#ProductSF 2016

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Product Guy. I have worked on Twitter, Facebook Connect, Zazzle, LinkedIn, RealPlayer. Partner at Greylock, looking for crazy new things.
10 mins ago

#ProductSF 2016

In my time at Greylock, one of the things I’ve been most excited about is building a strong community of product builders across our network. In my 10+ years as a product manager, I realized that I rarely had a chance to connect with product managers and leaders from other companies and learn from them. One of the things we’ve done to improve this was create a product community, a group of product folks who meet quarterly to discuss what’s working (and not working) on their teams and what they’ve learned from it. Another thing we’ve done is host #ProductSF, an event for founders and company-builders to get to know each other and open a dialogue about how to create better products.

At #ProductSF 2016, we invited some of the best minds in product to speak and share both tactical advice and personal anecdotes from their experience scaling some of today’s largest and fastest growing tech companies. I’m excited that today we’ll be sharing these talks more broadly, and the speaker sessions are now available to watch on our YouTube channel. In a few weeks, we’ll also make these sessions available on podcast.

Below are the talks from #ProductSF this year. Whether you are a PM, founder, or someone who wants to learn more about building great consumer products, I think you will find the content useful and inspiring. Please enjoy:

Musical.ly co-founder and co-CEO Alex Zhu takes us through his journey coming from an enterprise software background to starting an education startup and then pivoting into Musical.ly. He talks about how they figured out why Musical.ly downloads shot up every Thursday in the early days, and why App Store optimization was a key early growth hack for them. And then we talked about how to build an influencer network — comparing it to planning a centralized economy.

My partner at Greylock and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman offers a candid perspective on lessons learned from getting LinkedIn going and then scaling it beyond. He explains why he had conviction for social networks in the early 2000s and gives the scoop on his first (not as successful) startup Socialnet. We then went through how he and his team navigated their financing strategy, and what he did to build his relationship with Jeff Weiner before bringing him on as the LinkedIn CEO.

Nextdoor Co-Founder and VP of Marketing & Operations Sarah Leary talks about the journey of pivoting from FanBase to Nextdoor. She shares both the emotions and learnings their team took away from the pivot, and how they eventually identified the burning need for a social network for neighborhoods. Sarah highlights the importance of creating a product that is a “need to have” versus a “nice to have” and why it’s key to do unscalable things in the early stages of building community products.

Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann sat down with my partner Sarah Tavel to talk about the evolution of his roles as both CEO and product leader at a high growth company. I loved hearing about how Ben has evolved his process around product reviews to ensure involvement with his team. Ben shared how he thinks about distribution, hiring and scaling teams, and what makes a strong product manager.

Growth expert and managing partner at NFX Guild James Currier gave one of my favorite talks I’ve seen from him. He talked all about growth and implored us to unlearn what we have learned about scaling a business. He provides eight counter-intuitive examples for ways to think about growing and developing an early product.

Nir Eyal, the author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products” dives into the psychology behind building technology that creates consumer habits. He summarizes his four-step Hook canvas (Trigger, Action, Reward, Investment) and reminds us that it’s not the best product that wins — the winner will be the product that forms the monopoly of the mind.

Android is pretty dominant outside the us. We had Google Group Product Manager Ellie Powers share some of the “secrets” behind building and growing quickly on Android and Google Play. For example, Google offers a remote testing feature to try your app across many configurations of Android phones — beats having a drawerful in your office.

dScout CEO Michael Winnick shares his eye opening research on how people interact with mobile technology. According to him, an average user touches their phone 2.5K times a day over 90 sessions, while a heavy user can reach over 4.6K touches a day in 300+ sessions. Another interesting point: apps owned by Facebook and Alphabet account for 43% of all touches. A lot of interesting data and insight into how often we interact with our phones.

We believe Augmented Reality is going to be a massive new platform over the next decade. We wanted product builders to start thinking about the implications. Scott Erickson takes us behind the scenes to the vision and design thinking that went into building Microsoft HoloLens. He demos the many applications that their untethered “mixed reality” technology can have for different industries.

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    Go to the profile of Josh Elman

    Josh Elman

    Product Guy. I have worked on Twitter, Facebook Connect, Zazzle, LinkedIn, RealPlayer. Partner at Greylock, looking for crazy new things.

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    Greylock Partners backs entrepreneurs who are building disruptive, market-transforming consumer and enterprise software companies.

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