Better decisions, better products: Roadmap product conference summary

Jimmy product

Tuesday 5th June in a trendy Hoxton loft saw over 100 attendees for the first product conference hosted by Amplitude. If you couldn’t attend here’s what you missed.

The first speaker was Amplitude CEO Spenser Skates. He’s passionate about the role of product analytics for companies in developing better products for their customers. He spoke about the changing technology landscape when it comes to product analytics. Old methods and tools don’t lend themselves to product analysis and new ways are needed. He predicts companies that focus on lengthy roadmap and shipping code will fall behind those that move quickly and focus on developing features customers want and use.

Spenser splits his approach in to three areas; behavioural science, rapid experimentation and business impact. All three stages require analysis and insights to drive the value. Demonstrating the need to move quickly, Spenser highlighted that it took 8 years for the internet to become adopted by 800 million users. How long did it take for Pokemon Go to hit 800 million downloads? 3 days!   

For a demonstration of product analytics in action, Spenser talked about Intuit and the Quickbooks product. The team at Intuit identified a large drop off in users creating invoices but not sending them - not getting paid. Analysis showed most of these people were using gmail. This led to a gmail plugin being developed which resulted on the largest growth in the company history.

Next up was Adam Warburton, Head of Product at Coop. Adam spoke honestly and passionately about his experiences in product development. The main theme that came through in Adam’s talk was culture. He quoted Peter Drucker; “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, but demonstrated that practically with the holiday test.  Can you go on holiday tomorrow and how would that impact your team. If the team would be fine the culture is good. If the team would fall apart you are strategy led, not culturally led.

 A presentation slide showing that culture is more important than strategy.

Adam spoke about balancing different factors that challenge us pretty much every day. Data trumps opinion, focus on problems not solutions and optimise for learnings not perfect. This last one resonates well with me. I’m a firm believer in learning from what we do. Optimisation should be about failing as well as succeeding and learning at every step of the way.  

For those who still measure team performance on lines of code shipped and throughput, Adam spoke about how he changed the culture of his teams to be more customer focused. Instead of reporting throughput, his teams answer questions like “what did you learn from the last release” and “what was the customer impact”.  

The final session of the conference was a panel discussion. Gadi Lahav (FT) discussed how the FT business model is more like Spotify than a newspaper due to a subscription based model. When speaking on optimisation Gadi said action is really important, learn and move forward. Don’t retest. If you need to retest it probably didn’t work.

Sarah Guha (Starling) revealed how Starling use product analytics to identify which features they develop based on customer usage and impact. She also spoke about the new approaches Starling are bringing to the banking market to challenge the incumbent banks. Working closely with regulators and challenging the status quo in order to deliver a better customer experience.

David Bailey (F1) spoke about the sheer volume of data F1 produces, as a researcher he is passionate about telling data stories. Even complicated data sets should be simplified in to a story that can be used to inform others.

Here at Red Badger we understanding the importance of data and insights to allow our clients to make better decisions and build better products for their customers. If you’d like to know more or discuss how we can help you build a better customer experience get in touch.


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