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The 7 Best Talks from the Experts at #ProductCon NYC 2018

Technical PM Jack Moore watched it all and gave us his take on the conference: practical advice for building world-changing products.

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Jack Moore’s Bio

Jack Moore is a product manager at Qventus based out of Mountain View, CA. Specializing in platform and data products, he has a passion for creating products which empower users with simple and powerful data insights. Prior to Qventus, Jack was a Group PM at ZapLabs. He has a BSc in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Engineering Management from Stanford University. Here are his insights on #ProductCon NYC, as an online viewer!

 

 

If I learned anything from #ProductCon San Francisco earlier this year, it’s that we all have a bias towards framing, so if I tell you that this summary of #ProductCon NYC, put on by Product School, was amazing, you’re more likely to believe it. So…

Here’s a world class summary of the talks that were given by the experts at this year’s ProductCon NYC, along with timestamps and links to videos. They’re ordered with my favorite talks first. Enjoy!

Building Products with Artificial Intelligence

Chris Butler – Director of AI at Philosophie Group

My favorite talk of the night, Chris expertly highlights the complexities of AI that we don’t think about as often, the relationship that it has with humans.

 

The Trust vs. Confusion Matrix of Human/AI Interaction

For all of you out there that have wondered why it’s difficult to implement AI, Chris makes it very clear that it’s not implementation that holds most product teams back. The key to success in AI implementation is in understanding the reasons that users trust and interact with AI.

Purpose-Driven Product Development

Jesse E. Owens II – Director of Product at Mastercard

 

Jesse’s personal mission statement is:

Jesse’s talk centers on the idea of finding a place where you can build product that’s meaningful, both to yourself and to the world.

As Jesse’s mission statement might suggest, there’s a lot to be said about figuring out a place where you can find an “insatiable desire to delight users”. Jesse tells us that, in order to do that, a great product manager must understand how people think and feel, and they have to deliberately seek out opportunities to grow into larger, more impactful opportunities.

Getting your users Hooked

Nir Eyal – Author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Nir Eyal was talking fairly fast about the concepts from his best-selling book Hooked. Nir can help you understand your user and their motivations, and can help you design a user experience that will help you create an experience that users love. He talks about the brain chemistry that causes us to crave things like kissing and chocolate and Facebook apps, and gives a couple of strategies for stimulating craving in users.

The talk is centered around a lot of really compelling historical research and science, and really activated my inner nerd’s desire to hack the brains of the people around me to make them love the things that I’m going to build.

Building Minimum Viable Products

Jori Bell – Product Manager at Spotify

 

You’ve probably heard the word “MVP” before, it’s a popular buzzword, but this talk seeks to disperse some of the fog that hangs over this concept. MVPs are subjective, and it’s not always clear where to start, or what principles your team is going to use to guide your product along these roadmaps to its ultimate destiny.

Jori delivers her message through an amazing example of how to progress along these signposts of product success, and how her and her team’s work on serving artists, labels, and managers have helped guide them to Spotify for Artists. It’s a clear example of how understanding users and building one thing at a time can save your team time, money, and brainpower.

The Past, Present and Future of Personalization

Chris Maliwat – Chief Product Owner at Artnet & fmr Dir. of Product at Netflix

 

Imagine you were visiting a city for the first time, and you walked into a bar that you’ve never been to before. You walk in, and the bartender already knows your favorite drink and can make recommendations, your favorite song starts to play, and a mobile app on your phone can make suggestions on which people at the bar you might want to talk to, based on common interests.

 

 

This is the sort of future that Chris Maliwat envisions, where products and companies have more personal relationships with their users. Products do this by intelligently gathering input intelligently and responsibly, making decisions on how what information you’re going to structure your algorithmic personalization systems, balancing selection vs recommendation, and ultimately understanding what it means to create an experience that steeps a user’s values and interests in the experience a company is curating.

Importance of Communication

Karl Sluis – Founder at CityAtlas

 

In this talk, Karl sets out to share some “brass tacks” tips and tricks for improved communication. Having a limited view of the world, it’s difficult for teams and organizations to maintain a consistent vision for their world, and it’s vitally important to have communication frameworks and practices in place in order to achieve shared understanding.

Perhaps the best point that he sets out in this talk is to kill TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms), pronouns, and jargon — they are exclusive, especially in the context of cross-functional communication.

Growing as a Product Manager

Kevin Gu – Senior PM at Etsy

 

Navigating the path to the more senior ranks of product management can be a daunting task. Kevin helps to provide a road atlas for the mile markers on the path to product leadership.

From Associate PMs focusing on executions, to Staff PMs navigating the cross-functional relationships necessary to enable complex and impactful product strategies. He closes out with some solid recommendations and insights on how to progress your PM career.

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Need even more knowledge from product experts? Join us at #ProductCon LA or if you’re not in town, you can get a free online ticket! We’re also running a giveaway for the biggest product management conference around – you can win a free ticket for you and a friend by entering here. More prizes available as well!

 

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