The Future of Product Management in Web3: How to Succeed in the Decentralized Landscape | by Karim Hadni | Coinmonks | May, 2023


Stepping Up: The PM as an External “Leader”

Deciphering user behavior in the decentralized world of Web3 is a complex task, given that users have absolute control over their own data. User feedback and network data have become valuable treasures, giving us insights into user needs and patterns.

In the Web3 universe, PMs are asked to wear more hats than usual. We move beyond the confines of conventional product management, taking on the mantle of both an external leader and community manager.

As PMs, our role is to invite users into the development process, encouraging their feedback, and even allowing them to steer the product’s direction through community voting and governance structures.

To ace this role, a PM needs to have their finger on the pulse of the Web3 community, understanding its dynamics and rhythms. This involves being active on social platforms, notably Twitter and Discord, where users voice their thoughts and ideas.

Web3’s democratic approach to community management might seem like a curveball to PMs accustomed to a more centralized decision-making process. However, embracing this new modus operandi and working intimately with the community allows PMs to construct more effective and user-centric products that resonate within the decentralized landscape of Web3.

I’d like to quote Chris Dixon, who beautifully captured the essence of Web3 entrepreneurship. He encourages us to be “pie makers” instead of “takers,” referencing Jeff Bezos’ famous words: “Your margin is my opportunity.” Dixon cleverly adds a Web3 spin, “Your take rate is my opportunity.” His enlightening Twitter thread is a must-read.

For the growth and success of Web3 projects, it’s crucial that every stakeholder works together towards a unified goal. The larger we make the pie, the more valuable everyone’s “take rate” becomes. As a Product Manager, recognizing the importance of aligning stakeholders is key to our success in this exciting new frontier.

Navigating the Fluid Landscape: The New Challenges for Web3 Product Managers

In the exhilarating early days of Web3, the only constant is change.

As a Web3 Product Manager, it’s like switching hats at the drop of a pin — one day you might be immersed in technical product requirements, and the next you’re brokering partnerships. Contrary to traditional product management, where a plethora of user data and testing results guide your path, navigating the Web3 landscape calls for a more instinctual approach. You rely on your knowledge, your intuition, and yes, your gut feel.

Now, this is where things get even more interesting.

Do not be afraid to launch and iterate.

In this fast-paced world of Web3, PMs often prioritize speed. It’s about launching products swiftly, about capturing the market pulse rather than carving out a long-term strategy.

Does that mean we’re sidelining vision and strategy? Not at all.

But we understand that in this landscape, strategies could lose their relevance within a few months. Therefore, our focus shifts — understanding user needs becomes paramount, and so does product development and marketing.

As a Product Manager, it’s about striking the right balance — the race to launch should never compromise the user-friendliness, reliability, and safety of your product. Yes, the terrain is uncertain and challenging, but remember — when has pioneering ever been easy?

And this is where the real thrill of being a Web3 Product Manager lies — in navigating this fluid landscape with intuition, adaptability, and an unyielding will to succeed.

Building on a Decentralized Network: A Whole New Ballgame for Product Managers

The terrain of Web3 is uniquely complex, fragmented, and decentralized.

As a Web3 Product Manager, you’re not just building a product — you’re weaving a product narrative on the vast, intricate fabric of blockchain technology. This journey calls for a deep technical understanding of the underlying technology and an ability to skilfully navigate the fragmented landscape of Web3.

Collaboration takes on a whole new meaning here — you’ll be constantly synergizing with cross-functional teams, be it developers or designers, foreseeing potential risks, and drawing up mitigation strategies. It’s a challenging terrain, indeed. But, with every challenge surmounted, you’ll find yourself growing — in knowledge, in skills, and in the sheer joy of being at the forefront of this technological revolution.

Remember, you’re not just a Product Manager — you’re a pathfinder, a trendsetter, and a pioneer, charting a course through the unexplored territories of Web3. And that, dear reader, is a journey worth embarking on!

Crafting Products for Empowerment, Ownership, and Control in Web3

As we navigate through the realm of Web3, we find that its very ethos lies in empowering the user, bestowing them with ownership, and ultimately, granting them control over their data. As a Web3 Product Manager, your focus shouldn’t deviate from this philosophy.

This journey isn’t just about developing products; it’s about fostering an environment of empowerment and ownership.

Web3 ushers in an era where users aren’t merely passive consumers but active participants with control over their data and assets. However, with this newfound power also comes a heightened responsibility for their own security and privacy. What they yearn for is an experience that is seamless, secure, and imbued with trust. Any hiccups or ambiguity on this path could shake their trust, causing a dent in the value that they perceive.

As a Web3 Product Manager, your task is to prioritize the user experience, not just to cater to the demands of the market but to build a foundation of trust and ensure widespread adoption.

Because, at the end of the day, your product isn’t just a tool — it’s a beacon of empowerment, enabling users to navigate the dynamic landscape of Web3 with confidence and ease.

A Web of Interconnectedness: Interoperability and Integration in Web3 Products

In the captivating world of Web3, products don’t exist in isolation. Each product is a node in a network, needing to converse and collaborate with other networks and systems.

As a Web3 Product Manager, your role is to ensure that your product not only speaks but listens and responds too. The goal is to foster interoperability and integration.

The tapestry of Web3 is intricately woven with different protocols and systems. Your task is to understand how these varied threads can intertwine harmoniously, enhancing the richness and usability of the overall picture.

Prioritizing interoperability and integration features in your product is not an option; it’s a necessity.

But how can you achieve this?

By immersing yourself in the details of different blockchain protocols and by actively collaborating with other projects and teams that are part of the same Web3 ecosystem. Knowledge is power, indeed, but in the decentralized world of Web3, collaboration is the key that unlocks limitless potential.

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