ChatGPT and Product Management, the 2nd Order Effects of Twitter’s API Switch-off, and More
Hello fellow punks!
Welcome (again) to all of you who signed up for Product Punks since I migrated over to Beehiiv from Revue. It’s great to have you on board. Hopefully you’ll stick with me while I figure out what this newsletter's new home, Beehiiv, is all about.
Here’s this week’s issue ⬇️
Is ChatGPT going to take over product management?
If you spend any time hanging out on mainstream text news sites, then you'll get the feeling ChatGPT is taking over the world.
(What's ChatGPT? Where have you been? Here's a nice little primer).
At the moment, it feels like ChatGPT could be everything or nothing—a tech shift as seismic as the widespread adoption of the Internet, or a flash in the pan like the brief resurgence of 3-D movies.
As a product manager, though, you always need to be aware of what's going on at the bleeding edge of tech.
AI probably isn't going to take our jobs (not yet, anyway), but it has the potential to transform the way we work.
My friend Kavir wrote an excellent newsletter post about using ChatGPT as a virtual product management assistant, which is one of the best use cases I've found.
Like Seth Godin says,technology begins by making old work easier, but then it requires that new work be better.
ChatGPT isn't going to to take over the world of product management, but it can take over some of the routine tasks so we can focus on our highest leverage work.
As a writer, one of your hardest jobs is getting from blank page to shitty first draft. If AI tools can help by getting words on a page, that's great.
Likewise, if ChatGPT can help write a shitty first product spec, it frees us up to spend more time on vision, strategy and ideation—which can only be a good thing.
Won’t you tell me, where have all the good tweets gone?
My friend Ian Harvey recently tweeted about the drop in the quality of the conversation on Twitter.
I haven’t spent a lot of time on the bird site since Elon took over, but I think Ian’s right.
What we’re probably looking at is one of the second order effects of killing 3rd party access via Twitter’s APIs.
On the surface, killing 3rd party apps makes complete sense. Letting users consume Twitter content via 3rd parties moves them away from the advertisers Twitter relies on for the bulk of its revenue.
What it doesn’t take into account, though, is that 3rd party apps are mainly used by Twitter’s power users to help control the algorithmic firehose, and to create and publish new content.
If the move to kill off 3rd party apps causes Twitter’s most prolific creators to jump to other platforms like Mastodon and LinkedIn, what does that mean for advertisers?
Keeping people in the Twitter app keeps eyeballs on adverts and promoted tweets, but if the conversation moves elsewhere, who’s going to be around to see them?
As a product manager, you always need to consider the second and third order effects of your decisions—something Twitter’s hierarchy aren’t doing very well at the moment.
What I've been reading 📚
Learning to code used to be a rite of passage for anyone in the tech industry. While I’ve long argued that you don’t need a computer science degree to be a great product manager, having a workable understanding of how software products are built goes a long way.
Back in the days before Wordpress, Medium and Substack, I hand-coded my first blog in html. It was terrible, but it taught me a lot, and gave me an appreciation for the complexities of software development that’s still with me today. The question, though, is in the age of AI, no-code and ChatGPT, is there any benefit in learning to code at all?
The tech industry is moving so fast that the idea of hiring for a specific skillset no longer makes any sense. Just because frameworks like Flutter and React are popular now, it doesn’t mean they’re the future. In a decade’s time, some of the most-used languages of today might find themselves looking like museum pieces alongside whatever tools we’re using to build products.
Instead of looking at the tools on a candidate’s resume, evaluate them on their technical aptitude, curiosity and a problem-solving mindset.
I always knew playing video games wasn’t a waste of time. It turns out that when I skipped university lectures for a week to complete Metal Gear Solid (still one of the greatest video games of all time), I was building the skills I’d need for my future career in product management.
From helping to understand graphics and development, to learning lessons in persistence and resource management, video games are an incredible training ground for tech.
Toots and tweets 🐘
Dr Doom migrates to Mastodon:
I was there Gandalf:
Say hello to Ivory:
A ton of gems about product discovery and execution:
The story of Goldeneye’s shelved Xbox360 remaster:
To mark Goldeneye 007's rerelease today, let's look back at the history of the game's shelved Xbox 360 remaster, as relayed by the devs who very nearly completed it before its untimely cancelation. (From 2021)
— Ars Technica (@arstechnica)
Jan 27, 2023
See you next week (probably).
The Punk PM
P.S. Feel free to share this with anyone else you think would find it interesting.
I’m still playing around with ideas for content and format for this newsletter, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new structure. Go ahead and shoot me an email with ways you think I can make it better.