Updated: March 16, 2023 - 4 min read
Editor’s note: The numbers in this article are up-to-date as of Dec 7, 2022.
You’ve seen the headlines: Facebook laying off 11,000 workers, Amazon laying off 10,000, thousands more at Peloton, Coinbase, hundreds at Netflix and Robinhood… and let’s not even get started on Twitter! In the face of all this, Product Management leaders (and those who aspire to join their ranks) may be fearing for the worst.
But should they be? Do the layoffs at major consumer tech companies represent a seachange in the industry as a whole or a specific intervention aimed at correcting for past over-exuberance and hyper-growth?
A deeper dive into what’s really happening in the Product Management world provides reason to be optimistic. Not only have Product Managers themselves largely been spared from the worst of the layoffs, but the attention given to these layoffs is distracting from what could be an even bigger story.
The numbers show that, far from experiencing a slowdown in the Product Management universe, we may, in fact be witnessing a moment of unprecedented opportunity for Product Management professionals and the companies that hire them.
The B2B tech opportunity for Product Managers
While consumer tech companies are facing well-publicized challenges, huge numbers of B2B tech companies are quietly getting on with growing their teams—and you bet they’re snapping up the Product talent that the likes of Facebook are letting go!
Data compiled by Peer Signal shows that, as of Dec 7, at least 1,122 US-based B2B tech companies are currently hiring for Product roles. While some of these companies are just hiring for a handful of open roles, others like Canva are hiring for dozens, while DataDog has well over 100 open positions. When you add this up, it’s a small wonder that LinkedIn is advertising over 33,000 Product Manager jobs in the US alone and a total of 87,000 PM jobs open right now worldwide. That puts the layoffs that a handful of high-profile tech companies into perspective!
Let’s have a look at the numbers:
The efficiency advantage that is driving this demand
Why is Product Talent in such great demand, especially for B2B companies? We can answer in one word: Efficiency. As Adam Schoenfeld put it, “If you are truly essential and/or can prove efficiency, there is still room to grow in B2B.”
Across industries, Product Teams have become responsible for driving high-quality decisions. Product drives opportunities for the two things companies most desperately need during times of economic challenge: Inexpensive growth and overall cost reduction. Product is increasingly being seen as both an engine of growth and a driver of efficiency through data-empowered decision-making and digital transformation
The fight for Product talent has begun
FAANG’s loss is Product’s gain. Those Product Managers who have been let go by the likes of Facebook and others will quickly find themselves snapped up by one of the thousands of other companies that are seizing the moment to double down on Product and take advantage of the efficiencies this focus provides.
As Peter Drucker wrote, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday’s logic.” With Product becoming ever more central, now is the moment to onboard the Product talent available in the market, and take strategic deeps to ensure your company is a place in which Product Managers feel safe and motivated to do their best work.
Resources for your next steps:
Updated: March 16, 2023