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SXSW Interactive 2013

Are Designers the New Product Managers?

If experience is the new product differentiator does it mean that designers are the new product managers?
Product managers come from different backgrounds depending on the industry. But their roles are fairly consistent, they are the advocate of the end user and the bridge between the people who build the product and those who sell the product. In the auto industry this means product managers tend to have an engineering background. In software they could be computer science majors who are tired of coding.
Today's companies, from start ups to well established companies, are increasingly competing on experience and their "products" are enablers for the experience. What does that mean for the role of product managers? Should they have a design background? What level of design sensitivity should they have?
In this panel a design consultant and a venture capitalist will debate the value and importance of design in defining and managing tomorrows digital products and services.

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Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What's the role of the product manager in a modern technology start up? What do they need to care about beyond their customers, products and P&L?
  2. What's the role of design in product strategy and development?
  3. As an entrepreneur do I need a product manager or just design and technology co-founders?
  4. What skills must a designer have to go from being on/running the creative team to move to a product team?
  5. How do I determine if my product should be design, technology or business led? Why do I need to pick one? Can I have an equal balance of all three?



Prashant Agarwal, VP, Business Design, Fjord

Meta Information:

  • Tags: design
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Level: Intermediate
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