Future of Product Management, Best of CES, Tech Layoffs, and Disappearing Snow
Weekly Roundup of AI, Technology, and UX
Here’s the latest news, resources, and use cases from the world of product, UX, AI and technology. Let’s go:
👨💻 Product Management
📺 Best of CES
🤖 Custom GPTs
🔥 Tech Layoffs
⛷️ Disappearing Snow
In this insightful episode, we're joined by Hubert Palan, founder and CEO of Product Board, to explore the evolving landscape of product management and its impact on the tech industry. We discuss the evolution of product management, the importance of gaining a deep understanding of customers, and leveraging AI and other tools to amplify your impact. Join us for an incredibly insightful discussion as we dive deep into product management and design!
News and Useful Reads
If, like me, you didn’t get the chance to be at CES this year, or most years, then you get to rely on the reporting about all the cool stuff that comes out of CES. And I always enjoy the best of CES. This article is from Wired specifically:
Of all the gadgets, apps, and concepts on display, we have found this collection of products to be exemplary. These things are fun, they are useful, and they solve a particular problem by using technology in a new way. They may exhibit smart design or groundbreaking feats of engineering. Or the product's creator may have simply seen the future and was able to realize it in an object you can touch, hold, ride, or wear. This is the best of CES 2024.
Like me, you may have noticed something new this weeks when using ChatGPT.
OpenAI’s GPT Store, where users can share their custom chatbots, finally launched Wednesday after a months-long delay. The store brings more potential use cases to ChatGPT and expands OpenAI’s ecosystem beyond what the company builds for customers.
It seems like the job market, especially in technology, has yet to recover according to recent surveys. This continues to reflect the conversations I have with others as well.
Nearly 80 percent of respondents said the job market has even become more competitive over the last year. Only 6 percent of the software engineers were “extremely confident” they could find another job with the same total compensation if they lost their job today while 32 percent said they were “not at all confident.”
Feeding into the poor job market, many tech companies have done more layoffs. It certainly isn’t as bad as 2023, which was absolutely terrible. But it isn’t great either…
So far, 2024 is off to a start that looks a lot like 2023—with a week full of job cuts from tech companies. Duolingo cut 10 percent of its contractors earlier this week, citing artificial intelligence as part of the reason. Twitch announced a cut of 500 people, and its parent company, Amazon, also made moves to lay off hundreds of employees across Prime Video and MGM Studios on Wednesday.
Google followed, also laying off hundreds of employees working on its Google Voice assistant, with additional reorganization affecting its hardware teams working on augmented reality, the Pixel phone, Fitbit watches, and the Nest thermostat. On Thursday, Discord said it would lay off 17 percent of its staff after hiring too quickly in recent years.
While the job market may not be everything we hope for right now, there may still be reason to be hopeful about the future, especially the future of technology.
Anyway, it’s time for my annual Techno-Optimism post, where I hype up some areas of technology that I’m excited about. This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but it hits the main highlights. I put a list of the previous years’ roundups at the bottom, so you can check and see what I mentioned in previous years, and decide whether my excitement was justified.
Other Interesting Finds
As a skier, I am very invested in snow. We had a superb ski year last year, and the snow has finally started to come this year. But for the past decade it hasn’t been great. And we’ve been feeling the strain. In Utah, as the Great Salt Lake has shrunk from water being diverted, we have a serious risk of losing our amazing snow. And I think we’re finally waking up to that.
But will it be too late?
In January 2024, at long last, someone has figured out a formula of sorts for how snow reacts to climate change, and the answer is: It reacts nonlinearly. Which is to say, if we think snow is getting scarce now, we ought to buckle up.
Nonlinear relationships indicate accelerated change; shifts are small for a while but then, past a certain threshold, escalate quickly.