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What Was Everyone So Excited About at Mind The Product Conference This Year?

May 13, 2016

3 minute read

There’s a reason Intercom’s Des Traynor calls it the “Woodstock for product managers.”

This year, the San Francisco edition of Mind The Product conference brought together 1200 product managers, 1 conference hall, and a slate of world class speakers.

It was wild, nerdy and passionate.

MTP is somewhat of a mecca for product people and the people who show up there tend to be there because they want to learn from the best and the brightest. This is where the best product managers are every year, swapping notes on what’s inspiring them, what they’re struggling with, and where they’d like to be.

This is our 2nd year with a booth at MTPcon SF, and we saw a remarkable shift in the way people approach us.

Last year, people looked at theme-based roadmapping with skepticism. Cute idea, but not applicable to the reality of their workplace. This year though, people walked right up to us and said, “I’m tired of using Gantt charts. Please help me.”

When you see the level of discussion on stage at this big event, it’s not hard to understand why. It’s at conferences like these, where top product people like Des Traynor, Ken Norton and Abby Covert urge other product managers to see themselves as leaders and a driving force for building user-focused strategies at their companies.

At MTPcon this year, we saw product managers rally around the idea that there are no straightforward or obvious solutions when it comes to building a product. Their job is to solve problems, unthink, step back, and start from scratch again if they need to.

It’s an exciting prospect until you go back and see what you’re working with. Spreadsheets. Gantt charts. A clunky JIRA backlog.

These are the tools that perpetuate the siloed, lonely approach to product management that we all know doesn’t beat the path to exciting products with a bright future. If your job is to bring people together and solve big problems, these tools don’t help you do it.

That’s why we’re here, guys. (And maybe we’ll see you at MTPcon London in September!)

Here are some highlights from the audience:



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