The Product. The Whole Product. And Nothing But the Whole Product.

Looking Back to Look Forward in 2018

leave a comment »

Product Management Today Best Article

The year is winding down. Perhaps you have a crackling fireplace going. Perhaps there is a beautifully decorated tree in the corner with boxes of gifts around it, all waiting to be opened. As you sip or swill that eggnog, or your favorite beverage, it’s as good a time as any to ask – So…what does a product leader look forward to in 2018?

Really? I hear a groan in my own head. Can’t we just enjoy this time of the year without talking shop? We delivered great products this year. Net Promoter Score (NPS) from customers was very high. Business results were great. Can’t we just kick back and savor the feeling? ‘Tis the season, you know, so what gives?

Fair point. But here we are. Done in by the habit. The habit of looking ahead. We are a tribe of innovators and roadmappers, after all. So let’s try and make this useful rather than just stating the perennial obvious, e.g. in 2018, product managers need to be (even more) customer centric, or Agile. Been there, done that. Right? Right?!!

Let’s also not go down the path of the “Top 10” list. Gartner has defined the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018.  


With due respect to Gartner, it has all the technology buzzwords you might expect. Organizations like Gartner have a unique vantage point from which to gaze into the crystal ball. If you are curious, here were Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017. It reminds me of the game where you see two nearly identical images and have to spot the differences. Very hard to tell!

But what does this mean to us, simple product folk who are trying to build great products for our customers?

What do we look forward to the most?

When I ask this question to current and aspiring product leaders, one recurring theme emerges – LEARN

Learn as much as we can about customers, their challenges. Learn about emerging technologies that keep coming at us, and how they relate to customer scenarios. Learn how to effectively govern our products, engage cross-functional stakeholders. Learn how machines learn! The list goes on.

Learn to unlearn & unlearn to learn!

At the Institute of Product Leadership, it is no secret that we love to learn. Moreover, we strongly believe in Learning By DOING and Learning From People Who DO.

source: enspire


We invite senior executives and experts as guest speakers on our popular Product Leaders webinar series and our Industry Connect Boardroom to Classroom series of lectures on campus to share their knowledge with the community. They help us to look forward.

Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.”

So we decided to look back to some of our popular content of 2017, in case you happened to miss. These are in a variety of areas such as innovation, data science, leadership, product management best practices, strategy, design thinking and go-to-market. We’ve also listed a few articles we liked.

We are extremely grateful to all our esteemed executive guest speakers for sharing their knowledge, experience and time with the Product Leaders community.

Hope you settle into a comfortable chair and enjoy learning!

Product Leader Mindset


Product Management is not just for Product Managers
Raj Yavatkar, SVP of Products, VMWare

Don’t Treat Your Education as an Insurance Policy
Kunal Shah, Founder, FreeCharge



Structured Ideation: The Pathway to Innovation
Naveen Lakkur, Cofounder, Values Centered Innovation

Disrupting the Linear
Punit Soni, ex-Google, Motorola, Flipkart

Isaac Asimov asks, “How do People Get New Ideas?”

MIT Technology Review

Design Thinking & UX

Design Thinking for Datasource: Hunter Whitney, Design Strategist, Instructor, Author

5 UX Design Tips Every Product Leader Should Know
Dr. Wayne Neale, GrowthX

Product Development

Screen Shot 2017-12-20 at 11.26.56 PM

What Product Leaders Need to Know About DevOps
Rajesh Raheja, VP Products, CA Technologies

Dual Track Agile – Reality & Hype
Bhushan Shinkre, Product Leader, Amazon

How to Prioritize When Everything is Important
Manisha Gupta, Sr. Director Product Management, Oracle

Emerging Technologies

Product Management in the Era of Data Sciencesource: Mandar Parikh, VP Product Management, Entytle

How AI and ML are Driving GE’s Digital Transformation

Go to Market & Growth Hacking

source: wikipedia

Product Launch Best Practices – Lessons from Silicon Valley
Michael Eckhardt, Managing Director, Chasm Institute

The Power of Thought Leadership
Jamie Barnett, ex-CMO Netskope

Product Manager for Growth – A New Role
Jason Meresman, ex-VP Products,

source: shareicon.netStrategy & Business Model

A Product Leader’s Playbook for Wicked Hard Decisions
Gib Biddle, ex-VP Products, Netflix

Reinventing Your Business Model
Clayton Christensen (Harvard Business Review)

Leadership Skillssource:

Effective Frameworks for Memorable & Persuasive Presentations
Nathan Gold, DEMO Coach

Scaling High Growth Organizations
Asif Iqbal, VP Product Management & Engineering, Sunrun


If you came across an article that you truly enjoyed reading and learnt from, do share it in the comments below! Let’s continue to help each other learn as we go.

Our next webinar is on January 9, 2018 with Sagar Apte, CEO of CarIQ, a connected car platform. Sagar will discuss “Does Product Management Adequately Prepare You for a CEO role?” See you there!

Happy Holidays & Wish You the Best in 2018 from all of us at the Institute!


Written by Rahul Abhyankar

Dec 20, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Posted in Product Management

Share Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s