Yesterday evening over 70 people got together in Google HQ in Zurich to meet their product management peers.
We had the opportunity to be exposed to diverse perspectives of product management as our speakers and participants come from a wide array of professional fields: media, medical, tech, automotive, banking, design etc.
Raphael Leiteritz, Director of Product Management at Google provided some relief to the participants when he revealed that even in the biggest product-led company, there is no secret recipe for product management, and it’s often a tedious, chaotic journey to release and grow good products. But trying is always the first step towards succeeding.
As the product manager for the Product Management Festival and organiser of the night, I (Iulia Porneala) walked people a bit through the evening schedule and explained what is the goal of our events: to strengthen the role of product managers in companies and to provide a space for the community to meet and discuss day-to-day issues, and learn from each other.
Next, Joe Robinson took the stage and discussed “Money + People” revealing quite a striking issue for today’s society: people still face challenges in managing their finances, they get into debt, they spend more than they earn, they do not plan their finances. Over 50% of the world’s adult population does not have a bank account. And although in today’s society most of us are more open then ever to discuss our personal lives, our health issues and our relationship status, money and personal finances remains a taboo topic.
Sonam Suter, Senior Product Manager at Hollister (not the clothing brand but a medtech company) talked about local product managers versus global product managers: challenges in communication, specialisation versus generalisation and made us remember the truth is always in the middle and that to achieve great results we need to work together and use empathy. There is a world filled with cool apps out there and we often forget that product managers can build products which can give people back their lives, helping disabled or people with health issues.
The evening ended in laughs as Raphael challenged Sonam, Joe, Nina (Schneider-Appway) and Christoph (Borer-NZZ) to tell us what they wish they have known 5 years ago.
We want to make evening like this a habit, so if you’re passionate about product management you’re invited to our next edition! Just join our mailing list and we’ll keep you up to speed to our next events.