Top 10 Product Talks of 2016

BY MARTIN ERIKSSON ON DECEMBER 27, 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:

Please Make Yourself Uncomfortable

Ken Norton at #mtpconIn 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.

Your Product is Already Obsolete – How to Survive

Des Traynor at Mind the ProductAll 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.

The Day-To-Day Product Management Toolkit

Janna Bastow shares her product management toolkit at ProductTank OsloAs 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.

The Experience is the Product

Peter Merholz at Mind the Product SFWe 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.

How to Get Your Development Team to Love You

Ron LichtyAs 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

Marty Cagan at Mind the ProductBehind 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.

The Psychology Behind Successful Products

Nathalie NahaiIn 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.

Paving the Cow Path and Other Stories

Simon Cross at Mind the ProductSimon 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.

Building Happy Product Teams like Heist Teams

Laura Klein at Mind the Product San FranciscoIn 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.
 

Product Management is More Important Than Ever

Martin Eriksson at Mind the Product London 2016In 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.
 

Crafting a Creative Culture

jeff-veen-at-mind-the-product-londonAs 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!

Martin Eriksson

About MARTIN ERIKSSON

Martin Eriksson has 20+ years experience building world-class online products in both corporate and start-up environments for global brands such as Monster, Financial Times, Huddle, and Covestor. He is the Founder of ProductTank, the Co-Founder and Curator of Mind the Product and currently a Chief Product Officer at large, advising and mentoring startups. He is also the author of best-seller Product Leadership, How Top Product Leaders Launch Great Products and Build Successful Teams (O'Reilly, 2017).

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