It’s a great time to be a product manager. Why? Because the world around you is a blank canvas, and there is tremendous opportunity to create something new and awesome. It’s the holiday season, so you’re probably relaxed and looking for some inspiration. We’ve rounded up some great video content to help keep you excited and engaged. If you’re a product manager, be sure to check out the following 5 talks:

1 - Lean Startup Conference Talk on Innovation in Storytelling

After selling their intelligent music app company in 2011, entrepreneurs Prerna Gupta and Parag Chordia sat down to write a science fiction book. Very quickly, however, this journey led them to the realization of an even bigger market opportunity: the need for A/B testing in storytelling.

Gupta and Chordia decided to build an app that personalizes reading experiences to individuals. At the heart of it all is technology that’s similar to what you see retail, travel, finance, and technology companies doing on their websites and in their apps.

This talk has a simple takeaway: data drives powerful in-app experiences. Watch this talk to see how Gupta is using this idea to make stories better.

2 - TED Talk on the Power of Vulnerability

What drives empathetic, human connections? As tough as this question is to answer, it will lead you to one of the most powerful ideas in business: we crave relationships, regardless of whether we’re forging bonds in person or across computer screens.

Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work has spent her career studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame--all factors that help build stronger bonds. In this TED talk, she explores these concepts in depth.

See your products through a new lens. Help your customers care about your products.

3 - Talk on the Art vs. Science of User Experience Design from Femgineer

How can companies build products that combine beauty with functional design to engage audiences? The key is to use data and personalization tech to help organizations become more human, building connections across computer screens.

There are many apps that exist simply to ‘get the job done.’ But more and more, these tools are becoming obsolete. Customers and prospects need continued guidance at multiple touch points. This talk with Poornima Vijayashankar of Femgineer and Pauly Ting, a user experience designer, explains how to achieve this goal.

4 - TED Talk on the Science of Motivation

When it comes to product development, motivation is everything. But many businesses miss the mark when it comes to incentivizing and engaging their audiences. Just take a look at MySpace and Google Plus--two social media platforms that have, at different times, been called ghost towns.

One way that product managers can achieve more out of their work is to deconstruct the science of motivation. Why don’t traditional rewards work? How can product managers improve interactions with customers?

This TED talk with Dan Pink, a career analyst, explores these key questions.

5 - Tips on How to Adapt to the Modern Buyer from Jill Rowley & GE Capital

The modern buyer has changed more in the last 2 years than the last 20, says Jill Rowley, a “social selling” consultant. Today's modern buyer is digitally-driven, socially connected, mobile, and self-directed.

Sales and marketing teams are acutely aware of these trends and are actively evolving their strategies. But what about product?

You need to make sure that your value propositions, customer experience strategies, and capabilities are all ahead of the curve. Watch this talk to improve your product’s engagement, market and sales strategy fit...

The Bottom Line

What do all of these talks have in common? They all point to the growing prevalence of data. Data-driven personalization and real-time marketing are playing increasingly important roles in every product manager’s repertoire. It’s not enough to deliver a one-size-fits-all product experience. You need to deliver user experiences that combine product functionality with storytelling, motivation and social connections at the individual level--just a few things to keep in mind for the new year!