Do you still want to be a Product Manager at Facebook?
In my course I teach my students to find a job that they will be happy with, that won’t jeopardize their moral integrity, and that they will simply enjoy. At the same time, many product managers dream of a position at a so-called FAANG(M) company. This stands for “Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google”, with Microsoft tacked in in the end. These positions give you the possibility of impacting hundreds of millions of users as a product manager, they teach you excellent data analytics and are considered the most elite product management posting there are. But what happens if one of those companies is revealed to be corrupt, if not plain evil?
Recent developments with Facebook made me think about whether I would ever consider switching my current Microsoft post to a Facebook one. Microsoft had its sins of the past but has since changed tremendously. If you work at this company you can see a lot of integrity, no focus on getting maximum income no matter the cost, having users in very high regard, and making sure that’s what we do benefits everybody.
Though I’m “only” working at Skype, I have a clear conscience and am in a wonderful situation where anything I do can only benefit the user. I’m not on the hunt for the content of their wallets.
At the same time, Facebook was shown to consciously choose to antagonize people, promote hateful and harmful content, and, what hurts me the most, had research and data to confirm that and yet chose the wrong thing. I can’t understand how corporate grief could prioritize profit over people’s wellbeing. We are in this little world alone and all we have is each other. Yet in a position where they could make a positive change, they chose profit at the expense of their users. After the recent developments, I clearly see Facebook as the evil empire from Star Wars that I hardly enjoy, simply because the good guys are white and shiny and evil ones are maniacal and dark.
This post went somewhere different than I anticipated. It’s clear to say that I don’t think I will ever consider a position at Facebook, nor should any true product manager. It is a position of responsibility, not only for your stakeholders but also for all the users. Do your part to change the world for the better!
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