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Over the course of the past several weeks, my attention has been captured by three articles in particular.  I’m just getting the chance to get caught up with post-vacation reading, sodigital as I am processing them myself I thought I’d share as well.

All of the articles focus on a common theme … and you’ll generally see it in articles from McKinsey, Accenture, Gartner, Forrester, etc … how is digitization radically changing the dynamics of the markets in which we operate and the speed at which we need to move to remain competitive? How do we create value in this new ecosystem as Product Management leaders? And how do we shift our focus from a strategic standpoint from the complex to the simple?

Part 1 – Digital

One of my colleagues re-posted this article last week titled Digital Experience in 2018: 5 Trends. Several of these are topics I covered in this post, so I’ll add a few thoughts to the 5 points where appropriate:

  1. Voice Will Shake Up (but not Overturn) User Interfaces – [PH thoughts] a few quotes to get you thinking on this one. Thinking about my own experiences, I have certainly become more accustomed to using Siri for simple transactions, the more complex ones are on the horizon.
    1. 16% of Americans now own a smart speaker (39M) – NPR/Edison, 2017
    2. By 2019, 50% of queries will be generated using search, natural-language query or voice – Gartner, 2018
  2. Intelligence Gets a New Starting Point – [PH thoughts] again, a few telling quotes … AI will definitely change the way we interact, even if it is just by abstraction.
    1. By 2020 user perception of and interaction with the digital world will begin to deliver a transparent, immersive experience. – Gartner, 2017
    2. As AI technology matures, people will increasingly interact directly with AI instead of the enabling technology channels. – Accenture, 2017
  3.  Trust Is Golden – [PH thoughts] there is a fine line between making things easier for us as consumers, and keeping things secure.  In short, we will trust (as consumers) until you give us a reason not to.
  4. Some Things Are Here to Stay — and Improve
  5. Your Business Is Already Digital, Now Connect It – [PH Thoughts] – see the link to my prior post above on thoughts around digital, but I love the way one executive put it recently … we understand they need to evolve to become digital predators, or else we will end up as digital prey.

Part 2 – Value

I’ve had numerous posts over the years on the value of APIs, but nothing has impacted my thinking more on this topic than this book: Platform Revolution – Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary.

The book makes the points new responsibilities for product managers include overseeing the application programming interface (API) as a product, identifying and owning key partnerships, managing the developer ecosystem … companies no longer control 100% of the value creation, value is created in the ecosystem. 

This article titled Value Proposition Interface Canvas expands on this premise by distinguishing between a customer-centric (and I’d argue partner-centric) API and an application driven API.  The way I’ve always put it is the value of APIs extends beyond the technology, they are business enablers.  Or in the vernacular from the article, value propositions.  Well worth the read.

Part 3 – Processes

I couldn’t resist concluding this post without referencing this article Why Your Business Processes are too Complex.  Essentially, it posits the value of looking at things in threes to derive context, connections and meaning.  Think about it from the perspective of the role you serve as a Product Management leader.  We are often asked to

  • have no more than 3 primary goals during the year
  • understand the domain, the technology, and the business
  • be strategic, tactical, and creative
  • understand the situation, the challenges, and the appropriate response

I’m sure there are other examples, but you get the point!