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The Importance of Product Management in the Age of AI

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Software product development is changing. In my opinion, however, there has never been a better time to utilize the skills you've gained as a product person or by working with product teams. One of the biggest changes that AI has brought to software creation is that the barrier to entry for creating software products is rapidly decreasing.

The trend already started with no-code and low-code solutions, and people have built astonishing products on such platforms. However, even the most flexible no-code and low-code platforms had their limitations. AI-assisted, or AI-driven coding will change that. You will have the flexibility of writing custom code, while having a much simpler interface to produce the underlying code output. What's drag and drop now in no-code solutions, that's a chat interface and natural language to AI today.

Is my job as a product manager secure?

My prediction is that your job is safe from being replaced by AI for the next one or two years. I can even see product management functions as something companies will start investing more in. Software development, in many industries, will see a continued productivity boost. The same number of developers will be able to produce significantly more output, without burning out. This will mean that product delivery will become faster, and there will always be less and less time to figure out what to build next. I predict that there will be a brief moment where we will invest more in product discovery than in delivery. This will be the time when product managers will be in high demand.

New Opportunities for Product Managers in the Age of AI

Today's product managers are better suited to become the best software creators of tomorrow than software engineers. I predict that soon, starting at startups, we'll see the rise of a new position. That'll be called something like "Product Developer," "Product Creator," or "Full-stack Product Marketer." This is going to be a role that will combine product management, software development, and marketing into one role, eventually expanding to UX design as well. This is nothing new: startup founders, solo devs, and hobbyists have been doing this forever, but I think this is going to become increasingly popular especially at small startups. Specialization to one of those areas will be a luxury of large corporations.

My recipe to secure your living as a product person

Whether you plan to keep working at a company or want to make a living off your product, my recommendation is:

  • Keep learning how to effectively understand what your customers want.
  • Keep learning about the business dynamics and how to make money with your product.
  • Keep learning marketing and how to get your product into the hands of your customers.
  • Keep learning how to communicate well, with both your users and within your company.
  • Learn the fundamentals of programming & UX design.
  • Keep up with the AI trend and learn how to best use the new AI tools.