2020, what a year – I’m sure you’re all sick of talking about it. But, before we turn the corner into 2021, let’s take a look back on something pretty positive—some of the best product management content of the year. From the guest posts created by you and content created by us with the help of our incredible community, here’s the content you’ve most enjoyed over the last 12 months.
Content From the Community
At Mind the Product, our goal is to bring product people together online and in-person (when possible!) in order to connect with, learn from, and share with each other how to build products, teams, and careers people love.
A huge part of that sharing takes place through the guest-authored blog posts we publish on the site and this year has been a great year for submissions. With so many professional challenges this year, and with many of you having more time to write, our inbox hasn’t had a single quiet day! We’ve received some brilliant submissions from all over the world and we’ve loved helping authors share their insights with the community.
To all our guest authors, thank you for sharing your insights, and to our contributors with the most viewed posts of the year, here’s to you!
Top 5 Guest Posts of 2020
- Why we Need to Rethink Product Management in an Agile Practice by Anthony Marter
- The Hidden Costs of Constantly Shipping new Things by Michal Bugno
- Why Product Operations is set to be the Backbone of Product-led Growth by Jonathan Hau
- A Guide to Breaking Into Product Management by Lucila Rey
- Unpacking Fintech Product Management – User Mindsets and Regulatory Requirements by Ram Alagianabi
The Product Experience Podcast
Our podcast hosts, Lily and Randy, have had a busy year interviewing product pros for The Product Experience. Not even a pandemic could slow them down, and throughout all the chaos, it’s been business as usual on the pod. Says Randy: “Lily and I record the podcast from our homes and, for me personally, that means recording once the kids have been put to bed, so the way we record hasn’t really been impacted by the disruption of 2020.” In fact, recording the podcast throughout the pandemic has been a bit of a lifeline. “It’s enabled us to talk to other members of the wider product community, to hear how they’ve been adapting and coping, and to regularly participate in the community,” Randy says. “We’ve had tons of amazing guests this year too but a few topics felt really special.” These include Remote Discovery with Teresa Torres (the pandemic edition!), Not Your Typical Product People with Marton Gaspar and Eli Montgomery, and Building Communities That Work with Emily Webber.
Another firm favourite with our hosts was How To Be A Great Manager with Claire Lew. “The reason we asked Claire to join us on the pod was that I saw her talk at Business of Software, and I thought she was just lovely on stage. I wanted to hear more of what she had to say.” Turns out, you did too, as Claire’s episode is our most downloaded episode of the year.
2020 Product Management Conference Highlights
Whether they’ve been in person or online, we’ve had a blast at each and every one of our conferences this year. Despite everything going on in the world, members of the community came together, time and time again, to learn from amazing speakers and to further the craft of product management. Here’s a look at the most popular talks of 2020.
MTP Engage Manchester
At MTP Engage in February (our last in-person conference of the year) we got 21 brilliant speakers up on stage to talk about everything from conflict, to stakeholder management, to OKRs, and personal development. Our speakers inspired and engaged attendees across three stages, none more so than our keynote speaker Melissa Perri who delivered this The Product of You talk and session speaker Adrian Howard who taught us all about How to Write OKRs That Don’t Suck – these two talks are the most-watched of the conference to date.
As Coronvirus began to hit around the world we began our journey into digital conferences with Mind the Product APAC. The aim of this week-long event was to celebrate the incredible work, products and product people in AsiaPac, and to connect the many pockets of product communities, big and small, across the region. In total, 2000 people from 67 countries signed up for live talks.
You can take a look back at what we learned in our recap post and check out the most-watched talk from the week: Let go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results by Barry O’Reilly.
I said it after our first #mtpcon Digital and I’ll say it again, launching a brand new event is never easy, and launching one amidst a pandemic certainly comes with some unique challenges! But, I speak on behalf of the Mind the Product team when I say that our experience of running #mtpcons online this year has been wonderful. At both our Summer and Autumn editions, we were wowed by our speakers and the engagement of our attendees. There are so many highlights we could mention but let’s stick to what we know the community has enjoyed. Here are the most viewed talks from each event.
#mtpcon Digital Summer
- Keynote: Incomplete by Design by Matt LeMay
- Session: How Successful Product People Develop by Shaun Russell
#mtpcon Digital Autumn
- Keynote: Tech and the New Normal by Benedict Evans
- Session: OKRs for Product Teams by Bruce McCarthy
Another keynote that caused a positive stir this year was All These Worlds Are Yours by Cennydd Bowles at #mtpcon Digital Autumn. Cennydd challenged us all to design and develop products ethically and abandon the Lean ideology that’s bred an “overquantified” world view. Ordinarily, premium content like this talk can only be accessed by Mind the Product members. However, after discussions with a number of our members, we decided to make this keynote available to all. We did this to ensure that Cennydd’s important message reaches everyone in our community.
— CVHansel (@cvhhh) November 19, 2020
Mind the Product Membership Content
Since launching Mind the Product membership in May, we’ve made it our mission to serve top-quality, bespoke content to our members every week.
So far, we’ve worked with hundreds of product people around the world to deliver exclusive pieces of content including articles, reports, AMA recaps, interviews, deep dives, and guides. So far, these two have been our members’ favourites.
The PMwheel – a Compass for the Product Manager Development Journey by Petra Wille, swiped the top spot for Prioritised membership content in just one weekend! In it, Petra shares her own career development framework The PMwheel – a reliable compass for people who want to navigate their product career or develop their direct reports.
“I lacked a clear framework—an assessment that I could have discussed with the individual product manager in one of our coaching sessions. I decided it was time to create that framework.” Petra Wille
Critical thinking resonated with leaders in our state of product management survey in late 2019. In fact, many leaders said it had been the most essential skill in enabling them to progress their career and so we canvassed a few friendly product leaders for their views and created Critical Thinking for Product Leaders, exclusively for MTP Leader members.
“If your critical thinking skills aren’t up to snuff, or they’re not growing and developing in terms of your capacity to think through problems really quickly, then you become a huge bottleneck.” Eric Bin
So that’s it folks. A whistlestop tour of just some of the content we’ve created and shared with you this year. We’re so looking forward to doing it all again in 2021 when (fingers crossed) we’ll all have an easier ride. Take care product people and we’ll see you in the New (hopefully improved) Year!