Reliving Pendomonium 2023: Day two highlights

Published Oct 20, 2023
Day two of Pendomonium was full of even more insights, connections, and festival surprises.

Coming out of an action-packed (and ultra pink) first day, day two of Pendomonium 2023 kicked off bright and early on Thursday morning. Whether you were here with us in Raleigh or following along at home, here’s a look at some of the top highlights from day two of the product festival of the year.

The morning: Using data to build people-centric products

After some breakfast and mingling out on the plaza, attendees headed inside to start the day with a keynote from Quincy Olatunde (VP of Products, Direct-to-Consumer, Peacock). Olatunde discussed taking an audience-first approach to innovation and why product managers should leverage data to create people-centric products. 

Olatunde explained his product philosophy using the metaphor of a three-legged stool that’s made up of the interface, the platform, and the data. He explained, “It’s not just about the user experience, it’s also the platform that holds it up and the data—which I consider to be the life blood [of a product].”

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t grow it.”

Quincy Olatunde

Since your audience is an extension of what you as a product manager are building, audience-first innovation is all about delighting that community. Olatunde shared three key areas of focus in order to achieve this:

  1. Empathetic product design and development
  2. Good data strategy and practice
  3. Balanced innovation with ethics and compliance

The biggest takeaway? Product managers need to instill empathy into their products. As Olatunde put it: “Let’s move into a future where our technical solutions are essential, empathetic companions to our users.”

The morning also included live recordings of the Product Momentum Podcast. To kick things off, Todd Olson (CEO and Co-founder at Pendo) and Trisha Price (Chief Product Officer at Pendo) joined the podcast to discuss AI’s power and potential for product management—and why it isn’t a magic bullet. Product managers have to take a practical approach and use AI to better understand their customers and solve real problems.

Olson and Price were also asked what innovation means to them. “To me, innovation is solving a problem in a way that no one else has done before,” Price shared.

We closed out the morning with two breakout session blocks and then headed outside to refuel and get lunch from some of Raleigh’s best food trucks.

The afternoon: AI insights, product-led strategies, and Pendo pro tips

Next up we heard a keynote from Yochai Konig (VP of Machine Learning and AI at Ada) about taking an AI-first approach to product development. Konig walked through three key principles for deploying generative AI in your product:

  1. Set and measure AI’s impact
  2. Align AI with humans
  3. Improve AI continuously

He dug into each principle in detail, for example when it comes to measuring AI’s impact, it’s important to define your north star for AI. Since Ada is a customer service automation platform, Konig shared that their north star is automated resolution.

The rest of the afternoon was full of breakout sessions where attendees learned about everything from leveraging AI and improving customer experiences at scale to optimizing internal tools and getting the most out of Pendo’s features. Here’s a quick rundown of the topics from Thursday’s sessions:

Track 2: Build for a digital-first world

We learned how to use Pendo In-app Guides to reduce dev dependencies and drive ROI, heard how two different teams at U.S. Bank use Pendo to build better customer experiences at scale, dug into selling the value of data, and got expert advice on effectively harnessing the power of Pendo from Nelnet.

Track 3: Accelerate your Pendo initiatives

We explored creating a scalable research insights engine with Pendo, learned why product managers are the key to AI success, saw how to use Pendo In-app Guides to improve digital engagement, and Google Cloud shared how to supercharge product innovation with generative AI.

Track 4: Drive workplace efficiency

We gained insight into how Pendo uses Pendo to elevate the employee experience, learned all about creating a digital adoption center of excellence, heard how Zillow is transforming enterprise technology with product analytics, and explored using behavior insights to improve internal tools.

Track 5: Prove product value

We got lessons on data intelligence, learned how to use customer feedback to build breakaway products, saw the power of Pendo for driving business outcomes, and explored quick big wins with basic Pendo features.

The evening: Christina Tosi and Pendopalooza featuring Big Boi

We ended the day with a networking break (which included a game of Pendo Family Feud out on the plaza) and then a keynote from Christina Tosi (Chef and Founder, Milk Bar). Tosi talked about her journey to building her dessert business from the ground up—and how small tweaks can lead to breakaway experiences.

She shared why she doesn’t see failing as a bad thing—in fact, she sees it as an opportunity. “We as people often focus on our successes, but failures are when we learn how to win.”

“Failing tells me that we’re stretching, we’re innovating, and we’re taking chances.”

Christina Tosi

Tosi also emphasized the importance of staying true to yourself when it comes to building everything from dessert companies to digital products. As she put it, “You break away by being you.”

Finally, we headed outside for Pendopalooza and, most importantly, an epic performance by Big Boi.

After that, Ellie Sax closed out the night along with late night food truck eats, a glitter bar, glow-in-the-dark desserts, and tons of pink accessories from Pendozers and attendees alike.

To all of our Pendomonium attendees: Thank you so much for joining us this year, and we’ll see you in 2024!