Design Thinking and the Product Manager Role | Davide Scalzo (II)

Apr 12, 2017 by Magda Zucker in  Speaker Profile

Davide Scalzo, Product Manager Octopus Lab, speaking at Product Leaders 2017, just got interviewed by our colleague, Steliana Moraru, Event Manager. 

Read on to discover his professional experience, lessons learned and challenges met along the way. This is the second part of the interview. Read the first part here.

Steliana: Which of the tools you use as Product Manager are your favorites?

Davide: I’m not particularly married to a specific toolset, I am more of a process person who would pick the right tool to fit the process that we need. And different teams require different processes (different tasks, different personalities and different business needs). However, there are a couple of things I couldn’t live with, filters on Gmail are a life saver, Google Spreadsheet (yes, I said spreadsheets) is one of the most flexible tools out there for pretty much any task, Fullstory to track user behaviour and Slack.

The Product manager role is first and foremost a communication role, you need to ensure that everybody is on the same page, Slack provides an awesome way to communicate and by setting up a good team structure you can manage information loads on different team members very efficiently.

Steliana: In your session at Product Leaders (un)Conference, you will share more about Design Thinking. Can you give a sneak peek into the content?

Davide: My session will be introing Design Thinking methodology, it’s not a new concept by any means and potentially will sound similar to other concepts you might have heard before. What I’d like to do is share some stories of how it helped me in the past delivering on targets or recovering from a bad decision.

Steliana: In your opinion, how does design thinking helps companies and how does it lead to innovation in the product field? 

Davide: Embracing Design Thinking allows companies to see product more as a discovery process than an execution function. Focusing on your customers/audiences, you first need to understand what their frustration and motives are and build the hypotheses on those insights. Lots of businesses or managers within businesses think in terms of solutions rather than problems, this is bad as it can (and does) lead to solutions that solve non-existing problems!

Steliana:Recommend 3 sources you find inspiration from

Davide: There are a few websites that open by default on my browser, Mindtheproduct, a great community of product managers across the world, Product Hunt, to stay up to speed with the company launches, and TechCrunch, cause industry gossips are fun!

Steliana: Is there something you would like to share and we didn’t ask? 

Davide: I could talk for hours about whiskey, and the latest business idea I thought about. But let’s keep those for the networking sessions at Product Leaders!

Want to meet Davide and ~200 tech product practitioners? Join today Product Leaders (un)Conference, 8-9 June, Bucharest, Romania!

The Buffer way to happy customers (I)

Jan 18, 2017

Our colleague, Monica Obogeanu, product manager at Mozaic Labs, sat down with Thomas to talk about his recent experience at Buffer. After joining Buffer as a researcher and doing plenty of customer development work, Thomas transitioned to the onboarding team, where he does various research and UX tasks to improve the first-time experience of Buffer customers.

Thomas shares about the way they work and different roles at Buffer. Read on for interesting learnings along the way, useful tools for a product manager, and much more. This is the first part of the interview. Read here the second part.

The Origins of the Product Manager vs Product Owner Dilemma

May 09, 2017

Gabriel Steinhardt, founder and CEO Blackblot, speaking at Product Leaders 2017, just got interviewed by our colleague, Steliana Moraru, Event Manager. 

Read on to discover his professional experience, lessons learned and challenges met along the way. 

Steliana: You are Blackblot’s founder and CEO, as well as the developer of the Blackblot Product Manager’s Toolkit® (PMTK) product management methodology. Why did you choose a career in this field? 

The Buffer way to happy customers (II)

Jan 31, 2017

Thomas Dunn, Product Researcher at Buffer, shared in the first part of the interview more about Buffer’s visions, working with data & tools to understand the customers and useful tools for a product manager. Read on for the second part of this interview, made by Monica Obogeanu, product manager MozaicLabs.

MO: Is there an error that you made, based on a wrong assumption? Or a sort of red flag that any product manager should keep in mind when doing research?

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