14 Can’t Miss Conferences for Product Leaders
Product managers, product leaders, and product executives have no shortage of educational opportunities. From books, podcasts, and blogs to earning certificates and joining online...
There is no shortage of prominent male product leaders populating social media with their wisdom. But well-rounded product managers should be hearing from a diverse chorus of voices (for the sake of this blog we’ll be focusing on women in product leadership).
No two product managers are the same. That’s why we need to curate our feed and follow the best and brightest, which also provides a unique perspective on the evolving product landscape.
To help you make the most of the Twitterverse, here are seven women in product management that I admire and think are worthy of a follow (and probably some future retweets as well):
Who is she: She’s a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and the former Head of Product, Growth at Slack. After getting her start in the video game industry, she’s continuing to break down barriers and help other product women to follow in her footsteps by founding Women in Product, where female product leaders can discuss relevant issues and experiences with each other.
Why I follow her: Merci has a great perspective on what it’s like to be a woman in technology and these pepper her posts. She’s insightful and positive, and there’s a great balance between nuggets of wisdom and more personal anecdotes.
She said it: “I’ve seen so many really beautiful, useful products with exactly the same use case and target market. It’s evident that past that bar, only go-to-market matters.”
What to expect on her feed: There’s a mix of evergreen wisdom and more topical threads, and it is always informative and positive. She’s since gotten into the money side of the business, and she’s still very connected to product management and is still building products while she’s at it.
Who is she: She’s a veteran of Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr that’s now helping entrepreneurs at SamsungNEXT. And as a widely published author and TEDx speaker, she knows how to craft a sentence or two.
Why I follow her: Bo wants to help people be successful and this comes across in her feed on a regular basis. She draws on her deep well of experience and isn’t afraid to talk about the failures and bumps along the way that everyone encounters. It’s nice to see someone empower others by sharing her connections and spreading her knowledge.
She said it: “My lifetime goal is to prove out to other women that you can stay nice and still effective powerful. That keeping the human parts of yourself and showing vulnerability is a personal moat. That when they go low you go high. I want to debunk the myth of the nice girl!”
What to expect on her feed: There’s a fun assortment of empowering statements, practical advice, commentary on big happenings in tech and the occasional slice of personal life. Also, a lot of inspiring posts about the experience and rewards of mentor-mentee relationships.
Who is she: Julie went from being the first intern at Facebook in 2006 to its VP of product design. The Stanford grad also published the book The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You this year.
Why I follow her: Julie writes a lot of great essays on topics ranging from “How to Talk About Yourself in the Best Positive Way” to “10 questions I wish I’d asked more to turbocharge my career” and her feed is a great way to make sure you don’t miss one. Her general tone is always about how to improve what you’re doing rather than pointing out what you’re doing wrong.
She said it: “Valuing diversity means valuing disagreement. But I know many people (including myself, sometimes) who want to pursue the former while avoiding the latter. Disagreeing may be uncomfortable, but done respectfully it leads to better outcomes.”
What to expect on her feed: Julie’s feed is full of great ideas for self-reflection to help product leaders pause and positively evaluate how they can be better. It’s your go-to resource for product and career motivation.
Who is she: Founder & CEO of Produx Labs, frequent speaker, and author of Escaping the Build Trap, Melissa founded the Product Institute and is committed to both educating product managers and educating the world about product management, making sure that Agile and Scrum doesn’t diminish their role.
Why I follow her: Melissa stands by her convictions and isn’t afraid to go on a tweetstorm to get her point across. She actively engages with others on Twitter so you can eavesdrop on these dialogs, and she is comfortable telling leaders that they need to change.
She said it: “So if you want your business to succeed in today’s world, you need to see your #prodmgmt team as more than tech. It’s about bringing your business into a technical world. Delivering value continuously, in ways you couldn’t imagine before. That’s what we do.”
What to expect on her feed: A lot of back-and-forth conversations with others in the industry, great links to interesting reads, many musings about coffee, tales from her travels, and some inspirational GIFs.
Who is she: Teresa is Product Discovery Coach at Product Talk, where she helps companies like CarMax, Spotify, and Tesco turn research into action. She previously worked at AfterCollege, Become.com, and HighWire Press, along with serving as CEO of Affinity Circles.
Why I follow her: Teresa focuses heavily on research, discovery, and experimentation and she shares really detailed, actionable ideas. I find that the concept of continuous research and discovery is essential today given how quickly the market changes and behaviors evolve.
She said it: “Opportunity assessment and prioritization decisions are ‘two-way door’ decisions: You can always turn around and walk back through the door. You want to move fast because you’ll learn more by acting than waiting.”
What to expect on her feed: Links to great reads along with a steady flow of her own insights, philosophy, and advice— even select slides from her amazing presentations. There are so many great ideas about customer interviews you’ll want to schedule more of your own after every tweet.
Who is she: CEO and Co-Founder at Dark, Ellen previously worked at Lola, Kickstarter, and on Office Mobile. She’s also a startup advisor and investor who has even written a book on product management.
Why I follow her: As a woman in product leading a company that’s creating developer tools, Ellen is a pioneer in her industry. Her excitement for the whole process and cheerleading for teams is inspiring, although she’s not afraid to talk about the less glamorous parts.
She said it: “I have actively detested the notion of greeting “boys and girls” instead of children in kindergarten for years. I fear that pointing out the difference was part of what caused girl children to identify with teachers and internalize their math anxiety.”
What to expect on her feed: Anecdotes about being a founder, opinions on other products, commentary on gender issues, and lots of insights into her personal life and experience.
Who is she: She’s the Head of Product for Youtube VR & AR and has lately been shepherding the debut of Major League Baseball broadcasts on the platform. She recently brought home the 2019 BET Her Tech Maven Award and has been a pioneer since her undergrad days as the only black woman in her year studying electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan.
Why I follow her: Erin is a pioneer in so many ways. Not only is she breaking down barriers as a prominent leader for one of the biggest companies in the world—but she’s also crashing the party in the sports arena. With the endless possibilities of marrying streaming video, sports, augmented reality, and virtual reality, she is on the cutting edge of where entertainment is heading.
She said it: “Recognize and embrace your uniqueness. Being a Black woman, being a woman in general, on a team of all men, means that you are going to have a unique voice. It’s important to embrace that.”
Now go forth and follow the women in product leaders of today and tomorrow. If you’re looking for more resource recommendations, check out our ultimate guide to resources for product professionals, and take a look at our 8 Blogs Product Managers Should Bookmark Immediately.