Day two of #mtpcon London was jam-packed with a plethora of inspirational product talks, from making better product decisions to artificial intelligence. What’s more? We had the pleasure of seeing so many great product people both in-person and online for our second day of product management goodness. Read on for seven key takeaways!
Making the right decisions
Martin Eriksson returned to the #mtpcon stage to kick off the opening keynote of the day. He asked why are decisions in product management so overwhelming? Well, that’s because we make 35,000 unconscious and conscious decisions every day.
However he explained how it’s not hard to prioritise your decisions when you know what your product principles are, Martin explained how he learned this skill early on in his career.
Give a f*ck to succeed in product
Next up, Saielle DaSilva, Global VP of Design at StepStone took the main stage to talk about the key F words of successful product organisations. She opened by explaining how everyone who works in product got into it to have an impact and learn cool things. The four keywords she mentioned were:
Feelings: “If you give a f*ck, you have to reckon with feelings; software is people, people making decisions,” she said.
Focus: “Focus is what we say is important and how we make space for it,” in product, it’s important to focus on the most impactful aspects of a product that will affect your customers.
Friction: Saielle said to make room for friction – if there’s no room for questions and discussions, it’s not alignment, it’s coercion! Hidden friction is unhealthy friction; office politics, alliances. Office politics come from a lack of internal respect.
Facilitation: You are allowed to define the rules of engagement – that’s good facilitation. “You’ve seen the difference between average and great cabin crew on a flight? That’s facilitation.” She says. Facilitation is emotional labour, it’s often invisible. Design the conditions for good decision-making.
Dance and product go hand in hand
In her keynote session, Interim Head of Product at Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, Pippa Topp led an engaging session on looking at the messy world of product through the lens of dance.
“You can’t teach 20 people a new dance all at once… you have to break it down, teach the first beats, then build the next, then the next”. This was a perfect analogy Pippa used to teach us how to manage product teams. She said to make people feel comfortable and safe, and create a sense of trust, camaraderie, and fun. “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together,” she said. Pippa encouraged the audience to use this formula when working with teams: Values + Capabilities + People = pocket of brilliance
Evidence-based decisions conquer all
In his keynote session, Itamar Gilad, Product Management Coach taught us a lesson on supercharging our evidence-based decisions in product. He delved into how much we’ve advanced in the way we design, develop, and deploy tech products in just the past 10 years.
Itamar explained how most ideas are not good. If you want good ideas, you must have many and accept that most are wrong. To fully trust in your evidence-based decisions, Itamar said to combine learning and building, add in user studies, longitudinal studies, A/B tests, and learning milestones.
Speak less, absorb more
Manon Dave, VP of Product and Design stressed the importance of product managers expressing their creativity. He walked us through the amazingly creative journey that he has been on, from working with new products for children to collaborating with Idris Elba on music. His big takeaway was to listen more, speak less, and absorb more perspectives in the room to chase your dreams. “Because you’re so passionate about these things, you often forget to listen,” he said.
Maximising your workload through your PM wardrobe
Next on the keynote stage was Sharon Anne Keane, Product Lead and Head of Global Expansion at Wise. She walked us through a number of effective methods from her experiences of building products at Wise. Sharon explained how an NPS score as well as a PM Capsule are imperative tools in her daily product management practices. A PM capsule is a playbook comprised of interchangeable tools only, to maximise the product work. The aim is to have a playbook suitable for any product problem without needing excessive amounts of time.
The principle that underlies the capsule is ‘are you solving real customer problems’ if you’re solving problems that customers have issues with, then they will always love your product and model.
Making things right with AI
For the closing keynote of #mtpcon London, Rand Hindi, Co-founder and CEO of Zama taught us a lesson on the rise of artificial intelligence. He explained how much AI has advanced as of late, with deep fake videos looking more and more convincing, as well as 60% of articles being written by AI.
As product people, we have a role to address these threats. Deep fake threats, conscious biases, and privacy concerns are all stark issues approaching consumers in today’s age. If we don’t do anything about it then we will get to the stage where we will never trust anything we hear or see online, Randi says.
A huge thank you to everyone who joined us for two, both in person and digitally, and to our wonderful crew and sponsors for all of their support. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more in-depth recaps of this amazing experience.
Missed a great session? If you’re a Prioritised or MTP Leader member, you also get exclusive access to all talk recordings – coming soon to your member dashboard!