Ted Barnett, a silicon valley veteran and longtime product & operations guy, wrote a post laying out his arguments for why product managers are becoming less necessary (tedbarnett.typepad.com)
1. It's always a good idea to reduce the length of the chain from customer-to-developer.
2. Specs are much lighter now. We are shipping Minimum Viable Products and learning from the market.
3. Higher-level development tools (e.g. Ruby on Rails) and powerful, cheap services (e.g. Amazon Web Services, UserTesting.com, Curebit, Gigya) free engineers to think on a higher level.
4. Because of these low-cost tools, consumer-grade services can be built for very little money.
let's discuss! (and ted, if you send your email address, i'll invite you too - hunterwalk at gmail)