Working on a product that doesn't excite you?

Is anyone else in a situation where their job is fine for paying the bills, but it doesn’t feel fulfilling in terms of the product you work on and what value it’s delivering? My product doesn’t excite me to go in on a day to day and say “this is what I work on”

Alternate question; if you were previously in these shoes and found something you’re excited about, how did you do it? Did it require having to find a company or team and switching?

I’ve been looking into something new potentially because my role feels a bit unfulfilling right now.


That was my whole career until recently. I worked on product after product that was sold to large companies as a tiny part of their infrastructure. It paid the bills, and I found ways to make it interesting and fun, but the product was never interesting, and the solutions were really only helping rich people get slightly richer. Boring products for boring use cases.

Last year I found a job working for a company who sells something I’m personally interested in. And my product is fascinating part of that. I love learning more about how the business works and what my users need. My user research days are some of the funnest days of my career. The only downside is that the pay is not amazing. But it’s more than enough to live on and I’d rather be happy than rich.

How did I find this job? I was scrolling job boards and came across a posting where I said “now that would be cool!”


Yup! I’m in the very same boat as you. The money is great but the product does nothing for me. In most of my 1:1s recently my boss repeatedly tells me she needs to see me be more passionate about the product and company. I have no desire to go above and beyond. I do what’s required of me and I do it well. That’s as far as I’ll go.

I’m actively looking for a new role. If I find something that genuinely makes me think “wow, that seems cool” the I’ll be all over it. Until then I’ll simply chase the money and progressively step up to higher salaries.

I’m at that point where I’m even considering a career change but have no idea what that means or looks like.


I work in a field right now that I honestly do not like at all - took this job to break into product management. I have a job interview tomorrow with a company who’s values and culture align with the vision I have for myself & they sell a product that I personally believe in (and purchase myself).

Sometimes you gotta take steps to get to where you want to go!

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I’ve been in several variations of that spot:

  1. a product that genuinely bored me
  2. a product that could not meet customer needs
  3. a product that was not adequately using my skills (I was too senior for the work)
  4. a general desire to have my work more directly positively impact the world, and to spend less time making more money for people who don’t need it

1 is usually solved by spending more time with customers, only requiring a job change if your company culture doesn’t allow for that. I firmly believe there are always interesting details if you dig deep enough.

2 is where I recommend switching companies or teams, after you’ve explored whether the product can get back on track. Sometimes there’s just so much accumulated “product debt” that actually addressing customer needs requires a near-total restart, and you’ll have missed the market. I ran into this on a product that had its entire workflow built around faulty assumptions, from use cases to target market to value prop. Everything was wrong and the thing needed to be sunset. If you’re not in a very senior role, you really don’t need to stick around for that.

For 3, you should discuss with your manager that you feel underutilized, and that you’d like to transfer the product to a more junior PM. You need to have a clearly defined strategy to help that person pick up, and ideally you mentor them for a bit. These conversations are easier in organization where people move fluidly between projects, and if there’s another area that fits your skillset that needs a PM.

4 is tricky and I encourage people to think deeply on this topic. If you believe in the basic tenets of economics, then people spend money on things when the transaction is a net benefit to them. “Boring enterprise software” is both beneficial to other companies and should make other people’s jobs easier - specifically, it should make all the annoying tasks at work take less time so people can spend more time on the parts of their job that they like. Software that needs a full-time administrator is shipping a job with every sale. And people deserve to have fun with seemingly purposeless consumer apps! So make sure you’re not engaging in too much black-and-white thinking here.

If you still want a clearer connection between your work and positive change, I suggest thinking about what you care about, what kinds of changes would make you happy. I think security, privacy, and compliance are really good starting points, with lots of job openings, employers willing to hire PMs who aren’t SMEs, and a great forward-looking outlook.

Other things beyond the obvious non-profit route (something like MITRE) would be working in the tech team at a newspaper or other public-interest publication, working on accessibility frameworks at a bigger company (anyone who sells to the government), working for government (local govs in particular have surprisingly interesting work), research labs, etc. Or, take the highest paying job you can find and donate 5-20%+ of your income to charity every year.

I want to mention that the most impactful roles are often where change is still underway. Somebody has to work on privacy at Facebook.