Seven Deadly Products Habits to Avoid

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At November’s Lean Product & Lean UX Silicon Valley meetup, Dan Olsen welcomed serial entrepreneur and Lean Startup expert Hiten Shah. Hiten co-founded CrazyEgg, KISSmetrics, and Quick Sprout; he’s also an active investor and advisor.

Hiten cautioned against seven deadly product behaviors he’s experienced and observed as a founder and advisor. Fortunately, Hiten shared how (and why) to practice seven habits for successful product prioritization. Improve your product team’s effectiveness and check out Hiten’s presentation below.

Seven Habits For Successful Product Prioritization:

  1. Create whatever comes to mind. Start with research.
  2. Be a lone wolf. Make lots of friends.
  3. Chase shiny objects. Know what’s important.
  4. Satay in your own bubble. Always know the alternatives.
  5. Keep everyone in the dark. Sharing is caring.
  6. Assume you’re right, always. Believe you’re wrong.
  7. Chaos rules. Rinse and repeat.

Hiten Shah’s Presentation:

You can access a copy of Hiten’s slides here.

For more great content and tips from Hiten, visit You can also follow Hiten on Twitter at @hnshah.

Interested in hearing from other great product speakers?

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Why I’m Excited for the Industry Product Conference in Cleveland

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I’m heading to Cleveland, Ohio, to give a workshop and a keynote talk at the Industry Product Conference. This will be my first time participating in this conference, and I’m really looking forward to it! In case you aren’t familiar with the Industry conference, I wanted to share why I’m excited to participate.

I really like the format of the conference. The main conference is two days long (Thursday and Friday), so it’s going to be chock full of great PM advice. It’s a single-track conference, with each morning and afternoon focused on one of four topics: ideation, design, development, and growth. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also an optional workshop day on Wednesday. There are three half-day workshops to choose from and they start at 1 pm, which gives you plenty of time to settle in after your travels. Industry limits the workshop size to 40 people to ensure they are highly engaging and interactive.

There’s also plenty of time baked into the schedule to meet and compare notes with your fellow product people (aka “PM Therapy”). There’s an early registration party Wednesday night for workshop attendees and anyone else who’s in town the night before. After the conference on Thursday, there’s a happy hour at the conference venue followed by a party at the Hofbräuhaus. Party on, Wayne!

Industry is a fast-growing product conference now in its third year. In my experience I’ve found that, just like most Microsoft products, it usually takes a conference until Version 3 to hit its stride. They expect over 600 attendees at this year’s conference. Industry earned a place on my list of the Top 10 Product Conferences of 2017 (which I published earlier this year).

Many product conferences in the United States tend to be in the San Francisco Bay Area. So it’s nice to see a product conference in a new city: Cleveland, Ohio. I’m personally excited to head back to the Midwest because I studied at Northwestern University. I’ve heard great things about Cleveland and look forward to checking it out. The city has a rich musical history, including the Cleveland Public Auditorium where the conference will be held. It will be pretty cool to give a keynote speech from the same stage that the Beatles played on back in 1964. The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and many more talented musicians played there. Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Industry is organized by Product Collective, and I really like what they are doing. They have a deep understanding of and passion for product management. Product Collective has created an impressive collection of resources for product people. In addition to their annual Industry conference, they:

  • Write their Product Brief blog articles and weekly curated email newsletter
  • Run a Slack channel with over 3,000 product people
  • Host regular Product Lunch webinars
  • Publish their Build Launch Scale podcast. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mike Belsito for their first episode.

Last but not least, I am grateful to the organizing team. Believe it or not, Product Collective and Industry are run by a small but talented team of just three people: Mike Belsito, Paul McAvinchey, and Rebecca Feliciano. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to organize a conference for 600 people. So be sure to give them a well-earned “thank you” if you run into them at Industry.

If this all sounds amazing and you have some serious FOMO right now: don’t worry, there are still a few tickets left if you act fast.

For those about to rock at Industry: we salute you! 🙂 Look forward to seeing you there!

Why I’m Excited for Mind The Product London

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I’m excited to be heading to London for Mind The Product this week. I’ll be giving an all-day workshop on How to Achieve Product-Market Fit, where I’ll be sharing advice from my book The Lean Product Playbook.

This will be my second time participating in Mind The Product (or MTP for short) London, which is typically held in September. I’ve also participated in MTP San Francisco the last two years, which has been held in May or June.

For those of you who have also attended the MTP conference before, you know how great it is. For those of you who haven’t yet, well, this post is for you. I wanted to share why I’m excited to be a part of the MTP conference again.

MTP is the largest product conference in the world with a distinguished history. Many conferences come and go, but MTP has been going strong since starting in London in 2012 with 600 attendees. Since then, the conference has grown to 1,400 people strong. As a result, they’ve moved to increasingly larger venues. MTP San Francisco has been held in Davies Symphony Hall and MTP London has been held at the Barbican Centre. Both are wonderful venues with great seating and an impressive stage setup.

I really like the format of the MTP conference program. The conference spans two days. Day 1 consists of several all-day workshops, where you can really learn a topic in-depth. Each workshop is capped at 30 or 40 attendees to ensure an intimate setting. I’ve really enjoyed giving workshops at MTP: my attendees are serious about learning and are really engaged. I like being able to do a deep dive on how to product-market fit and bringing the concepts to life with lots of interactive class discussion and group exercises. Day 2 is a single track of around 8 or 9 speakers. Many conferences offer multiple tracks concurrently, but the MTP team places a lot of value on everyone sharing the same experience so they can discuss and compare notes about the talks later. The talks are usually between 25 and 35 minutes long, which is a good length: short enough to keep you engaged but long enough to establish context and teach you something new.

MTP has hosted many great speakers. There are too many to list, but some of my favorite speakers who I’ve seen speak at MTP are Marty Cagan, Ken Norton, Josh Elman, and Laura Klein, to name a few. This week, I’m really excited to hear my friend Teresa Torres’ talk. The speakers always know their stuff and the production value of the talks is top notch. Martin thoughtfully curates the speakers and topics for each conference to create a well-balanced program. There’s always a mix of product management and design speakers, and often a “wildcard” speaker from a different discipline. I always leave the conference learning something new, gaining a new perspective, and feeling inspired.

There is also plenty of time baked into the schedule to socialize and compare notes with your fellow product people (all 1,400 of them!). On Day 1, after the workshops there is a happy hour that is a lot of fun and several other sponsor events. On Day 2, breaks and lunchtime give you time to chat with folks in between talks. And that night they throw a great afterparty, which is always fun. I really enjoy connecting with product people from around the world at MTP, hearing their stories, comparing notes, and engaging in the “PM Therapy” that inevitably takes place whenever PMs get together 🙂

Last but certainly not least, what I also enjoy about the MTP conference are the organizers. This small team of talented people are super passionate about product management. They are really good at designing, planning, and executing a great product conference. It takes an amazing amount of commitment, work, and attention to detail to pull off a great conference, especially at this scale. So if you bump into Martin, James, Janna, Simon, Analisa, Emily, Marc, or Chris at the conference, please be sure to tell them what you think about the conference (and give them a well-earned pat on the back).

If you’re at MTP London this week, I look forward to seeing you there. If not, MTP San Francisco will be taking place again July 16-17, 2018. Hopefully I’ve convinced you why you should check it out. Tickets always sell out quickly, so when they go on sale, don’t miss your chance.

Hope to see you at an MTP conference soon!

The Top 10 Product Conferences of 2017

By Speaking

It’s an exciting time to be working in product, especially since product management has become the “new dream job” according to the Wall Street Journal. I’m passionate about how product managers learn their craft and share best practices. That’s why I’ve been coaching product teams for over 8 years and why I wrote The Lean Product Playbook.

Conferences are a great way to learn about product management and to compare notes. Plus, whenever a bunch of PMs get together, there’s always plenty of product manager therapy that naturally happens: “Your developer told you what??? Oh no he didn’t!”

Thankfully, there are more product-focused events than ever before. But you’re a busy PM with backlogs to groom and total product domination to plan: how are you supposed to figure out which ones are worth going to?

Don’t worry, I gotcha covered. So close that JIRA window, sit back, and relax. Here’s your guide to the top 10 product conferences in 2017 that you don’t want to miss (in chronological order).

By the way, I plan to be at 8 of the 10; hope to see you there!

May 19: Product Leader Summit – I’m excited to be one of the organizers of a very special conference for product leaders (VPs and directors) in Redwood City, California. Hosted by Omidyar Network, we have a stellar speaker line-up that includes Reid Hoffman, Aaron Levie of Box, OG Sean Ellis (that’s Original Growth-hacker), and product leaders from Facebook, Slack, Tesla, and Netflix. Learn more and apply for this invitation-only event at

May 31 – June 1: Traction – I attended the Traction Conference in Vancouver, Canada, for the first time last year and was really impressed by the high quality of the event. The speaker list includes top CEOs and experts in product, growth, and marketing. In addition, organizers Lloyed Lobo and Ray Walia put a lot of thought into selecting great venues and designing the networking parts of this 2-day conference, including an impressive reception at the Chinese Garden. Plus, for you SF Bay Area folks, Vancouver is just a short 2-hour flight away. I look forward to speaking there again this year. Learn more at

June 12 – 13: Mind The Product San Francisco – If you’ve never been to Mind the Product (aka MTP), you’re in for a real treat. Picture yourself at Davies Symphony Hall sitting back in a comfy seat surrounded by over 1,000 fellow product people while you learn from the world’s top product and design experts. After all those amazing talks, your brain cells won’t be able to take any more; but don’t worry, you can put them out of their misery at the sweet afterparty. I’m excited to be giving an all-day workshop there. Tickets sell out fast, so grab yours quickly at

August 17: UserVoice BASiS – UserVoice is putting on a new all-day product conference called BASiS in San Francisco. UserVoice designed this conference for data-driven product teams and leaders to learn about cutting-edge product management methodologies, processes, and technologies. I look forward to speaking at this inaugural event.

September 7 – 8: Mind The Product London – MTP London is the world’s largest product gathering, put on by Martin Eriksson and the MTP team, who know how to throw an excellent conference. Held at the gargantuan Barbican Centre, it’s always a well-curated, high production value event with top speakers. I’m excited to be giving an all-day workshop there. Learn more at

Sep 12 – 14: Industry – I’ve been following this up-and-coming product conference in Cleveland, Ohio, for a while now. I’m impressed by the work that Mike Belsito and Product Collective have been doing and am excited to participate for the first time (I’ll be giving a workshop and a keynote talk). This conference will be 2 days of pure product goodness. You can also tack on a workshop to really fill your brain. Learn more at

Oct 19 & 24: Leading the Product – I had a great time speaking at Leading the Product’s conferences in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, last fall. The Brainmates team knows how to put on a great event that creates a sense of community with top speakers, enthusiastic attendees, and great venues. Learn more about this great reason to go Down Under at

Oct 25 – 27: Productized – I haven’t been to this product conference in Lisbon, Portugal, yet, but it’s been on my radar. I’ve heard good things from other speakers and have been learning more about it from founder André Marquet, who is passionate about product management. Did you know that Portugal has more product managers per capita than any other country? That may or may not be fake news, but who really needs a good excuse to visit the Iberian Peninsula? (not me: I grew up in sunny southern Spain). I plan to give a workshop and a keynote talk there. Learn more at

Nov 1 – 3: Lean Startup Conference – If you’ve never been to the Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, you may not know that it’s largely a product management conference. Over 70% of the people I’ve met at past Lean Startup Conferences were product managers, which makes sense because we’re the ones responsible for achieving product-market fit (those hypotheses aren’t going to test themselves). The conference itself is 2 days of great speakers sharing case studies and advice. There’s also a workshop day. If that’s still not enough for you, you can go all-in with a ticket for the whole Lean Startup Week. Learn more at

Nov 15-16: Product Management Festival – This conference in Zurich, Switzerland, has been running for several years. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but you can learn more at

So there you have them: the top 10 product conferences of 2017. I think it’s awesome that there are 10 major product conferences in the next 7 months, all over the globe.

Wait, what’s that? You’re still looking for more great product events? Well, nice work, my friend: you just discovered the post-credits trailer…

Lean Product (monthly in Silicon Valley) – If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or are visiting, I invite you to check out my monthly Lean Product event in Palo Alto. I founded it 3 years ago and we’ve grown to over 5,000 members.

One evening a month, I host the same world-class speakers who speak at the conferences I listed above. My speakers are experts in product management, Lean Startup, UX design, analytics, and marketing, and many of them have written leading books on those subjects. Past speakers include Marty Cagan, Geoffrey Moore, Ken Norton, Josh Elman, Laura Klein, Ash Maurya, Nir Eyal, Teresa Torres, Rich Mironov, Amy Jo Kim, Tony Ulwick, Hiten Shah, and Steve Portigal.

Our next Lean Product event is May 18th: growth expert Sean Ellis will be sharing advice from his new book Hacking Growth. Come join us for dinner, an amazing speaker, and great conversation. Learn more at

I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events!