The Product Sociologist

“A general definition of sociology is the systematic study of human society, culture, and relationships on a group level. So basically sociology looks at the ‘big picture’ on the group level.”

“Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions.”

“Sociology is the study of social behaviour or society, including its origins, development, organization, networks, and institutions.”

Sociology, to me, is the study of how humans interact with each other, the relationships that develop, how these relationships form groups, how these groups interact with each other and this keep going on.

As Product Managers, we should always be aware of the ‘nature’ of our product, how it interacts with other products and what sort of grouping it form with the ecosystem that forms around it.

This, to me, is very important as we need to know how our product is doing out there in the wild world and how users are making it interact with other products we may not even be aware of.

As Product Managers, we should be thinking and acting as Product Sociologists.

In a similar vein, we should also look at our product as an entity in itself.

For a software product, it is easy to know how it was built, the architecture, current bugs and any intricate detail. Most of the time the Product Manager is part of the building process.

However, Product Managers should be able to abstract all this out and look at the product at its entirety and as atomic. That the product is sufficient. That the product can stand on it own. Once we do that, a crash, APIs, certain bug-feature, etc. describe the nature and quirkiness of a product. They become part of the product’s personality.

As a Product Managers, we should also be thinking and acting as Product Psychologists.

And there is at least one role model! Susan Calvin, the famous Robopsychologist!