The industry AKA product researcher

I've been fortunate enough to intern at large companies as a research intern, both in product focused organizations and research focused organizations. This short blip will focus on the goals of a product researcher.

The industry researcher:

"we don't pay you to be a researcher...we pay you to have influence" - Hugh North one of my amazing managers at Microsoft.

This may be hard to fully grasp but as a researcher in a product role, your job is NOT to do research....your job is to provide insights.

These insights need to be: thoughtful, practical, actionable, and INFLUENTIAL. So both the obvious insights but also the ones that are overlooked that a research study or prior scholarship may show. So yes research but not solely focused on research. This general feeling goes completely against what academia and our training usually teaches us and also traditionally against where researchers find value...the rigor...submitting a paper to a reputable venue...make the study design as succinct as possible etc.

friends its okay...take a deep breathe. You are still valued even if the product team doesn't have much interest in how you came to your findings, or don't want to know which method you used and why it was important and impactful etc.

The value comes when the insights from your research have a positive impact on product making the experience better for the user.

Academia and life teaches us to have extrinsically motivated paper acceptance for publication, grants, fellowship etc. Be intrinsically motivated stay disciplined to your goal.