Reliving Pendomonium 2023: Day one highlights

Published Oct 18, 2023
We just wrapped up an incredible first day of Pendomonium 2023!

From the energy of 1,200+ of you in our hometown of Raleigh, NC, to the inspiration and learnings from today’s keynotes and breakouts, to the connections we’ve already made… this year’s festival is certainly stacking up to be one for the ages.

We’ve already covered a lot of ground during our first full day of Pendomonium—from AI to what’s next in breakaway tech, and leadership skills to product virality. So in case you missed any of the details or were unable to join us live this year (or if you just want to relive all the fun!), here’s a recap of today’s biggest highlights.

We kicked off the day with coffee and connection

Whether you chose to start your day in the (bigger than ever!) Pendo Product Village or Sponsor Village, or by soaking in the excitement outside on the plaza, the energy of Pendomonium was palpable. We got fueled up and caffeinated while making new connections before heading inside for our first keynote of the day.

We learned how AI will accelerate innovation in the age of intelligence

We kicked off the day’s content with a keynote address from Pendo’s leadership team—including Todd Olson (CEO and Co-founder), Trisha Price (CPO), and Brian Walsh (GM, Core Products and Platform). 

Olson opened the address by acknowledging our amazing customers and community. Today, we serve over 10,000 customers and Pendo Free accounts, spanning 115 industries, amounting to 16 trillion cumulative events from almost 800 million end users. All thanks to you! Olson noted that these growing metrics speak to the exponential growth in digital adoption—no matter what field you’re in.

Next, Olson highlighted the rapid rise of generative AI technologies—notably ChatGPT. While these innovations present exciting possibilities for the future of product management, he cautioned that AI is not a “cheat code for building great products,” and that we “can’t all just jump in the deep-end,” because these tools are not without risks and limitations. 

“If I’m hiring AI to do something for my product and my customers, what am I hiring it to do?”
Todd Olson

Naomi Lariviere (Chief Product Owner & VP of Product Management at ADP) then joined Olson on stage to share how ADP, one of the world’s leading cloud-based human capital management solutions, is grounding their AI vision and leveraging AI to drive innovation. Gabi Ghali (IT Director of Service Management & Automation Platforms at Red Hat) also joined Olson to talk about how Red Hat is using AI to help their employees and internal teams be happier and more productive.

Throughout his keynote, Olson also covered topics including:

  • How organizations can think intelligently about how and where to incorporate AI into their products
  • Why it’s critical to ground your AI roadmap in the fundamentals of product management—including focusing on your users’ “jobs to be done”
  • Why it’s important to consider the spectrum of automation in your company’s AI journey
  • How to think about using AI to build long-term competitive advantage with “golden use cases”—not just features that we’ll all soon consider “table stakes”
  • Why it’s important to connect with other members of the product community, so that we can all learn and grow in our AI journeys, together

Finally, Olson introduced Pendo One: Pendo’s new articulation of our application experience platform. With Pendo One, product teams will be able to unify their application experience by bringing together all of their data—quantitative, qualitative, and visual—and using AI to drive automation and uncover insights. He also announced our newest course (in conjunction with Google Cloud and Mind the Product): AI for Product Management—coming soon!

“Your own data is the future of your AI strategy.”
Todd Olson

Trisha Price (CPO, Pendo) then took the stage to discuss why it’s never been more important for product teams to shift their focus from shipping outputs to delivering business outcomes. She also talked about the issues she frequently hears from customers and the community—including a lack of trust in data, difficulties finding signal in the noise, and an inability to take action. She explained that these challenges were some of the core drivers behind Pendo One—namely an investment in the depth of our analytics, and the creation of two brand new, just-announced products: Pendo Session Replay and Pendo Discover.

To learn more about all the new products and features we announced at Pendomonium, check out these in-depth blogs:

Next, Brian Walsh (GM, Core Products and Platform) led a live demonstration of how all these innovations will support customers across the entire lifecycle of building applications—from discovery to launch to continuous iteration—through the experience of a product manager named Pam.

Finally, Olson and Rahul Jain (Founder & GM, Corporate Development) closed out the keynote by announcing this year’s Pendo Customer Award winners. To learn more about the winners and see the innovative ways they’re using Pendo, check out this blog.

“Great product people focus on the fundamentals of product management and delivering customer value.”
Trisha Price

We recharged and chowed down in the sun

After hearing about all the exciting new additions coming to the Pendo platform, we were ready for some lunch. We headed outside to the plaza to eat from some fan-favorite food trucks, network with fellow attendees, and explore the Pendo Product Village in the crisp fall air. 

We dove deep into learning with our breakout tracks

After lunch, we geared up for the festival’s first batch of breakout sessions. Attendees had four learning tracks they could mix-and-match sessions from to build their perfect agenda. Here’s a quick rundown of the topics we heard about today:

Track 1: Lead in product

We gained valuable product management advice from a former teacher, learned how to cultivate empowered and data-informed product teams, got a guide for fostering product advocacy and rallying stakeholders, and gained skills to become stronger product leaders—regardless of authority.

Track 2: Build for a digital-first world

We explored strategies for building an organization-wide product-led standard, heard how The Home Depot is driving digital transformation at scale, learned tactics for creating better customer experiences with analytics and guides, and unpacked what it takes to drive viral, product-led growth.

Track 3: Accelerate your Pendo initiatives

We learned how to leverage Pendo at every step of the lifecycle to drive better customer outcomes, took a closer look at Pendo’s newest products: Pendo Session Replay and Pendo Discover, and got a masterclass in scaling Pendo across the enterprise from the FactSet team.

Track 5: Prove product value

We unpacked the power of analytics and user behavior in informing business investments, learned how S&P Global integrates Pendo data into their BI tools, got advice for overcoming the “DRIP” factor, and heard from a panel of customers about their experiences evolving their orgs from outputs to outcomes.

Tomorrow, we’ll keep the learning going with 16 more breakout sessions, plus the addition of Track 4: Drive workplace efficiency.

We explored the future potential of AI

We wrapped up our content for the day with a fireside chat with Fraser Kelton (VC at Spark Capital and former Head of Product at OpenAI) and Trisha Price (CPO, Pendo). They took a look back on the meteoric rise of ChatGPT, discussed how AI is changing the art and science of product management, and talked about the value and importance of data in the age of intelligence. Kelton also shared his predictions for the future of AI in product, as well as actionable tips for product managers as they rethink how AI will fit into their strategy and roadmap.

“The biggest change in the last year is how much AI has permeated society.”
Fraser Kelton

We unwound with a welcome reception

We closed out a packed day one with a relaxed welcome reception outside on the plaza. We snacked on local treats, mingled with fellow attendees and Pendozers, and toasted to a full day of learning and inspiration.

We can’t wait to see you back at Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts tomorrow for another epic day of learning, connection, and fun… including keynotes from Christina Tosi, Quincy Olatunde, and Yochai Konig; and Pendopalooza, featuring Big Boi!