In this first episode of the 2023 CPO Rising Series podcast, Renée Niemi interviews Synapse Product Development President Jeff Hebert. They discuss product leadership in challenging times. Jeff shares insights into the challenges that companies face in the current economic climate, discusses the importance of upskilling existing teams, and highlights the growth of the Climate Technologies market. Listeners will gain valuable insights into the world of product development and the current state of the industry.

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Show Notes

  1. In the podcast, Synapse Product Development President Jeff Hebert discusses the state of product leadership in uncertain economic times.
  2. Companies are upskilling existing teams, negotiating prices, and focusing on projects with direct ROI impact or shorter-term paybacks.
  3. Startups are conserving cash while demonstrating progress to secure funding, while established companies are either being conservative or doubling down on investment.
  4. Jeff notes a shift towards reducing costs and improving efficiency, but some companies are using the opportunity to take a leap ahead.
  5. Jeff mentions industries like hospitality, life sciences, climate tech, and companies like Nike. All of which continue to prioritize innovation even during uncertain times.
  6. The conversation covers the importance of fortitude and conviction for startup founders. And the potential impact of AI on product development. And the debate over whether AI is a technology or a product.
  7. The speaker believes that AI is an enabler or technology. Product development and customer value should be the primary focus.
  8. Product owners could differentiate themselves by accessing unique data that is not available to large language models.
  9. The speaker compares the current hype around AI to the hype around the internet in the past.
  10. The integration of AI with edge processing and robotics is seen as a major area of progress and innovation.
  11. Companies often struggle with new product development due to a lack of focus on customer value proposition. They underestimate the complexity of development and organizational transformation, and not considering sustainability.
  12. The solution is to focus on the customer, prioritizing the value exchange of the product. And have a core team iterating and collaborating together concurrently to address these pitfalls.
  13. The conversation also covers the future state of product management and what a great leader looks like.
  14. The growth of the Chief Product Officer (CPO) role is a major trend, as products are getting more complex.
  15. The CPO position will become more important as products get more complex. CPOs are a great feeder to be the CEO of a company.
  16. Empathy and humility are the biggest characteristics of a successful CPO. They need to put themselves in the shoes of so many different stakeholders and trust the experts around them.
  17. Optimistic leadership is important to bring people through the road bumps and the roller coaster ride of product development.
About the speaker
Jeff Hebert Synapse Product Development, President Member
About the host
Renee Niemi Products That Count, Reisdent CPO
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