Learnings from London: Dave Wascha – Inside the mind of a product manager "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs August 08 2022 False Learnings from London, Mtpcon London, Product Management Skills, Video, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 288 Learnings from London: Dave Wascha - Inside the mind of a product manager Product Management 1.152

Learnings from London: Dave Wascha – Inside the mind of a product manager

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In this week’s Learnings from London, we look back at the high spots from #mtpcon London in years past we bring you Dave Wascha’s talk from 2014, Inside the mind of a product manager.

In this talk, Dave, then Chief Product Officer at Moo.com and now Chief Product and Technology Officer at Zoopla, covers how profoundly the structure of the human brain dictates how we see and approach the world.

Learnings from London: Dave Wascha - Inside the mind of a product manager

Most strikingly, he looks at how our brains have evolved to seek out patterns. “The brain has evolved to be highly efficient,” he says, “and it doesn’t like to consider new information. In fact it tries to prevent it at all costs… we are pattern-seeking creatures.”

This pattern-seeking affects all of us, and in fact creates several product management anti-patterns – patterns that produce suboptimal products and outcomes. Dave argues that these anti-patterns are the main obstacles that stop product developers from being innovative and creating engaging products.

He goes through what he sees as the four main obstacles to innovation:

  • Inertia, and accepting the status quo
  • Propinquity, or assuming that your customer is just like you
  • Groupthink, group pressures reduce our ability to make decisions
  • Being a journalist, and choosing just to report what is happening

He says that ultimately product managers need to be able to look at the world with fresh eyes. Product managers therefore have to be aware of these anti-patterns and work constantly against their pattern-seeking instincts to do so.


#mtpcon London is back this October (13th & 14th) and celebrating its 10th anniversary! Join us for our tried and tested hybrid conference format, for two full days of product inspiration (plus a day of optional pre-conference workshops!). Find out more here.

In this week’s Learnings from London, we look back at the high spots from #mtpcon London in years past we bring you Dave Wascha’s talk from 2014, Inside the mind of a product manager. In this talk, Dave, then Chief Product Officer at Moo.com and now Chief Product and Technology Officer at Zoopla, covers how profoundly the structure of the human brain dictates how we see and approach the world. Learnings from London: Dave Wascha - Inside the mind of a product manager Most strikingly, he looks at how our brains have evolved to seek out patterns. "The brain has evolved to be highly efficient," he says, "and it doesn't like to consider new information. In fact it tries to prevent it at all costs... we are pattern-seeking creatures." This pattern-seeking affects all of us, and in fact creates several product management anti-patterns – patterns that produce suboptimal products and outcomes. Dave argues that these anti-patterns are the main obstacles that stop product developers from being innovative and creating engaging products. He goes through what he sees as the four main obstacles to innovation:
  • Inertia, and accepting the status quo
  • Propinquity, or assuming that your customer is just like you
  • Groupthink, group pressures reduce our ability to make decisions
  • Being a journalist, and choosing just to report what is happening
He says that ultimately product managers need to be able to look at the world with fresh eyes. Product managers therefore have to be aware of these anti-patterns and work constantly against their pattern-seeking instincts to do so.
#mtpcon London is back this October (13th & 14th) and celebrating its 10th anniversary! Join us for our tried and tested hybrid conference format, for two full days of product inspiration (plus a day of optional pre-conference workshops!). Find out more here.

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