Mind the Ps and Cues

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Mind The Product conference. To my knowledge it was the first ever London conference created for Product Managers by Product Managers.

My day started with a long cue of product managers at 9am for a 10am start. This eagerness highlighted the quality of a speaker line up featuring the likes of Marty Cagan and Tom Hulme.

I ended the day with a refreshed sense of excitement around creating great products, some new ideas and new friends. Thinking over what stuck with me a few days later, there seems to be a “P” theme going on.

All the speakers, organisers and attendees seemed to being genuinely interesting smart, fun people. That doesn’t always happen when you bring 500+ people in one space.
Charles Adler, Co-Founder of Kickstarter spoke passionately about how important trust has been in building a successful team at Kickstarter. It reminded me of the “People over Process” facet of the Agile movement, a mantra I try to live by, but one that remains harder to follow than it should be.

All the attendees I spoke to were blown away by Google’s Tom Chi’s prototyping prowess. A working Google Glasses prototype on day one, followed by countless rapid iterations to reach a working form factor, was an inspirational story. Tom’s message to maximise the rate of learning by reducing the time to try things really struck a chord for me.

Tom Hulme from IDEO talked about how all great companies have a purpose. The concept of a company’s “Purpose” resonates with me much more than “Vision” or “Strategy” ever has. Tom proposes that your product should be a a vehicle for your purpose and that everything you do should come back to the purpose. I think I agree with him.

Hanna Donovan and Matthew Ogle from This is My Jam showed, with a bit of live vinyl music and beer drinking, how performance can really bring a talk to life.

Yep, people talked about pivots. They also talked about how people talk too much about pivots.
I was going to discuss pivots, but I changed my mind.

That’s what stuck with me the most, all the talks were of a high standard and I recommend checking mindtheproduct.com to watch the videos when they posted.

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