5 Product Talks You Can’t Miss at IT Arena 2021

August 16, 2021

IT Arena 2021 kicks off in less than two months! To make sure you’re well acquainted with the agenda beforehand, we continue introducing our speakers to you. This time, we’ll focus on product track speakers: the eighth edition of IT Arena will unite experts from Microsoft, Remote, Airbnb, Headspace, GoCompare, and others. Let’s take a deeper look at what topics some of the talks will feature and how you can implement some of the insights at work. Remember, you can ask speakers questions in real-time through our event’s software as well as meet like-minded people from the industry at the event’s offline afterparties. Get prepared!  

Building products with a remote team by Job Van Der Voort, CEO at Remote

The world is still getting used to working remotely, and there’s probably no better person to talk about the benefits and pitfalls of the remote work mode than Job Van Der Voort, CEO and co-founder of Remote. The company offers international payroll, benefits, and compliance services for distributed employees and contractors. Remote makes it possible to employ anyone, anywhere. At his IT Arena 2021 talk, Job will focus on how to make hiring top talent globally easier and more straightforward and help remote product teams work more efficiently. Fully remote workforces enjoy a host of advantages over traditional teams, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to build. Job’s principles are based on two facts: the first is that no one can expect people to work at a particular time, given they’re likely to be in a different timezone; hence, working asynchronously is necessary to function. The second one is that information can’t only exist in the heads of people: the employees needed in a particular moment might be asleep, that is why everything has to be written down. IT Arena 2021 participants will also learn how to scale remote teams, build a sustainable remote culture, and what to expect when the company makes the switch.

How to Product Manage Your Mental Health by Beth Anne Katz, Product Manager at Microsoft

Beth Anne Katz is an analytic and passionate technical product manager at Microsoft with seven years of experience delivering complex products on a global scale. At IT Arena 2021, Beth Anne will continue to educate and help others to deal with mental health issues, the spread of which has become even more acute these days as people intentionally isolate themselves to protect each other from the adverse health risks of COVID-19. Of course, measures like social distancing protect our bodies from harm, but as Katz is quick to point out, at a time like this, it’s vital also to protect our mental well-being too. Beth Anne Katz herself has struggled with mental health issues and depression. Sharing her life story with Microsoft helped her realize that her knowledge can be vital to others. At IT Arena, Beth Anne will share her own experience about how and when therapy might not work and how to navigate mental health needs at your workplace. Katz’s main goal is to chase dreams for the sake of personal mental health while simultaneously spreading information to break down barriers and promote the importance of mental health.

The What & Why of Continuous Discovery by Teresa Tores, Product Discovery Coach at Product Talk

Teresa Torres teaches a structured and sustainable approach to continuous discovery that helps product teams infuse daily product decisions with customer input. This fall, Teresa, product discovery coach and the author of the book Continuous Discovery Habits, will unpack some ideas behind a cross-functional team-based approach to continuous product discovery. Her key goal is to help product teams engage with customers, learn from them, and incorporate customer feedback into ongoing product decisions. This talk will bring an understanding of what the experimental mindset is and how it works. Teresa is assured that to experiment well, people have to be prepared to be wrong and focus on learning from failed experiments. Otherwise, decision-making is not an easy process is a doubt. Join this talk to get hands-on insights about continuous discovery. 

Decision-making in product by Colleen Graneto, product leader, coach, instructor, and advisor at Airbnb

Colleen Graneto, product leader at Airbnb, describes herself as “the conductor of your orchestra, bringing all the people and pieces together to execute seamlessly and create beautiful music that captivates our audience.” With her talk about decision-making, Colleen will look at learning and doing things that don’t scale. Graneto brings over the thought that all planning and research people do during iteration is a waste of time. Everyone must start a business on their own, earn nothing and then learn what people are interested in buying. Demonstrating real-life cases, Colleen will show the attendees that the phrase “move fast and break things” was not created for doing business. It is more like “move carefully and don’t kill people.” The best way to make sure Coleen has a point is to join her IT Arena talk this October.  

Magic Goggles: the tools you need to see whether your team will succeed or fail by Sally Foote, VP of Marketing & Product at GoCompare & Look After My Bills

Sally Foote is a senior executive with over 20 years of digital experience specializing in product innovation. She operates at the strategic execution level creating business visions and goals and translating these into executable products that deliver tangible value for organizations and their customers. At IT Arena 2021, Sally Foote will discuss the magic goggles she uses to spot teams’ success and the tools to get a team back on track. She has worked in media organizations for most of her career, playing a lead role in some of the sector’s largest, transformative digital product launches (including the award-winning Times and Sunday Times paywall and BT Sport). Sally can explain how people can don the magic goggles and work out whether the team will prosper. Don’t miss a chance to learn some tips which can help the company grow. 

In addition, Kirsten Mann, Chief Product Officer at Prospection, and Frank Bach, Lead Product Designer at Headspace, and others will join the Product track lineup this year. Stay tuned to be among the first to learn about lineup updates!