Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Keith Kellersohn of AnthroPerspectives about the application of anthropology to product management and user experience (UX). If you haven’t had a chance, please check it out.

Interview Transcript

Note: The transcript was created using an automated transcription services and may have some small errors.

Keith Kellersohn (00:00):

It’s computer. See if that works recording. Okay. So this is my fourth episode. I do believe of anthro perspectives, which I’m showing on LinkedIn. And today I have Matt arts who see, I did it, Matt arts. I, you know, like I just joked with Matt about the German pronunciation, which is arts, you know, so now I said it wrong, but it’s arts. So there’s the laugh first off. So Matt has a really great career in product management and user experience. And he’s got his masters from the university of North Texas. Same as I do. And he’s also been a TEDx speaker. So it’s really great meeting and talking to you today. So why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself, where you work and what you’re doing now?

Matt Artz (00:56):

Yeah, sure. Well, first off, thanks for having me, Keith you know, the obviously glad to be here and also happy you have had the opportunity to watch your previous episodes. And I just would like to sort of point out that what you’re doing is think is very important. You know, the more people that spread the word think, you know, the better we’re all going to be as anthropologists. And, you know, I think that dovetails into a question you have related to hiring managers, which I know we’ll get to, but yeah, the effort that you’re doing to spread it now, the word of the, the good work is really important. So thanks.

Keith Kellersohn (01:28):

Yeah. Thank you very much. I figure anything you can do, you know, what I’m doing is pretty low tech and it doesn’t really matter as long as the content gets out there. That’s all that matters. Yeah, go ahead.

Matt Artz (01:41):

Yeah. And so yeah, thanks again. But so I, so currently I’m the head of product and experience at cloud shadow. I’m also the founder of asthmas labs, which is like a small boutique research firm and then answer a U X, which is a small firm. That’s helping people move from anthropology to UX. On top of that, I, I have gotten back into teaching. I just taught again over the summer, I taught a product management course at a Mary Wood university in Pennsylvania. And so, you know, my primary role, what is my role at cloud shadow and cloud shadow is a venture resources company. So that means we may invest services in exchange for equity, depending on, you know, the potential business relationship. And I’ll explain that in just a second, but so we’re venture resources for that is mostly investing, you know, software related skills.

Matt Artz (02:34):

So research, design engineering, so on and so forth. And particularly, you know, the products that we are building are obviously software products or digital products. We do a little bit of like general management consulting as well, but it’s really mostly based around software. And so, you know, people come to us, they have an idea, we will vet it. You know, we look at financials, we determined if we want to invest in it. If we do invest in it, then we help them build product. And we take a very hands-on perspective. So, you know, very much the sort of PM role comes into its full potential. In that case, we really are sort of leading the project generally in that, in that sense, when we have that kind of relationship, there are other times where we’re just hired as a, basically as a consultant doing fee for service work.

Matt Artz (03:17):

And we have sort of less of a product, you know influence in that, in that relationship. And we might also have less of a UX influence. They might come to us in fee for service relationship and just want very specific services that they want. And we might not be able to sort of pitch the the value of say anthropology or a few X product. And then we also build our own products. So in the past we built an energy platform, which is used by many of the largest energy providers in the deregulated space in the United States. We sold that about two years ago and we are still maintained that actually, but we sold out about two years ago and we are now starting on our next internal product, which is in the art space. I can’t speak too much about it today cause we’re, we’re just getting off the ground, but they aren’t space.

Matt Artz (04:08):

And you know, we, we think it will be a great project that can provide a lot of benefit in the art world, especially like, you know, in kind of the COVID area or post COVID ever. So that’s what I do on a daily basis. So leading product and UX, you know, basically making sure that we were researching the, what we should be building, making sure that we’re building the right product to help him build it the right way in cooperation with my engineering team and then you know, making sure that it’s successful in the marketplace.

Keith Kellersohn (04:39):

Okay, great. So looking at your LinkedIn profile, your background really gave you a lot of great preparation for your current role as head of product and experience in light of that. Would you say the career path you took is typical or atypical of someone in your current position?

Matt Artz (04:57):

Well, so in general, I think my path has been atypical like within the anthropology space, because today it’s very common here about people who, you know, they got a master’s degree, they got a PhD, you know, even undergrad, whatever it may be in anthropology and they go to UX I’m saying UX because that’s like kind of the hot thing. Right. But they go you something in the business world, but you know, especially in light of obviously, you know, many less jobs in academia, so it’s becoming more common to go that path. I however, actually have always worked in business in tech and decided to go back and get an anthropology degree. So I already had a graduate, you know, I had an MBA and, you know, doing my thing in the tech business sort of tech space. And I decided at one point in time you know, I observed that what we were building was oftentimes not really moving the needle.

Matt Artz (05:49):

So, you know, like basically the ROI just wasn’t there for what we were doing. And so, you know, that got me thinking, what else could I do to prove the practice? And so no, after some looking around, I eventually found anthropology for that purpose, which ended up itself is kind of funny because, you know, just to diverge for a split second it’s, you know, when I was in my undergrad program, tech business, like focusing very heavy into that stuff, I, I went to a liberal arts college, but I didn’t take any of the apology course. And it really didn’t even know much about anthropology, which again speaks to like why hiring managers don’t know much, right. It’s not like everybody understands it. And those that think they understand it oftentimes like we, you know, we all make the joke that they think it’s like Indiana Jones.

Matt Artz (06:33):

Absolutely. Right. And so I was studying I was a biology student and tech, and so I was studying primatology down in Nicaragua. And the, the primatologists that I was working with saw the books that I was reading has if I was an anthropologist. And I said, no, never, never studied anthropology. We just got talking about it. And it kind of lit my, you know, lit the fire for like the interest in anthropology. And that was way back in 2005. And I just sat on that interest and, you know, I read books and it kind of percolated. And then as like, you know, 2007 comes along and the iPhone comes out and I have this thing, I’m realizing that what we’re building, it’s not working and we have to shift to mobile. It became kind of that’s when it really started becoming apparent that like, you know, move in that direction would be useful, you know, particularly qualitative research, you know, the methods particularly of anthropology and how we can bring that into the practice.

Matt Artz (07:21):

And, you know, there was of course articles at that time, starting to talk about UX and design thinking. And all of those things were sort of bubbling up in like Harvard business review and the sort of space that we were in. And so that’s really what led me down that path. So again, I, you know, I think as atypical because I’ve always worked in this space and I went to anthropology, brought it back into tech with intention. Now that doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that the other path is, is any better or worse. Right? We all, most people are like you S you know, or find a very interesting path into UX and product management jobs, you know, in PM. Many of them come from design, I’ve come from engineering. Some of them comes from, you know, classic kind of business background. So a lot of us, you know, in that space, there is there’s no PM degrees really, right? So it’s everybody sort of finding their way into that in your, in your own path. And so they’re all very valuable. And then what you see is everybody in those roles has something to contribute. That is a little different. Now I do think anthropologists have something unique to contribute in that role, but certainly everybody has a strength in that they you know, depending on their background and those are all really valuable strengths,

Keith Kellersohn (08:33):

You know, it’s interesting your path, because I’m wondering if there is just a slight movement where anthropology might be becoming the next hot thing for tech people to study. I got an email, I got a message on LinkedIn from someone in Portugal who wanted to go back and get their master’s or PhD in anthropology, you know, after having a long career in something completely else, people are discovering, I think anthropology and all of the things that it means and the impact it could have. And they’re thinking, gosh, I got to study this, I got to study this and kind of similar my own experience. I did have an undergraduate in anthropology, but I had another master’s degree in strategic leadership. And I had a professor advice, me, my professor from my undergraduate days advise me that I should go get a master’s in business anthropology.

Keith Kellersohn (09:34):

And I’m like, no, I don’t want to get another master’s. You know, I just don’t want to go through all that again. I just want to get my PhD in something and be done. You know, she said, no, no, no, you need to look at this. You need to look at this. So I looked at it and I got an Jordan’s book, business anthropologist and a little one, and I’m sitting there at work in the break room during my lunch, reading it, and like flipping out basically in my chair, reading all these things and realizing that everything they were talking about were things that I had experienced in the workplace for so many years at the time. And that the theory was making sense. It was, it was clicking together. And I said, well, now I have to do this. I have to do this. And that, I hope like people’s experience like yours and the gentleman from Portugal and my own people understand that, you know, even if they don’t want to go back and get an anthropology degree, at least study it and see what it can do for your company, either in tech or an organizational transformation or something, something to that agree to that effect, because I think that’s really important. So I’m glad you said that.

Matt Artz (10:36):

Yeah. And you know, your stories is, is interesting because you know, I think you make a great point in that, you know, it speaks to mentorship and I too did have a you know, a mentor who was like one of my professors. And though he himself was not an anthropologist when he was doing some work up in upstate New York, you know, related to IBM, the faculty member that he worked under was married to an anthropologist. And so the work that they were doing requirements to finding very much brought in, you know, the human element into it, way before it was popular. And you know, as a result, when I went through my MBA program, you know, he was always putting the, and his name is dr. X doom doom at Maryville university, but he was always putting the, the human at the center of the equation.

Matt Artz (11:30):

And, you know, that was at the same time going on as I was reading the things I was reading and helping really kind of pull it all together. And so the reason I think your point is great is because now again, what you’re doing with this video, or, you know, to some degree what I’m trying to do when I hear like write and publish something, or when you write and publish something is really spread the word and help others, you know, sort of find it, realize the connection there, because the connection can be fuzzy from the outside, very real once you get into it. But, you know, it’s, it’s certainly still not mainstream. And so I think to the degree that we can all kind of continue being like mentors to the next generations or councils,

Keith Kellersohn (12:06):

I agree 100%. So what do hiring managers and recruiters hiring for product manager positions need to know, to understand the value of the anthropological skillset when it comes to positions in product management.

Matt Artz (12:22):

So we’re getting a really good question. And something that I’ve talked about a number of times here in the New York area with the group around here and, you know, being sort of like from the tech space, I have framed the problem as like a double-sided marketplace, right? Like Airbnb, Uber, right? You need drivers and you need writers. You need hosts and you need guests. If you don’t have one or the other in double sided marketplace, the whole thing sort of falls down. So in our case, you know, we need higher and managers who understand the value of anthropology and understand why that they should hire anthropologists as much as anthropologists. And you understand like what it is that they’re applying to in tech design, you know, organizational, whatever it may be. And, you know, from what I’ve seen in the UX space and certainly in the organizational space and like marketing consumer behavior, you know, you see have apology show up a lot at this point in time and like job postings, any others, there’s enough people at meetups ups here in New York that it’s present, but it’s not.

Matt Artz (13:18):

So at least not in my experience, it’s not so present in the, in the PM space and product management space now to a degree that could be regional. You know, certainly like when I went out to San Jose for AAA, I think it was 2018. You know, it was very obvious. That was actually like my first time. I mean, I’ve been to San Francisco, but that was really my first time kind of like in the Silicon Valley area, especially like meeting and reading with people who work in the industry. And it became very obvious that anthropology was very much appreciated out there and has obviously a long history out there, which, you know, we know from reading the books, but it became very real once I was out there talking with people. And so, you know, maybe hiring managers out in Silicon Valley or sort of attuned to the fact that, you know, an apology would lend itself well to product management release in the New York area.

Matt Artz (14:06):

I don’t think that’s the case. I mean, I’m not out like scouring know job descriptions or anything, but like just the people I talked to, I don’t get that perspective. And so in the end, I think what we need to do is one just raise awareness, right? We need that, that sort of both sides of the marketplace. We need to make them aware first off, you know, and that’s through sort of trying to get in touch with them with various forms of content or meeting and greeting at meetups and just sharing kind of what we have to share, even if we’re not ourselves looking for roles. But then specifically, you know, like what we really need to make them aware of, I think is, you know, like skills, like the fact that anthropologists are very adept at integrating into various subcultures or cultures like the subcultures of an organization rather than, you know, the team, the department functional unit, whatever it may be, right.

Matt Artz (14:57):

We’re good at learning like the languages of other departments. So even if you haven’t studied business, you know, we are sort of trained to pick up the language of whatever it is, you know, whomever we’re sort of studying the language of business, the language of engineering design, whatever it may be. Similarly, you know, like are interested in rituals and norms and all of those things are very important and in all facets, but, you know, in all forms of work, but, you know, especially in tech where you have something like agile, which has I mean, not, not so much, you know, not the agile manifesto, but something like scrum, like, you know, a methodology that’s stacked on top of the philosophy, you know, with many organizations using scrum or, or, you know, any number of methodologies at this point in time, you know, there’s very defined roles, which roles, right?

Matt Artz (15:44):

And so for our ability to sort of understand that and quickly understand how they fit into the workplace and how we need to work with them. And like the meaning of those within that culture are really valuable skills. And that’s something that, you know, we not saying anybody else can’t do it, but that I think anthropologists are particularly skilled at picking up on quickly. Similarly, you know, I think we are good culture brokers at that, you know, as at large. And so whether that’s, you know, finding the linkages, you know, with between people, departments, concepts, you know, mediating the conversations that go on, like, cause in like the world of PM, like the role is, you know, you’re basically making trade-offs constantly and compromising constantly in many ways. That’s sort of what the role is about. I mean, when you ask people, what is PM, you’re going to get tons of definitions because it’s young discipline, everybody’s still kind of working to define exactly what it is.

Matt Artz (16:41):

It’s different, different organizations, but you know, the best part of my day is spent mediating, finding compromises, figuring out, you know, what can I, you know, what can I do to align engineering and design and business all with the goal of meeting the customer need, but like, Hey, you know, how do you shift that around all day long? And so, you know, again, culture brokering, I think is a great skill. And then, you know, all of that, I think what it wraps up in is really just our ability to work well with the different teams that we interface with, or like there’s sort of different, big kind of functional areas of like broadly speaking business tech, you know, UX, data science, so on and so forth. And now some of that can be a little wordy. And so, you know, when talking to hiring managers, you know, maybe we want to, maybe we want to try to say it slightly more in a simple way and you know, if we were to do so, I think at the core, you know, we’re very adaptable, very open-minded right. We have a learning mindset we’re very willing to learn from and work with others, you know, and ultimately at the end of the day, product management is really about continuous learning so that you’re improving and building like the right product, you know, right. That solves the need. And so that continuous learning others’ needs is sort of at the heart of it, whether that’s your, your teamwork, you know, your, your coworkers, you know, th the customer, whatever it may be.

Keith Kellersohn (18:10):

Yeah. I like what you said about culture brokering because you know, I’m more on the organizational side rather than the tech side, when it comes to business anthropology. And I’ve worked in a couple of places where, I mean, there is cultural, you know, maybe companies don’t see this cultural tension, but there is tension between say home office and some of its affiliates or the home office and the plants, the manufacturing plants. And there’s always some class, you know, you can get on a teleconference like this and you can just, you know, cut the tension with a knife every time. And, you know, it just makes me think, you know, if you have that kind of tension with your, in your own company with other affiliates, what do you think goes on when you have affiliates in other countries altogether within other cultures altogether? And I just, you know, I don’t know if you saw, but I did an interview with Elizabeth sobriety who had worked at GM and she was working with a number of different cultures within GM. And it, you know, even then it wasn’t so much about the different cultures, but as far as national cultures, but just the different cultures of the companies and the affiliates that were coming together under one roof to try to even make a decision, it was difficult, you know?

Matt Artz (19:28):

Yeah. No, that was a very interesting example that she gave and any, you know, really it’s the same. I mean, you know, certainly we can talk about the macro and that’s frequently important today in our, in the way our world is operating, especially, you know, how, especially in the tech world with how Google will be hard when our products, but just like Elizabeth’s example. I mean, like, you know, a designer designs, something say one way, and they want it to work this way, or I’ll say broadly, like UX, right? The combination of research and design capabilities, they research something, they design it one way to support that research. And then maybe like, you know, the tech, the engineering team basically says, this is not feasible. Right. And like, maybe they’re trying to join too many, you know, tables. I’m trying to basically like, you know, pull together too much data.

Matt Artz (20:10):

And it’s just not going to be feasible in the interface in a tiny home in time. That is going to be really, you know, some, you know, some the kind of time we need to ensure that we have a good user experience, you know, like a few milliseconds maximum. Right. And so, you know, if we’re talking about like bringing together data, that’s going to take a couple of seconds. It doesn’t matter if the design in theory is great, it’s just not feasible. Right. And so in that, you know, you could see some tension there or a clash, but those are the kinds of relationships here that we need to sort of work on. And that happens in frankly all the time in tech, right? Like it’s a very simplistic example, but it happens constantly. And just those little you know, those little differences in perspective from the different teams, engineering, design, whatever, maybe, you know, they’re real, and those problems need to be addressed on a continuous basis.

Keith Kellersohn (21:03):

And as anthropologists, that’s what we gravitate towards. We kind of run into the fire, so to speak if there’s tension or there’s some problem going on, or there’s some argument we want to be right there trying to figure out what’s happening, what’s going on, or hopefully get enough good data, qualitative data to solve the problem, whatever it is now, that’s, I think that’s what we like to do the most. Okay. So you kind of already answered this, but what do you think are the top skills that anthropologists bring to the product management space?

Matt Artz (21:33):

Yeah, I mean, I, yeah, I guess I’ve touched on a few things and, you know, I framed it probably before, maybe from the perspective of what, what do we need to make hiring managers aware of? And obviously all of that stands, you know, but also from our sort of perspective of our discipline, if we want to maybe sort of turn the question like that way, you know, the, the sort of hallmarks of anthropology are credibly resonate here, right? So culture, right? Whether that’s sort of your team culture, your organizational culture, or the customer culture, you know, whether that’s, and that customer culture is sort of local or regional global, whatever, it may be that our ability to really sort of understand that and make sense of that. And in a complex and meaningful way, there’s a wonderful, you know, is a wonderful attribute for sure.

Matt Artz (22:19):

Now the sort of holistic perspective we have, right. Our ability to really kind of, I mean, not just like being sort of trained to think that way, but like, it seems to me that many people go into discipline have a really innate sort of sense of like premier appreciation for a holistic perspective and really like yearning to sort of learn in that way. And so our interest surgeon, didn’t really like a wide and deep. And so that really, I think, contributes to understanding lacking both that first, the problem space. And then ultimately you have the solutions phase or the potential options within the solution space event. And then you know, to, to be as kind of cliche as possible to sort of eat, you can eat it perspective, right. And that gives us that ability to sort of dive in work, you know, sort of inside, but then also step back out and, and really frame it from different perspective and those classic things, which we all sort of learn about work sort of one-on-one type classes. So they really do resonate here and that’s why they are sort of a hallmarks of course, but you know, those are very valuable things that I don’t the valuable concepts that I don’t think we should take for granted. And then of course, you know, ethnography is sort of thing on the hallmark method. You know, in business, you will oftentimes see all research being, I mean, unless you’re building like driverless cars or flying cars, or, you know, something that’s really going to like very substantially disrupt the economy.

Matt Artz (23:50):

Well, in my experience, at least, you know, research is very rapid. And so you know, because research is so rapid, you oftentimes are seeing many people are engaging. It, it’s not always sort of, you know, grounded in the context of social science, but so I think what we can bring to it, even when we have to do it a little bit more rapidly is, you know, couching our, our in AR findings or observations, oftentimes in social theory that helps us make sense of those. And maybe we don’t have the opportunity to always talk about that social theory in the workplace, you know, maybe only in the 13 and maybe not even depending on, you know, our team members but still it informs our insights. And I think that’s really important.

Keith Kellersohn (24:35):

So can you tell us about some insights in product management, teamwork that you have gained in your experience that would be helpful to others?

Matt Artz (24:49):

Well I think, you know, one of the most important things is really to, well, one just like maintain like an open mind, right. Always sort of continue to learn continually learning so on and so forth. But, you know, I think one of the best things we can do is really use our theory and methods yelling, turn it back on ourselves as a team to improve our own team performance. Right. And so, you know, whether you want to kind of consider that a little workplace ethnography or however you want to consider it, I think our skills that we have, our knowledge and skills should not only be sort of, you know, deployed to solve problem externally, what, even as a PM, you know, considering where we’re mediating across all these departments, I think we need to be turning them internally and really using that to improve the team performance and, you know, the overall culture of the team or department functional unit, whatever need.

Matt Artz (25:44):

And you know, that’s obviously very similar to the kind of work you’re interested in, you know, and, but you don’t have to be, or you don’t have to have a title of business anthropologist or organizational anthropologist or anything like that. Right. But all of our roles and you don’t have to be in PM and all of our roles as an anthropologist, we can contribute that to all of our teams, whether that’s the team that we work with at our job, or that’s the team you work with in a volunteering opportunity, you know, in your house, even here, right. It’s all of the, you know, we can use those scales to pretty much improve the performance of groups of people all around us.

Keith Kellersohn (26:22):

So aside from product design work, how does anthropology aid in that critical teamwork and cross functional collaboration aspects that is necessary for successful product, product management and management in general?

Matt Artz (26:37):

I mean, I think, you know, a lot of it comes down to some of what I just, so I don’t mind pee myself, but I think it’s being a culture brokers being open, willing to learn, you know, using our methods on ourselves, that whole mindset, you know, if we embody that you will always support cross-functional teamwork and collaboration. Right. All of that stuff that willingness that openness and trying to foster those kinds of relationships by deeply understanding them is, you know, really, you know, I find my experience is the key to keeping the team healthy and happy that I leave. You know, everybody has their own perspective. Everybody needs to be heard from their perspectives. And, you know, quite frankly the different perspectives are valuable, right. And we need to find a way to get them to all work together as smoothly as possible to enable, you know, all of the stakeholders, customers, internal, whatever that may be, you know, when we do that, you know, especially in the PM space, we build better products. And then, you know, when we do that in organizations we have as a whole, we have healthier organizations.

Keith Kellersohn (27:50):

Yeah. You know I was thinking when you were talking about that, that with the cross-functional collaboration, that can be challenging, especially in sort of organizational cultures that as Elizabeth Brown, he was talking about, and I’ve experienced this myself as, you know organizational cultures that like to use blame, you know, the whole concept of, you know, playing the blame game and, you know, sort of like, well that person’s never gonna do anything. They’re not gonna support you. They’re not going to be able to contribute to this project. So just do what you can without them. Well, you know, in my own experience, I’ve, I’ve taken people who are seemingly rumored to be difficult, and I’ve kind of pinned them down and say, what is it that you need? What is it, what is the issue that you are having trouble with in your group?

Keith Kellersohn (28:40):

Or, you know, because maybe someone else in your group is not having the same issue. What is it that you need? And to really, I mean, I hate to use the word interrogate, but you kind of have to really pin them down on that. And it could be that they don’t have anything, you know, or whatever. But the point is that you have this kind of communication, you try to establish a much deeper rapport with people and with groups that probably the wider culture is not, or maybe the wider culture is discounting them in some way or underrepresenting them in some way. And you know, like what you’re saying is, you know, as anthropologists, you know, we want to do that cultural bridging and make those connections and, and that kind of collaboration within the workplace, no matter if you’re a product manager or what our job is, you know, no matter what our title is.

Matt Artz (29:28):

Yeah, yeah. You know, one of the one of the interesting things also that Elizabeth said is, you know, people often tell us in the forest and they can’t see through the trees. So, you know, that is frequently the case for all of us in life and various times various moments where like, you know, various places, nurse time. And so, you know, it’s helpful to have somebody who is trained to sort of mediate between them to help others see that. And of course, sometimes we also need that for ourselves. Like even, you know, even though we are trained to do so. But just having somebody around who intentionally thinks like, things like that and is trying to design for those kinds of outcomes, you know, is one of the really valuable things that we bring to the table being to like an organization. And it’s not to say that people who don’t have anthropological training don’t do it, don’t do it well or anything like that. There are some people who were excellent. There, many people were excellent, you know, UX researchers, you know, organizational culture, people, you know, all not from anthropology, but you know, certainly our training lends itself to that. And, and we should really try to promote that as one of the, you know, the, again, one of the things we’d like hiring managers know that we can,

Keith Kellersohn (30:44):

Well, that’s all the questions I have for you today. Is there anything else you want to add and, and, and speak to while we’re here?

Matt Artz (30:52):

Well, you know, maybe for anybody who’s interested in PM, product management work, particularly, even UX really. Wow. I would, you know, for BMI would suggest that, you know, develop a small amount of knowledge in, in tech, in, you know, in, in software engineering or correct quoting if you will. Small amount of knowledge. I’m not saying you need to be an expert, but just, you know, a little bit of understanding will go a long way as it will. You know, a little bit of understanding of design and business slash sort of finance skills. If you want to be a PM, you know, you ought to know a little bit of all of those, because when you’re working with those teams, we’re also, you know, you’re going to be, you’re going to have duties that involve all of that to some degree. Even if it’s just leading certain aspects similarly like UX, you know, if somebody is interested in going to UX, I would also suggest knowing a little bit about tech, coding and business.

Matt Artz (31:44):

You know, it just helps knowing, you know, knowing like that context that you’re designing for, it will go a long way. And for all anthropologists, I would suggest those are also good skills, but particularly design or design helps good design can help us sell our ideas. And so, no matter what role we’re in, you know, what organization we are in, if we, if we are able to visually communicate our ideas, they oftentimes are. I find in my experience more easily adopted. So I would suggest that everybody spends some time on basic design skills. I don’t think, you know, I think that we’ll never go to,

Keith Kellersohn (32:19):

And even I noticed there was a, a time when I was interested in a product management position. And I took some courses on LinkedIn, there’s it there’s courses on LinkedIn, you know, that you can take that kind of helped you understand what this whole picture of product management is. You and I realized a lot of it. I had been doing many, many times before. I didn’t know I was doing it, you know, so I I’ve done project manage project management before, and I have worked with coders and I’ve worked with engineers and, you know, on that, on all, you know, across collaborative scale, I guess you could say. And, and so, you know, sometimes like what you were saying earlier, it’s the matter of the language, you know, that you use and how things are defined. And I, I read about agile and I read about scrum and I’m like, this is exactly what we did at Toyota. We just didn’t call it, call it agile and scrum. This is the way we lived our lives every day, you know? So so really sometimes, you know, it’s not like you’re necessarily learning anything new. There’s a lot of things you can, a lot of transferable skills that come into that product management space that probably a lot of people already have and they just don’t know.

Matt Artz (33:35):

Yeah, no, it’s, it’s a great point. I think you summed it up. Well, I mean, and you know, these are a lot of this is not new. I mean, there’s a few, you know, there’s obviously some technologies to be used for tracking, you know, there’s, there’s some skills to be acquired, but that, you know, you were there pulling together, you know, in leading skills from other departments, other disciplines that have existed a long time. This is not, you know, it’s, it’s nothing that’s on the cutting edge necessarily aside from some of the tools we use,

Keith Kellersohn (34:04):

Matt, I really appreciate you taking the time today and speaking to us. Thank you so much. And I, I think your presentation is very, very insightful for people who you know, not only want to get into product management, but you know, people who want to get into anthropology, come on, everybody let’s go.

Matt Artz (34:24):

Great. Yeah. So if anybody has any follow-up questions, anybody can reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter, wherever you posted stuff.

Keith Kellersohn (34:31):

Right. Thank you so much, Matt.

Keith Kellersohn (34:33):

Thanks, Keith. Appreciate it. Take care.

Note: The transcript was created using an automated transcription services and may have some small errors.