Top 10 Product Talks of 2016
Mind the Product and ProductTank were founded on the importance of sharing stories between product managers in order to further our craft, so we love recording those talks and sharing our speakers’ hard-earned lessons with everyone else in the product community. This year we’ve had a bumper crop of amazing talks from ProductTanks meetups all over the world as well as our London and San Francisco conferences, and here are the ten most watched:
In this epic and entertaining talk from Mind the Product San Francisco, Ken Norton draws a line from the jazz greats improvisation and comfort around chaos to the job of product manager – and how we all need to embrace that uncomfortably exciting creative dissonance in order to create great jazz – or build truly great products.
All products go through three distinct phases – birth, growth, and survival. Once you make the product work, you have to grow the product, and then, crucially, you have to focus on survival. In this awesome closing keynote from Mind the Product San Francisco Des Traynor highlights just how to survive by keeping your product relevant.
As if we needed more proof that all product managers are obsessed with finding ever-better tools to do our jobs with, this ProductTank talk by Janna Bastow where she shared her essential product management toolkit for every stage of the product management lifecycle was one of the most popular this year.
We tend to forget that the experience is the product we’re delivering. Every technical product category through history has followed this pattern – from a technology for technologies sake, to a feature war, to an experience. In this awesome talk from Mind the Product San Francisco, Peter Merholz highlights the importance of the last stage and how teams can better align themselves to focus on the experience.
As a 25-year veteran of software development Ron Lichty has an eye for what keeps teams from achieving clarity out of chaos and he has a feel for how to make software development hum. In this talk from ProductTank San Francisco he outlined that it often comes from fixing the interface between development and product management.
Behind every great product there is always someone, who may or may not have the title of product manager, who works incredibly hard to solve incredibly difficult problems for their organisations and customers. In this talk from Mind the Product London Marty Cagan examined some highly successful products and highlighted the outstanding product managers responsible for them.
In this talk from Mind The Product San Francisco, Nathalie Nahai explains the fundamental psychological principles behind the successful conversion, adoption, and monetisation of products, and how you can use these techniques in a nice vs naughty way.
Simon Cross believes that the stories product managers tell each other have had the most impact on honing his craft, stories “of successes and failures, of surprises, the left-field things we find, the personalities that we encounter”. In this entertaining and insightful talk from Mind the Product London he shared some of his own stories.
In this talk at Mind the Product San Francisco, Laura Klein shared some of her insights from her research into what makes happy product teams, and surprisingly how close they come to those heist teams we see in movies like Oceans 11 or The Italian Job.
In my introduction to this year’s Mind the Product London I outlined the many challenges facing us, why good product management is more important than ever before, and what we need to do to meet those challenges head on.
As we always turn things up to 11, and because this amazing talk was just outside the top 10 despite being posted just last month, we’ll close the list on this thought-provoking closing keynote from #mtpcon where Jeff Veen shared how important a creative culture is, how it allows you to build better products, and what organizations need to do to craft that creative culture.
What were your favourites?
Those were the 11 most popular videos on our site this year – but what were your favourites? Are there any under-appreciated bits of genius you think more people should have watched? Let us know in the comments below!