A product manager’s 77 insights from 2023 | by Adrian H. Raudaschl | Dec, 2023


The year AI became my mirror

Illustrated line doodle showing a cat with human-like curiosity peering into a glowing box labeled “2024.” The scene is filled with items symbolizing innovation and thought: retro robot parts, illuminated and darkened light bulbs, and documents with diagrams. A phoenix silhouette in the background signifies growth from failure, and the overall atmosphere is one of whimsy and anticipation for the future.
Reflections on 2023. Illustration by author.

“Work while you can.”

That was my mantra going into 2023 — the year I first truly contemplated the notion of being replaced by a machine. Since then, things took a rather unexpected turn. Now, rather than being a looming threat, AI has since emerged as a kind of companion.

This pivotal shift occurred around mid-year amidst a particularly challenging product decision and escalating team conflict. Together with my team, we turned to AI, seeking an innovative solution. We fed ChatGPT the parameters and arguments of our dilemma, initiating a multi-perspective role play with the AI. This exercise, unfolding over an insightful hour, unveiled a spectrum of potential solutions.

Surprisingly, implementing these AI-generated strategies led to a significant transformation. Relationships within the team were not just mended; they were strengthened, and the trajectory of our project shifted dramatically for the better. AI, I realised, is more than a mere writing tool. It serves as a mediator, a reflective mirror, casting light on our ideas and biases that guide us to better outcomes.

My experimentation continued. I learned to engage in Socratic dialogues with AI. I presented information and scenarios and got it to critique my approaches, forcing me to think differently about my assumptions. My professional work improved — I even created a toolkit for product managers to share my approaches. My personal development improved, and it even helped me overcome some anxiety and develop new mental frameworks.

So, as we step further into this evolving relationship with AI, let’s do so with caution, purpose, stewardship and a touch of humour. Here’s to 2024, where we don’t merely coexist with AI but thrive alongside it.

I hope you find something inspiring in my reflections here today.

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