Large language models and other generative techniques are evolving so quickly that it can be a real challenge to stay current. For product managers, it's a unique challenge because they need to understand this rapidly evolving technology, connect it with their product vision, and address the needs of their customers and users. Today, I’m going to share some strategies that product managers can use to stay current and position themselves for a career-altering trajectory with this new technology.
First, I cannot stress enough the importance of committing to a weekly creative exercise, like writing a blog post or creating a video. This discipline not only keeps you on the cutting edge, but it also helps you organize and articulate your thoughts. Over time, you'll realize that you're building an audience and becoming recognized as an expert in your field.
Secondly, dedicate some time to using the most efficient tools available, like ChatGPT or Bard. Even if your company restricts access, don't let that be a barrier. Set up your own personal account and explore the diverse ways the technology could address your customers or business users' problems. Have you tried ChatGPT plugins? Web browsing? If not, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. This hands-on approach will help you identify potential opportunities or threats for your products.
Thirdly, take the time to read popular papers you encounter. While they might seem intimidating at first, with practice, you'll get the hang of it. Focus on understanding the abstracts, results, and conclusions. Skip the math, background, and methodology. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to digest a paper and understand its core idea. Engage with forums on Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms where these topics are discussed.
Next, familiarize yourself with popular open-source projects by downloading and running them in your local environment. Don't be put off if this feels challenging initially, especially if your tools and environment aren't fully set up. Remember, you can lean on GPT-4 for help whenever you're stuck. My first experience with AutoGPT was riddled with path and configuration errors. But, I simply posted the errors into ChatGPT, asked what to do, and received useful tips to troubleshoot the problems.
Lastly, and I hope you'll forgive me for being a little self-serving, but following what I'm doing can be helpful. I strive to surface the most relevant information for product managers, entrepreneurs, and analytics leaders, while filtering out most of the noise you can ignore. If you want me to cover a topic in more detail - such as reading papers - just let me know.
Now, let's be honest, only a small fraction of product managers will take these tips to heart and take action. An even smaller group will make a habit out of them, effecting real change. However, that select few will be the ones landing the best opportunities at leading companies, driving success and adoption over the next decade. Is that the path you want to take? If so, stop making excuses, invest the time, and enjoy the rewards. In just six months, you'll find yourself miles ahead of your peers.
Prolego is an elite consulting team of AI engineers, strategists, and creative professionals guiding the world’s largest companies through the AI transformation. Founded in 2017 by technology veterans Kevin Dewalt and Russ Rands, Prolego has helped dozens of Fortune 1000 companies develop AI strategies, transform their workforce, and build state-of-the-art AI solutions.