Imagining Magic

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C Clarke

I love this quote because it is my goal as a product manager to deliver magic to customers. It is the role of the product manger to imagine what the world might be like if a particular problem could be solved “as if my magic”. The problems that people care about having solved would then appear miraculous, while the unimportant ones will remain sideshow curiosities.

For example, the internet is a magical solution to the problem of sharing ideas and providing communication. We can see it imagined as possible in science fiction like Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, or neromancer by William Gibson. With both of these books written well before the internet as we know is was realised.

We often get bogged down in listening to customer complaints, managing product launches or writing length requirements documents that won’t get read by our development teams. The wonder of product management is trying to imagine the world in which a customer problem, big or small, has been completely eradicated, such that if were to look back on current solutions we would think them quaint or primitive.

There exists such an huge opportunity for product managers to completely re-imagining the way that we look at customer experiences and ignore any barriers of the technology solutions that currently inhibit our creativity. If you don’t imagine it, don’t count on a development team EVER creating a solution that delivers it.

How will you create magic for your customers?