Where do you see your product in two years time?

Looking into the future and knowing what the competition, the market and your product will be like is probably one of the most challenging tasks that any product manager has to undertake. This can be a tricky question to answer at a job interview. “Where do you see product x in y years time”? How a product manager answers this question gives the interviewer an insight as to how much of a visionary they are and whether or not they keep a keen eye on technology as it progresses. Here are two mini case study answers to such as question.

I carried out a few interviews over the last couple of days and asked the candidates “How do they see the web in a few years time.” A few interesting thoughts came up. One person drew an analogy between the way television has evolved over the past few years: from two analog channels in black and white to 100s of digital channels via cable & satellite. Like wise the number of web pages will continue to increase therefore competition for viewer-eye-balls will increase as well. The candidate went on to say that as TV has become an integral part of everyday life the web will become even more embedded in the lives of business professionals. We will become more reliant on information to do our jobs and that information will be provided via the types of on-line products and services that we ['we' being the company they were hoping to join] produce – our [being 'us' working together] challenge is to package the information in an easy, digestible and appealing way so that users keep on coming back for more. The subtle use of we and our came over quite well.

The other candidate focused on enabling technologies like ajax and silverlight to enhance the user experience and discussed the merits of web 2.0: social networks and web services to give users a more personalised experience – he quoted the BBCs and new home page i-google as an example of being able to move widgets around a webpage and mix and match a combination of widgets to give you the all the information you want in the format you want. Thay stressed that going forward many more websites would adopt and roll out such features- untill they become almost standard. They also mentioned how mobile device will probably change and copy the UI of apples i-phone.

Whilst neither candidate came up with the next killer app or suggested something total new or innovative, however they both demonstrated that they had at least thought through the general direction of on-line products and were able to demonstrate how and why future changes might be brought about.


  1. In an interview would anyone give out ideas about any Killer App that they have been thinking about? The answers can be generally visionary though.

  2. I agree with you – I would be surprised if someone gave me information regarding a killer app at an interview. The key thing, as you say in giving an answer that demonstrates that you are a visionary and logical thinker and that you can pull ideas from other industries and/or that you understand how technologies could enable further product design.