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Revolutionize Product Management with Michael Sacca at the Product + Design Conference

Michael Sacca is no stranger to ITX. He’s a 2-time Product Momentum podcast guest and co-hosts a podcast with our good friend Mike Belsito from Product Collective. Now, Michael is leading a keynote at the ITX 2024 Product + Design Conference.

Alongside our 2024 keynote speakers Michael will share learnings and insights garnered from a robust product career. He held various positions in various organizations at different growth stages. His journey through various roles has not only enriched his expertise but also presented him with countless opportunities for growth.

We spoke with Michael back in 2020 during an episode of Product Momentum. He sat down with hosts Sean Flaherty and Paul Gebel to discuss the Product Manager’s prime directive. Their conversation delved into many different aspects, including the constant evolution of product design and the most common cause of product failure. It was near the end of the conversation that our hosts experienced a pleasant, unique surprise.

When asked about his favorite book, or a book he recommended for product managers, Michael’s answer was The Social History of the Machine Gun by John Ellis. The novel describes how as a society we arrived at the machine gun as a form of deadly warfare. In particular, the section Michael brought attention to was how the decisions and evolution of the machine gun and the increasing destructive nature of it were conscious decisions we made as humans and as a society.

He highlighted the parallels in the novel to the parallels of being a product manager and product leader, noting that as product managers we make decisions every day that affect the product and the customers that will use the product. We understand what needs to be done, to satisfy the requirements of the product we’re creating – but are we making changes that are necessary? The update to a product means it won’t go back to the version it was before, and it could have a positive or negative impact. But regardless, there will be an impact.

It wasn’t something our podcast hosts were expecting at the time. Before the conversation, it clearly didn’t belong on a bookshelf containing product management theory books. Host Sean Flaherty noted that it is our job to ensure we’re making software products that will change people’s lives for the better. And when we see decisions that don’t seem to help, or decisions that manipulate vs inspire the end user, we’ve moved off from our prime directive. It was an enlightening conversation, one that has stayed with us for nearly four years.

Michael’s upcoming appearance as a keynote speaker this June promises to be an extension of the thought-provoking dialogue we experienced during our podcast episode with him. His ability to draw parallels between societal evolution and the intricate decisions faced by product managers underscores his unique perspective. As we eagerly anticipate his insights into navigating the ever-changing landscape of product development, we’re reminded of the responsibility we hold to ensure that our decisions align with the prime directive of enhancing users’ lives. 

Learn A Unique Approach To Product Management

Join us on Keynote Day to learn from Michael Sacca, John Maeda, and more.

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Megan Lawson is a Marketing Content Specialist at ITX. She focuses on creating content that solves problems and engages audiences. Megan received her BA in Communication from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

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