How do you, as a PM, find the right balance between making products that are "addictive" and products that are good for consumers?

I want to know more about ethics in product management. How can I do that? What podcasts, books, or Twitter accounts do you think people should follow?

Your valuable inputs are sought.


It depends on the business, the product, and the team. It would not be too much of a stretch to say that any product helps people. People smoke to relax, among other things. This is something that PMs always do. Some things you should work on are things you believe in. If you think your product is hurting people, you should say something and change it, or you should move on. Keep an eye on this post to see what other people think. Remember, as a product manager, it’s important to constantly seek out new perspectives and stay informed on industry trends. Consider following thought leaders in your specific field on Twitter or subscribing to podcasts that focus on product management best practices. Stay curious and open-minded to continue growing in your role.


The business model will have a big impact on this. If your income comes from ads, you’ll want to get people to spend more time with your product, even if it’s not good for them.

In contrast, I work on either one-time-sale or subscription-based software. In both situations, the main goal is to quickly provide the customer with what they require. They shouldn’t spend time in the software; instead, they should use the information we give them to solve problems. It wouldn’t bother me if they set up their stuff and never touched the product again, as long as they get the value that was promised.


To transition from a B2B Product Manager to a Consumer Tech Product Manager, consider gaining a deep understanding of the consumer tech landscape through research and networking. Acquire relevant skills, such as UX design and consumer behavior analysis, by taking online courses and attending industry events. Showcase your commitment to the field by working on personal projects, building a consumer-focused portfolio, and taking on freelance or volunteer opportunities. Stay updated on industry news, connect with professionals in the consumer tech community, and seek mentorship to gain insights and guidance. Tailor your resume and emphasize experiences that align with consumer tech requirements to effectively position yourself for the transition.

Finding the right balance between creating “addictive” products for revenue and products that genuinely benefit consumers is crucial for a Product Manager. This balance requires a deep understanding of user needs, ethical considerations, and a focus on long-term customer satisfaction. To achieve this balance, Product Managers should prioritize user-centric design, ethical product practices, and transparent communication with users. By aligning revenue goals with delivering real value to consumers, Product Managers can build sustainable products that foster user trust and engagement while contributing to the company’s financial success.


@MarioRomero, Even if there are advertisements, it’s possible that the user chose the version with ads in order to avoid paying since the product is arguably making them happy both by not charging them and through its use. In the end, the most important thing is that the customer feels satisfied with the value they are receiving from the software. If they find it useful and it helps them solve their problems, then the purpose of the product has been fulfilled. Ultimately, customer satisfaction should be the top priority for any subscription-based software company.


That is a great question. You should follow Tristan Harris. He made the website A lot of the people who were interviewed for Netflix’s “Social Dilemma.” You should see this move if you haven’t already. Even though it’s a little too dramatic.

I like Nir Eyal’s books too. Start by reading hooked. It talks about all the psychological tricks that are used to get people to buy something. Then read his book Easy to Distract From. It’s the opposite of hooked, which helps people control their attention.


@FelipeRibeiro, Good recommend; I already follow Tristan and Humane Tech on Twitter. I’m going to follow the rest too now. Thank you also for the book suggestion.


I’m glad you found the recommendations helpful! Following Tristan and Humane Tech on Twitter is a great way to stay informed about the impact of technology on society. Enjoy reading Nir Eyal’s books, they offer valuable insights into how to navigate the digital world mindfully. Remember to also implement some of the strategies mentioned in the book, such as setting boundaries with technology and being more conscious of your online habits. It’s important to take control of your attention and not let yourself be easily distracted by the constant stream of information. By following these recommendations and practicing mindfulness, you can improve your relationship with technology and lead a more balanced life.


Determine what you are ethically satisfied with and follow that guideline.

Building an easy-to-use calendar for an airline is comparable to creating a decent sign for a storefront or building an easy-to-read restaurant menu. There are no difficulties there.

I don’t want to work for a gambling firm since I don’t believe it helps the society, thus I don’t apply for those positions.

If the product you’re managing violates your principles, I’m not convinced there’s an easy solution.

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This is always very challenging. In the past I’ve worked at a company that was pretty strong on persuasion, having even teams called that, and some of the features that were developed could be borderline questionable.

But the good side of it is that we could always challenge. Hard part is that as a “e-commerce” the focus is always on sales, so doing something that doesn’t increase the conversion rate but is “good” is not enough. But if you manage to have a clear hypothesis and look deeper at the data (to my example was long term retention) it’s possible to revert a bad feature into something that still provides value to the company but doesn’t sound that bad to the users.

I also agree with some others that not always what we see in the media is really the issue. If Netflix makes me watch more movies because of their crazy algorithms, I personally don’t see it as a problem, while some might. Same applies for journal, Spotify, any kind of daily use app. Their goal is to make me stick to the usage, but is it that bad?