Maker Matters - November 2021

  • 9 November 2021
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Maker Matters - November 2021
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Welcome to the November edition of Maker Matters, a monthly digest about our Product Makers community.

Product thought

My Apple Magic Mouse battery died today while I was trying to show a colleague something. Because the charging port is on the bottom of the mouse you can’t use it while it charges, so I then had to spend some time moving stuff around on my desk to get my laptop where I could use the trackpad instead. While I don’t run into this often when I do it feels like a bad product. As Scott Berkun once wrote, “No one makes bad products on purpose, and yet we have so many of them in our lives”. My guess is Apple never intended to build a bad mouse, but they forgot about the customer at the other end of it who’s really just trying to get some work done and now can’t.

As Hubert Palan, our CEO said at the Web Summit this past week “Building exceptional product experiences requires a deep understanding of the people we are building the products for. And the better we understand them the better the products we can build for them.”

As each of us is working to craft plans for 2022, don’t lose sight of what’s important — the people we’re building for. Be empathetic, do the work to understand your user’s needs, prioritize what’s important to them and engage them in defining solutions that truly solve those needs and challenges in the best way possible. That’s what Product Excellence is all about.

Community updates

Our growing community team

A warm welcome to @michelle.fifis who’s joining us as our new Community Specialist and to our first cohort of Product Makers Ambassadors — @ashivory @Hasso @Niels Vynckier and @david.morgan. We’re excited to have you all here and helping our community to continue to grow and improve.


We have some great product events coming up:

  • November 17 - Petra Wille, Product Coach and author of the book Strong Product People, will introduce us to some of the coaching tools and essential leadership skills she uses to help leaders coach, grow and empower their teams. If you’re leading a product team or even part of one, this will be a great event for you.

  • December 2 - Mark Tan, formerly Director of Product at Wyze and now building and sharing his own community-driven product practices, will share how best to collect, prioritize, and build a tight feedback loop with your community and co-design your products with them.

  • January 12 - Ethan Beute will be talking with us about Human-Centered Communication (also the title of his new best-selling book) and how best to generate attention, build trust, and create engagement when communicating — an important topic for anyone working cross-functionally and especially important as a skill for product managers.

We’ll have recordings available afterwards as well should you not be able to attend. And look for more great speakers and events coming in 2022! If you’re interested in getting involved and sharing your product experiences and expertise with our community, find our how you can become a speaker.


Our Product Makers community has been nominated as Best New Community for the 2022 Community Industry Awards. If you haven’t yet, go vote for us.

Our annual Product Excellence Summit happened October 26-27 and you can check out all the recordings and talks if you missed them including sessions with global product leaders on best practices, working cross-functionally, customer-centricity, creating amazing product cultures and teams, and scaling for successfully as you grow.

Great questions and conversations to check out

Recent Productboard updates

Lots of new features and improvements launched as well by our Productboard team including:

And if you didn’t get a chance to catch SK’s Productboard Product Keynote and Demo at our Product Excellence Summit, do check it out. And our Productboard portal has all the details on what’s next and what we’re thinking about!

Featured Makers

October 4 we featured Rachel Rubinstein (Technical Product Manager at Oxford Nanopore Technologies) and Darren Smith (Head of Product Management at Blue Chip Customer Engineering). We have some additional ones planned over the rest of this year and as always, if you’d like to be a Featured Maker, read our guide.

Did you know?

Did you know that our community search engine includes content from our community topics as well as Productboard’s support knowledge base in Zendesk? You can easily locate the content you need using on simple search and drill down further by source, topic type, category, or tag. Learn more about our community search.


And last, but not least, a shoutout to our top community members this past month. Your conversions, questions, and contributions are appreciated! @david.morgan @Niels Vynckier @Andrew Fragias @Samkay @ashivory @Hasso @jrmatthews @darren.smith @ddonat @danielleb @Flo @abourjaily @Rob Hatch @BeHappy503

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