Stories from the ProductTank Community – Split "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs March 03 2020 True Community Stories, ProductTank, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 911 ProductTank Split Product Management 3.644

Stories from the ProductTank Community – Split

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Organiser Andrea Grisogono bursts with pride as she talks about what ProductTank Split in Croatia has done for her and her product community.

What is it that motivates you to run ProductTank meetups?

For me, it’s about connecting with people, exchanging interesting and inspiring product stories and learnings. It also about growing the product community here in Split and spreading the word of awesome Mind the Product events around the world.

As an organiser, I feel challenged to make the event inspiring, exciting, and fun every time. It’s even helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking! I’m now definitely better and more relaxed when presenting.

Andrea and her co-organiser Grgur Grisogono enjoying #mtpcon London in 2018
Andrea and her co-organiser (and partner in life)! Grgur Grisogono enjoying #mtpcon London in 2018

The global ProductTank community also inspired me to start my own product. The Reel is a platform for adding transparency to vehicle condition management for car rentals. In fact, some of the ProductTank members encouraged me to take part in Get In The Ring startup competition, where we placed 2nd in Croatia after signing up just minutes before midnight. I’m grateful for all that support the community has given me and I’m proud to be part of the global ProductTank team! I hope we can all be inspired by the remarkable product stories all around us.

How many members does your ProductTank have?

We have close to 250 members, with an average turnout of 25. When we started the meetup in late 2017, the local community was confused about the meaning of product management. They frequently asked, “who is your audience?”. Two years later, being a part of the ProductTank community is considered almost prestigious. We are incredibly proud of how the industry has evolved, certainly with a lot of help from the regularly scheduled ProductTank meetups.

Doing this without our sponsors would have been impossible. Modus Create, a team of consultants that help companies through digital transformation, has been sponsoring our entertainment, food, and drinks from the very beginning. Their product experience was an essential part of kicking off a healthy ProductTank community in Split.

I also want to thank all our previous speakers for being brave enough to share their valuable experiences with the community.

How many ProductTanks have there been in Split to date?

To date, we’ve held 10. The next meetup on our timeline will be dedicated to celebrating the World Retrospective Day and collectively highlighting the importance of providing a safe space to product teams to review and discuss successes and failures for continuous improvement and satisfaction.

Some of our recent meetups took place in an industrial-style venue called WIP. WIP is a community-driven co-working space designed to inspire and support individual and collaborative projects. We always feel comfortable and welcome there, and our members love the location, which is near a famous beach.

ProductTank Split at WIP
This WIP coworking space often welcomes ProductTank Split

Shout out to Mate Babić, the venue manager, who is always supportive and open for collaboration. It’s a win-win situation for our ProductTank community and their local/remote workers who use their co-working space.

What can you tell us about Split Product Community?

ProductTank Split is a 250+ member strong community. We strive to share knowledge, ideas, and best practice in all spheres of product development and beyond.

We gather in the city known as the “Silicon Valley” of the Mediterranian Sea, which has become very attractive to software development companies for its variety of business and educational opportunities. Some of the well known local product companies and ProductTank community members are Rimac, Infobip, Include, TestDome, Rentlio, Productive, Microblink, and many others.

How does ProductTank help product people?

Growing a product community is about making members fundamentally care. When we organized the first ProductTank meetup in Split, the people who attended were curious to know “why” we’d done it. Over time, they realized the value and benefit behind those mutual gatherings, networking opportunities, and business connections.

Today, our members actively take part, inviting others for the benefit of all, and our community is growing stronger every day. Our community is made of superfans, not just curious visitors.

Andrea introducing Tonći Jajić from Typeqast at ProductTank held at WIP
Andrea introducing Tonći Jajić from Typeqast at ProductTank held at WIP

We’re learning from each other all the time, and it’s becoming more comfortable to share problems and issues from the product perspective, as well as gain valuable feedback from different angles.

Fun facts about Split?

  • Split is the home of the Dalmatian dog breed
  • The Necktie originated from Croatia as a part of military uniform in the 17th century
  • The White House in Washington DC was built from the stone quarried in the vicinity of Split (the island of Brač).
  • If you like psychology, Sigmund Freud was based out of Split for his research in 1898 (he mentioned Split in his book The Interpretation of Dreams)
  • Split entered the Guinness Book of Records for the largest chocolate square in the world (101m2)
  • The Cathedral of Saint Domnius is the world’s oldest and smallest Cathedral, built in year 305
  • If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Split is the filming site for Mereen and Braavos
  • Nikola Tesla was born in a village 200km from Split
  • The Zinfandel grape variety originates from the vineyards surrounding Split
Croatia Spencer Davies on Unsplash
Split is the largest city on the Dalmatian Coast and gets over 2800 hours of sunshine (Photo: Spencer Davies on Unsplash)