Products and Superheroes


I'm no expert in superheros movies, but I sure like to watch them. You can say it is part of my "nerdiness"... What do Superheroes have to do with Products? Well, don't get me wrong, no implication whatsoever that Product Managers are superheros! The Product itself has the potential to become the hero while the PM is merely the screenwriter behind the scenes, trying to write an amazing script for it.

Fight for a Cause - In the movies, the superhero is always fighting for a noble cause, whether it is to save the world or get his girl back. Killing the bad guys or winning any prize along the way is usually a bonus. In reality, in most cases, I believe that's true too. Phenomena like the Million Dollar Homepage or the Yo App have no "right to exist" in the long run. Help people communicate, make entertainment or music accessible, help us workout or eat healthier, bring clean water or electricity to distant places, are all causes that stand behind real heroes, I mean Products.

Ecosystem - Superheros nowadays operate as part of a group. Batman is in the Justice League and Ironman is in The Avengers. An extensive and far more comprehensive story is now being told while the heroes interact with each other. Products have their ecosystem too. A fridge is not just a fridge anymore. Today's fridge is part of the 'Smart Home' and and tomorrow's fridge will even do the shopping for us through the Internet. We don't like to connect the dots ourselves anymore, and we expect the Products to do it for us, as part of that comprehensive story.

Success and Failure is Clear - If the superhero is liked, brings the audience to the cinemas and is fueling the cash machine - it would get a sequel! Products are generally the same...

Win with Its Special Power - In the movies, there is always a happy end. The heroes defeat the villains and they usually do it with that special power they got - the ability to fly, super strength, laser vision or whatnot. Well, in life, no one guarantees nothing... However, if the product is going to prevail, it is because of its 'spacial power' and not many other capabilities it has. Finding that product's 'special power' among all of its capabilities, fine-tuning it and focusing on it in order to win, isn't easy...

No Boundaries - Superheros come in all colors and shapes - small as an ant, green giant, made of stone, flexible as rubber, and whatever you can think of. In the real world where we build actual products, using real science and advanced technology we are constantly pushing the envelope and there shouldn't be any boundaries to the products we dream of.

Note to ourselves: We don't really have a magical hammer or a super-advanced flying suite that will save the world. It is done step by step, failure by failure with some success here and there. And yes, luck always helps as well...

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