Mind the Product Conference 2016: SFL's Experience - SFL

What is the background?

What can be better news for a Product Manager than the chance to gather in a huge “pool” of 1400 talented PMs from 40 countries and spend a couple of days sharing knowledge and networking? One of our most talented PMs, Stepan, is right back from the Mind the Product conference for passionate people, as the founders refer to it.

The conference gathered an unmatched number of professionals from all over the world in the first days of October to explore the intersection of design, technology and business, inspiring PMs to lead their teams to build better products. The conference was held for the fifth time, growing immeasurably every year.

What was brought to table?

The conference started with Marty Cagan’s keynote around the role of product managers and the need to stop having the “ridiculous conversation about role, and about product versus project management”, because this way the essence of the job is what PMs are missing. The talk was followed by the case study of some of the most successful products of recent years like iTunes, Google Adwords, Netflix, Adobe Creative Cloud and more, trying to single out the features that brought them all to success.

Next to take the ground was Google’s Head of User Experience for Material Design Elizabeth Churchill who took the conference participants through the psychology of adding product features. Product managers “must tell compelling stories by understanding and engaging their audience, understanding human-computer interaction, building team thinking, and by persuasion. We communicate best by telling stories, and we can create a shared vision through the use of metaphor”. This was followed by some awesome time for sharing examples.

The participants then learnt more about the tactics of adding new features based on user performance from Facebook’s Simon Cross. He guided the participants through Facebook’s experience of building some of its most successful products – like photo tagging and Messenger – and finished with a neat set of takeaways.

Besides the inspirational talks, there was lots and lots of networking and knowledge sharing, someting that inspired the PMs to reach for more.

What’s the coverage?

The conference has been awesome, and a lot of articles are there to feature some of the takeaways. Here are some links for all product managers who are interested:
What we learned at Mind the Product by Martin Eriksson
Mind the Product Summarized by Eric Starck
Mind the Product 2016 by Diyan M. (Diddo)
Top 5 Lessons from Mind the Product by Andy Ayim

What’s the takeaway?

For me, some very interesting points were covered product-wise, but the most important thing was communicating to the PM community around the world, sharing the difference of experiences, inspiring and motivating each other for more!

This week we are going to hold an experience sharing meeting @SFL to discuss the takeaways with the group of PMs and work on some ideas which may later translate into awesome features for our products!


Stepan Smbatyan is a Man of Product with a passion for

awesome solutions that make a change.

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