Maker Matters - October 2021

  • 9 October 2021
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Maker Matters - October 2021
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Welcome to the October edition of Maker Matters, a monthly digest about our Product Makers community. We’ve got a ton to share, so let’s dive in!

Product thought 💭

Seth Godin wrote a great piece this month on the two mistakes around competition. I’m just going to quote it all here as I loved the perspective:

Sometimes we assume that our competitors are far smarter than we are, better informed and harder working.

And sometimes we assume that they’re clueless, lazy and hapless.

Neither is true.

Every product maker, regardless of your role in product, has to consider the competition. It’s simply one of the constraints of business and seldom do you find a company that enjoys a monopoly position.

As Marty Cagan once wrote “​​many companies resort to a cat and mouse game with their competitors. They stress over each other, they chase each other’s features, and they try to market against each other’s weaknesses. All of these responses to me only serve to distract them from what they really need to be doing. What these companies don’t really understand is that customers don’t leave us for our competition; they leave us because we fail to meet their ongoing needs.”

So challenge those assumptions about your competitors, focus on the customer and their needs. No one is smarter, better informed, harder working or clueless, lazy and hapless. They are just better at understanding what their customer’s needs are and at addressing them faster than you.

Community updates ⚡️

Lots of new faces, let’s get active!

If you didn’t notice, September was a fantastic month for our community’s growth. We added 750+ new Product Makers to this community. I want to thank all of you new to our community for taking the time to signup and join us. And for those of you already here, let’s give them all a big welcome and say hello to our numerous new faces.

We’re excited by our continued growth, but we also want your engagement. And there are lots of places you can lean in and help us make this a an even better community. Become a speaker, share your story as a Featured Maker, sign-up to be a Product Makers ambassador, join and contribute to a group, or refer a colleague or friend to the community. And let us know your thoughts and ideas about what you want from this community, we’re here to help shape this into the destination for your journey as a Product Maker.

And if you haven’t yet, do take a moment to introduce yourself (and welcome others that share an introduction if you’re already here), update your profile, and share something with the community -- be it a great product find or read, a question, or a discussion you’d like to have with others in the community. We build community together.

Groups and betas

Our Groups & Betas section has been going through some changes. We’re doing a beta with our community vendor and we’re excited to show off some improvements here in the coming months including a better groups page. So far we’ve made some minor changes to how private groups are displayed, moved our beta programs to the new groups, and now have some handy ways to invite others to groups.

Job postings

We’ve simplified our job postings as well with a new simpler format to make it easier and faster to post and share. Check out this article for more information.

Coming soon to the Product Makers community

Here’s what we’re working on next:

  • Hiring. We’re in the midst of hiring for our first new community team member.

  • Welcoming our first community ambassador cohort. Thanks to everyone that applied, we’ll be in touch shortly as we put the finishing touches on the program.

  • Launching two new programs. These will help us all make community connections both 1:1 and in roundtables.

  • More events. We have a few planned for you as we wrap up our 2021 programming including Petra Wille (product coach and author of Strong Product Makers), Jeff Gothelf (author, speaker and organizational designer and author of Lean UX and Sense and Respond), and Mark Tan (Amazon, Twitch, and Wyze). Keep your eyes posted for registration details.

As we mentioned back in August’s update, we’re also exploring a mentoring program, but don’t yet have enough folks interested. So take a moment to update your profile with your mentoring preferences if this is something you want to be part of.



Our annual Product Excellence Summit is happening October 26-27. You’ll find a fantastic group of product leaders from Figma, Amplitude, LaunchDarkly, Miro, TrueAccord, Fullstory, Loom, Sprout Social, Heap Analytics, Twitter, OutSystems, Twilio Segment, Willow, Calendly, and other product experts sharing how they run product at scale and are building customer-driven products, transforming their organizations, and accelerating the pace of product innovation.

And if you are a Productboard customer you can also join us for our Customer Summit Day on October 25. And if you want to get featured in our Summit video being put together by @winston let us know what inspires you about being a product maker.

We had a great Growing Strong Product Makers event on September 22-24 with nine great speakers. If you missed any sessions, you can read our recap and watch the recordings. And if you attended, take a moment to let us know what you thought of the event via our post-event survey (feedback is like gold around here). Thanks again to @lisamowagner @TheHonorableAt @mattlemay @DanOlsen @eileenwang @PriyaBhatia0210 @Gotothepark @neeraj and @ProductFaculty for sharing their ideas and stories.

Great questions and conversations to check out

Some of our top topics over the past month included:

Recent Productboard updates

Tons of great new features and improvements launched over the past month as well by our Productboard team including:

  • Zooming on roadmaps

  • Insights folder improvements

  • Grain integration

  • Favourite collections

  • Time Horizons roadmap

  • Microsoft Teams integration

  • New Labs features including fast and mobile-friendly features, roadmap comments, and a fun way to see who’s visited your timeline roadmap (get your Productboard Admin to turn these on for your team)

Check out our product updates for more details. And visit our Productboard portal for more information on what’s next and what we’re thinking about!

Featured Makers

If you haven’t yet checked out our Featured Makers yet, take a moment to meet some of our community members. Our recent ones featured Vreni Luck from Frontify and Darren Smith from Blue Chip Customer Engineering and be sure to catch our first one with David Morgan from GrowPath. If you’d like to be a Featured Maker, read our guide.

Workflow Wednesday and Customer Education events

We’ve just started a new weekly series called Workflow Wednesday. Our wonderful customer success coaches (@ligiaaugusto @Jake Sawyer and @CoachCarter) will be sharing short video-based tips and tricks each week to help you get the most from Productboard. You can find them all here. And speaking of learning and education, do check out our great lineup of October Customer Education events.

Login changes

And finally, if you missed our September Maker Matters digest, a reminder that we’ve added the ability to log in to the community via Productboard. You can access from the sign-in by clicking the Login with Productboard button. And if you don’t use one of our single sign-on methods when logging into the community, you can now sign in using your email address or your username to log in.

Did you know? 🙋🏽‍♀️

You can follow categories or topics to keep abreast of updates in the community? You can also use the Community menu or our stream of community content on the home page to view recent topics and topics needing answers and catch up on anything you’ve missed since your last visit.

Shoutouts 🗣

And last, but not least, a shoutout to our top community members this past month: @david.morgan @Samkay @Courtney.Kisner @samgioia @gavin @brano @MichelleMcbride @Reetarh @benlee and @JShambora. Your conversions, questions, and contributions are appreciated!

Happy Q4 y’all!

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