In the opening keynote talk at #mtpcon San Francisco 2023, Christian Idiodi, Partner at Silicon Valley Product Group, led an engaging session on the art of building magical products. Watch the video in full, or read on for a recap of this insightful talk.
Christian Idiodi’s childhood memories take us back to a time when technology seemed like magic. Growing up, his father introduced him to a fax machine, a facsimile machine, which fascinated him and his brother. They watched in awe as their father sent a printed picture from their house to his office using this new device. The experience sparked Christian’s curiosity, and he delved into researching how fax machines worked at the local library.
Today, Christian is now part of the Silicon Valley Product Group, where he studies how successful companies create magical solutions. He coaches and advises companies on how to work in similar ways or even better. He draws parallels between magic and technology, reflecting on his childhood experiences working at a circus.
Innovation in product
“Innovation simply reflects what is now possible and the number of attempts we have,” he said. Christian demystified the product development process, emphasizing that every product results from solving a series of problems over time. He challenged the notion of individual achievement, emphasizing that product work is a team sport that requires collaboration and the integration of design, functionality, engineering, and technology.
“Every outcome is the series of solving problems over time,” Christian added. To drive home his point, he used the example of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon to illustrate the importance of collaboration between designers and engineers. He explained that tackling risks, trying multiple approaches, and embracing experimentation are key components of product discovery.
Solving product problems
With the rise of emerging technology, Christian urged the audience to drive innovation to solve problems. He emphasized that most ideas will fail, but the focus should be on discovering solutions rather than being right. “At the very core of what we do, it’s that a problem is solved.”
Christian explained by encouraging product teams to run smart experiments, aiming to build customer trust and iterating rapidly. He suggests that the best product teams try 15 to 20 experiments each week, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible and building a better future through technology.
His final point of the talk was to practice our craft as product managers forever. “If you want to become a better product manager, you have to persevere with practising your craft every day,”
“Have a relentless around the problems you are challenged you are going to solve. There is no substitute for perseverance and hard work,”
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