My Personal Productized 2017 Conference Recap #productized2017

Productized Conference 2017 Tim Herbig
Photo was taken by Productized Conference 2017 Team

Before my trip to Zurich for PMF 2017, I was able to speak at the Productized 2017 Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
The so-called ‘Product Thinking Conference’ may not be as huge and widely familiar compared to its competing events in London or Zurich, but a carefully picked lineup and its close atmosphere make it quite an attractive destination for product people.

Let’s take a brief recap.

Speaker’s Dinner

We were taken to a lovely location in the city center of Lisbon (quite late, but typical for southern Europe). The organizers did rent a whole restaurant and did form seating arrangements for all speakers and sponsors spread across seven large tables.
We got served incredibly delicious food (tapas style with way too many courses) and had an excellent opportunity to mingle exchange our backgrounds.

It was upon us to end the evening early to get enough sleep before an early check-in at the venue.

The Venue

Similarly to PMF, the event took place in a massive public building in which the regular usage continued throughout the day. But this time, it was at a university, which caused quite a different (positive) vibe throughout the venue.
The big (lecturing?) room provided an excellent stage for having a whole series of great talks throughout the day.

My personal favorite of the venue was the dedicated backstage room for the speakers were you could get some work done in between the sessions or walk through your slides just one more time.

Not exactly part of the venue, but Productized gets quite a bonus for being in one of the prettiest and warmest(!) cities in Europe.

The Talks

Even though I was able to attend more talks compared to PMF, I’ll only pick three of my favorites to share with you. For the slides and full recordings of the presentations, make sure to follow Productized on Medium where the great team behind the conference will continue to share those over the coming weeks.

Rian van der Merwe –  How to build successful products by prioritizing team happiness above everything else 
Rian gave some great insights into the pitfalls and challenges when you try to put team happiness first. Because in the end, this is what’s needed to build (and ultimately ship) a great product. The best insights came from a similar development cycle approach Basecamp applied, how they handle remote work and a great argument why Product Managers are sometimes so uncertain about their identity.

Productized Conference 2017 Rian van der Merwe - How to build successful products by prioritizing team happiness above everything else
Rian van der Merwe – How to build successful products by prioritizing team happiness above everything else

Emily R. Batt – The best of both worlds: combining innovation strategies from hardware and software development 
Every time I think I have a rough idea how hard hardware development is compared to software talks like Emily’s remind of that difficulty. Especially her structure of comparing those two domains by factors like scaling, prototyping or distribution was entertaining.


Jordan Brown – No Obstacles: Building Your Product-Centered Delivery Culture
I like this upcoming ‘trend’ of product people taking more and more care (and responsibility) for overall company culture aspects. Stories on how to change culture are even more entertaining from a well-skilled consultant’s perspective like Jordan. It’s not only about the classic culture clash of agile-minded folks consulting at traditional companies, but also about forming cohesive teams within those organizations to spread the change – Starting with the product.

Should you attend Productized 2018?

I think that Productized found its niche – both time- and size-wise. It is not a whole ecosystem like MTP or PMF have become over time, but it has its charm. The one-day conference program is very concise compared to having to pull yourself out of daily business for two days in total.
Like every (product) conference these days, Productized is also accompanied by a set of workshops just the day before.

If you’re looking for a (short) break from the usual buzz in Q4, I’d highly recommend to check out Lisbon next year for meeting up with product leaders over tapas and an Espresso at Productized 2018.