google
Top 5 Ways Product Management Will Change in 2023!
1) PMs will need to become Prioritization Experts: As the macro-economic fever rises, teams will start Prioritizing with a new rigor that we haven't felt in a decade. Making sure limited resources are focused on the right things will be more important than ever!
2) PMs will need to become Whiteboarding-in-the-cloud Experts: Teams continue to try to work from distributed locations.... Adobe will try to accelerate Figma's marketshare... and Apple just launched FreeForm... more and more teams will move toward heavier use of collaborative-whiteboarding tools like Figma & Miro.
3) PMs will need to become Conversant in the State of AI: Text and Image Generation AI tools are hitting mainstream fast. GPT-4 will launch in 2023 and will likely bring an order of magnitude improvement to the table. PMs will need to understand its practical limits and what's real and what's hype in order to factor these rapidly into product visions and tactical plans.
4) PMs will need to become Human+Machine Design Experts: Software without ML & AI under the covers will have trouble keeping up. But software without a Human-judgement overlay will fail too. PMs will begin to build interfaces that bridge these two powerful forces to create guidance systems that give still-immature AI and ML systems the guardrails they need to meet our expectations.
5) PMs will need to join PM Communities: One of the downsides of distributed teams is fewer touchpoints with other PM peers, leaders, and mentors. PMs are already mostly self-taught and now, in the distributed age, PM are also continuing to evolve their own styles of working without others nearby to keep things homogeneous. PMs will need to join communities (like Launch Awesome) to get feedback, share best practices, and continue to perpetuate a unified definition of "What is a PM?"
Hear more from Dan:
Product Evangelist and Coach at Amplitude
I really wonder for a lot of teams, how much process overhead is really all that necessary. A lot of teams just want to be more efficient and productive. Maybe they’ll be forced to kind of question what rituals are really important and what rituals are not.
Hear more from John:
Head of Customer Service Experience at Atlassian
There's the macro-economic shift from decades of feast towards a period of relative famine. I don't believe this resulting pencil-sharpening to be a completely negative impact on product teams, as it will force a focus on product team execution and productivity of outcomes. This generally also falls into the favour of customer satisfaction, where it’s always cheaper and easier to serve existing customers than trying to win new, especially as the market goes soft.
Hear more from Pirow:
Head of Growth Marketing at Amplitude
Hear more from Franciska:
Product Marketing at Remote
In 2023, I think we'll see a big push to measure the return and impact of product initiatives. After a few years of growth-at-all-costs, the shift in the economy and looming recession will catch some product teams by surprise - requiring tighter belts and higher-confidence work.
Hear more from James:
Co-Founder/CEO of Hoop
I think Product teams and especially leaders are going to think about time management with much more intention in 2023. They are going to audit meetings to make sure synchronous time is well spent vs defaulting to meetings which have led to burnout over the last couple of years. They will adopt asynchronous processes and tooling to set their teams up for success- many teams are hungry for the ability to disconnect and do creative work without checking notifications and pings.
Hear more from Stella:
Head of Product Marketing at Retool
Product teams will need to think critically about making the value their product creates tangible to users and buyers. In this market, your product has to clearly tie into revenue, cost savings, or risk reduction.
Hear more from Kevin:
Head of Marketing at Arcade
I'm optimistic that 2023 will be a customer-centric year, especially as companies tighten budgets. Product leaders will be laser-focused on introducing features that create the most value. We'll see more product teams build out PLG motions to simplify the product and buying experience. Lastly, to bring all this together, we'll see an increased collaboration with PMMs to nail the go-to-market strategy.
Hear more from JD:
Partner at Signalfire, former CMO at Stripe
My take: Given the challenging economic climate, product leaders will invest in product features that illustrate the value being delivered by their product - like embedded analytics that show productivity gains, time saved, and overall impact (value).
Hear more from Jim:
Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Trint
Not sure if a prediction or a personal desire (lol) - but the understanding that product marketing is product, and PMs and PMMs need to/must work closer together.
Hear more from Andrea:
Product management & strategy consultant at CKW Consulting
Given the economic changes, I think many product teams will have to do more with less, and there will be extra pressure and focus on business outcomes across the board. But the Twitter chaos makes me hopeful that more people are starting to see and understand the importance of good product management and what can go wrong if you don't have it!
Hear more from Christina: