2023 Product Trends
Predictions by founders and PMs from Wander, Clubhouse, Doist and more...
I asked a handful of founders and product leaders who I respect to send me their thoughts on what sort of product trends we’ll see emerging in 2023.
Here’s what they said 👇
But first, let ME say thank you!
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The MPS readership has grown to ~1,850 subscribers from such an incredible assortment of organizations ranging from Fortune 100 companies to scrappy startups.
I would LOVE to see the MPS readership hit 2,000 subscribers by the end of the year. That’s about 150 more subscribers in the next 10 days.
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Product Trends in 2023
Now. On to the real reason why you opened this article.
Q: what trend(s) do you think will explode in 2023 around product, technology, design, or business models and why?
PM’s will use AI- and data-powered tools to drive decision-making
AI and machine learning will continue to be a game-changer for product management in 2023, taking on more of the tedious tasks and allowing PMs to focus on the fun stuff like discovery and strategy.
Product managers will rely on data and analytics more than ever to inform their decision-making and drive product development in the right direction.
In 2023, businesses will continue to shift towards usage or value-based pricing models that better reflect the value their products and services provide to customers. Goodbye one-time purchases and subscriptions, hello flexible and scalable pricing based on actual usage.
—Janna Bastow (Co-Founder & CEO @ ProdPad)
Product customization and “magical” AI-powered experiences will set the design bar higher
In the product space there will be a bigger focus on customization to set the design bar higher and differentiate your product from your competitors. Many customization features like dark modes or custom themes are already expected to be part of the core of your product so some products will need to keep up.
Iconography will become even heavier and bolder, UI elements rounder and clearer. Teal colors will become very popular.
Designers will put an emphasis on creating more depth, focus and hierarchy into the interface such as utilizing more subtle shadows, making sure that the user understands that every interactive part of the UI is instantly recognizable and responsive.
Companies will try to utilize AI in a way to build “magical” features that elevate their product features. Some will use AI in a silly and wrong way, some will revolutionize their products.
—Alex Muench (Lead Product Designer @ Doist)
Products that drive revenue will win in a recession
I believe in the recession, products that can drive revenue (for B2B) or earnings (for B2C) will outshine products that help cut costs. Revenue has infinite ceilings, cost will never be zero. Both are important to P/L, but driving revenue is key.
And next, I believe the influx of new developer into the tech industry will have similar impact to AIs helping people build products. Both will increase overall global software development productivity.
—Tri Ahmad Irfan (Founder & CTO @ Lumina)
Tools-for-Thought will find use cases in more industries
TFT (tools for thought) will become more widely adopted in a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, and business, as people increasingly rely on technology to help them think and work more efficiently. Utilizing AI on top of these tools will be a big deal in 2023. We are doing our very best to make sure that the tools we build at Tana are as useful as possible, and we are excited to see what people do with going forward.
Hopefully we'll innovation in the space of crypo and blockchain in 2023 that actually makes a difference in the world and not just a bunch of hype and speculation. Real world applications of smart contracts and blockchain technology would be awesome to see.
The VR age will continue to gain momentum in 2023. With the increasing availability of VR hardware and software, more and more people may begin to use VR for entertainment, education, and other purposes. The work Epic Games is doing with the Unreal Engine is pretty amazing, and I'm excited to see what they do with the Unreal Engine in 2023.
—Eirik Hoem (Sr. Software Engineer @ Tana)
Companies will lean into design as a differentiator
More companies will lean into into brand, creatives & design as a source of differentiation as generative AI explodes & technical talent become easier to recruit.
—Ali Abouelatta (Writer @ ; APM @ Duolingo)
Value-based pricing will explode as consumers seek simpler pricing models
The biggest shift I expect in 2023 is a shift away from subscription-based pricing. SaaS has been all the rage, but as frugal consumers tighten up, I believe they’ll look for more value on a unit basis. I don’t think subscriptions will disappear, of course, but as things like streaming services bundle and un-bundle, consumers will respond positively to simpler payment structures.
Advanced no-code and prototyping tools will be used for consumer research and testing
I'm excited to see how recent improvements in prototyping and no-code tools will shift how product teams work. Advanced prototypes that use logic and dynamic data could radically change how we approach usability testing. Just imagine: early reliable qualitative (even quantitative) insights on competing design directions. This would be huge.
—Arlen McCluskey (Product Designer @ Clubhouse)
Vertical business models, hardware-as-code and async-workflows as talent becomes more global
Vertical Business Models
Cashflow is king, folks are gonna want to own it all.
Hardware as Code
Infra as code -> hardware as code, needed to power the future or manufacturing etc from vertical.
Globalization of talent = timezone mismatch.
—John Andrew Entwistle (Founder & CEO @ Wander)
AI-assist, energy breakthrough, better search and driverless cars
We’re at the point where when you’re writing a document, designing a new flow, or refactoring that codebase, AI assistance will be embedded to suggest a similar piece of content created elsewhere and bring the necessary people in to ensure no one misses a beat. Impacting operations (sales, customers) to product teams’ velocity. I mean, imagine AI Assist helping each new employee gather the correct information and people in their first 90 days. AI assist in helping to autosuggest icons, graphics, and shadows based on a design system (see Magician).
With the Russia-Ukraine crisis and backdrop of climate change investments, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more experiments and news about how we work with and spend energy (link). I don’t think we’ll see much consumer use yet, but 2023 will be a catalyst. For example, companies like Crusoe are working around the failings of smart-grids by placing data centers near renewable energy resources. Gridless uses bitcoin mining from hydropower to reinvest in Africa’s energy infrastructure.
Also, as consumers, we’ll see a new search type available to all of us. It’ll still be google for the majority of queries, but more consumers will have better search available.
And the first driverless car that goes across the country (reference).
—Aman Manik (Formerly PM @ Alan, Box and Square)
AI-powered Organization and Connection for Notes
The way AI is getting built into Notion, Craft, Mem and others suggests to me that in 2023 notes services may be able to start using AI to help people more effectively organize notes and add connective thread linking various ideas.
—Jeremy Caplan (Writer @ )
AI/ML, user-centered design, sustainability and social responsibility
Increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): As AI and ML technology continues to advance, it's likely that product managers will increasingly rely on these technologies to inform their decision-making, optimize product development processes, and enhance the user experience.
Continued focus on user-centered design: Product managers will continue to prioritize a user-centered approach to design, which involves designing products and features with the needs, goals, and behaviors of the target users in mind. This may involve conducting user research, usability testing, and gathering feedback to inform product development.
More focus on sustainability and social responsibility: As consumers and businesses become increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impact of products and services, product managers may place greater emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility in their decision-making and product development processes.
— ChatGPT as it responded to Joshua Herzig-Marx (PM coach; former founder)
See you next year 🥂
That’s a wrap! I’ll be taking a break from writing articles through the end of the year. In the meantime, I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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It looks like AI will be with us everywhere... ;)
Love this! Great summary