As a product manager (PM), it is crucial to identify the best tech waves to ride. Which industries and specialties should you bet on right now? Which tech waves should you focus on? For example, which industries, specialties, should a PM right now bet on?
What are the hottest IT trends that a PM should be riding right now?
Don’t ride waves, find a specific niche that you have expertise/interest in, and stick to that. This way, you can build a highly specialized skillset over time, and can keep jumping to better and better roles within the same field instead of constantly changing industries.
Several industries and specialties hold significant potential for PMs at present. One such area is artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which continue to revolutionize various sectors, including healthcare, finance, retail, and autonomous vehicles. By understanding the applications and implications of AI/ML, PMs can leverage these technologies to drive innovation and create impactful products. Additionally, the Internet of Things (IoT) offers immense potential, with connected devices becoming increasingly prevalent in homes, cities, and industries. PMs can seize opportunities within IoT by developing smart products, optimizing connectivity, and leveraging data analytics. The field of cybersecurity is also of paramount importance, as digital threats become more sophisticated. PMs well-versed in cybersecurity can contribute to developing robust solutions and safeguarding sensitive information. Furthermore, emerging technologies like blockchain and virtual/augmented reality hold promise for PMs seeking to explore new frontiers. By staying informed about market trends and aligning their skills with the demands of these industries and specialties, PMs can position themselves to make impactful contributions and ride the tech waves of the future.
Generative AI tools for creators (media, games)
Workflow automation and internal tools
Hyperlocal superapps - food, errands, groceries
Next billion internet users in IN/SEA
Neo banks that reimagine traditional banking flows (eg Monzo, Jupiter)
Specialized NLP copilots (Siri 2.0?) from ChatGPT like model innovation
Geospatial data mining from reduced satellite launch costs.
AI/ML in biosciences / biotech
PS - this is my own POV, ~ 9y experience as a PM.
Management of cybersecurity products.
Security firms cannot depend on Security for Security’s sake while IT budgets remain flat or even decline in 23–24.
The tale of how cybersecurity adds value for consumers and stakeholders is helped by product management. The transition from a cost center to a value center is an ideal opportunity to explain it.
@JaneWinfred, I can understand your perspective. This might or might not benefit you, though, because if you specialize in X and the industry needs Y, you could find yourself in serious trouble.
If the industry needs X and you specialize in X, you can make a fortune.
Should? You should be in the tech wave that best fits your expertise. If you are actually just bunny hoping around the next big thing, I highly doubt you will end up being trusted with these emerging topics anyway.
That’s true, but I’m talking about specializing in a specific industry, e.g. environmental tech, healthcare tech, ed tech, music/film tech etc.
These industries may or may not be hot right now, but if you become an expert in one of them, you will at least guarantee that you’ll be highly sought after within those specific industries, regardless of whether they’re popular in the grand scheme of the “tech industry”.
One of the biggest difficulties I have as a PM is defining OKRs that don’t have some KPI that rolls up to some customer-facing Product team. Ultimately, I have very little influence over those metrics, so I shy away from them. There are the obvious KPIs that engineering likes to fight me over (scale, availability, SLAs, etc.). Otherwise, I try to focus on specific capabilities and platform operating cost…which sometimes just feels lame and myopic in light of overall business strategy.
The other thing I’ve experienced…from a career perspective, promotions seem to take longer. As your platform matures, the number of big bang product releases decreases over time. And nobody notices how good of a job you’ve done when nothing goes wrong. The promotions I have seen are when something is obviously wrong and you get in there to clean up someone else’s mess.
I’m working through defining KPIs right now for a client’s new data platform; I’m referring to them as KPI enablement; trying to link how our data platform will Help improve certain KPIs for enterprise business units is having me turn my brain inside out - but it’s slowly making sense - leadership seem onboard to so that’s a plus point.
@RohitKumar, I wish I knew. A lot of what I’ve learned has been a mix of banging my head against a brick wall at work, interacting with other platforms, and reading up on more traditional PM roles. And I think the role bleeds a little into architect and lead developer at times.
Most of the PM content out there is focused on consumer-facing products. Some of that is applicable to platforms, but not all of it or always.
Gosh, I’ve been fighting this OKR / KPI / metrics battle the last few months. At this point, I’ve decided it’s too risky of a climate to not have solid, ideally user-facing metrics to communicate impact. So I have been bear-hugging my client teams and begging them to help us measure the impact we enable for them.
Finally found a few customers that have mature metrics to share and are willing to collaborate more closely. It’s a relief.
I wish I knew the future but I don’t just like anybody else. We might just have (not) educated guesses. I would think those industries which are always required to continue our lives are and might always be stable, like:
- Healthcare, drug discovery
- Food industry
And the currently fancy ones which are at the moment stuffed with money:
- Anything with AI
- Edtech (it seems it was only during the COVID times)
But I can be as wrong as good. Who knows
The party is over for edtech at least for the moment. Lots of layoffs happening.
@AhmadBashir, The party never started in Ed Tech. I worked in that field for 6 months and I hardcore noped out it. Revenue, sales cycles… Nothing makes sense, especially for VC funded businesses.
Fintech will choose someone with Fintech experience over you 9 times out of 10.
Source: I work in Fintech internal systems and half my coworkers have graduate degrees in the sciences. The one place I’ve worked where this wasn’t the case it was due to high turnover running out good people and it was a shitshow as a result because they weren’t hiring people with experience in highly regulated environments.