Model house with cash in chimney

Why product teams should adopt an investor mindset and other key takeaways from ProductCon 2024


Recently, the product team at Hometrack were privileged to attend ProductCon London hosted at the Barbican.

This event brought together a community of product managers, designers and innovators to hear from some of the product experts at leading tech firms from around the world.

Our objective - to learn as much as possible and apply this to enhance how we build products at Houseful.

The conference was a well curated set of keynote speeches and panel discussions to delve into the latest trends, challenges and solutions in product management. One of the most enlightening aspects of the conference was the opportunity to hear firsthand from thought leaders at forefront tech firms. Their stories of overcoming product development hurdles, driving growth and creating user-centric solutions were not only inspirational but also incredibly relatable to our work at Houseful, as we strive to automate and digitise the property purchasing process. I’ll use this post to share some of these key takeaways.

Key Takeaways

Adopting an Investor Mindset

Fabrice des Mazery (Former CPO, Tripadvisor) had the stand out keynote where he challenged conventional thinking by highlighting the importance of profitability and financial awareness in product development, urging product managers to think and act like investors. This also extended to product managers establishing strong partnerships with stakeholders so they too have “skin in the game”. Ultimately, this involved a disciplined approach to allocation of teams and resources, guided by principles such as:

  • Investment Principle: Keeping sight of the ‘why’ behind each feature or product initiative.
  • Capping Principle: Setting limits on the time and resources invested in developing and launching a feature.
  • Portfolio Principle: Maintaining a balanced mix of projects, from quick wins to long-term bets, ensuring a diversified and strategic approach to development.

Adopting these principles within the product organisation allows us to take a disciplined, investment-focused approach, particularly in the context of enhancing the Property Risk Hub. For instance, leveraging the investment principle can lead our team to more critically assess and justify the development of new features, focusing on those that have the most substantial benefits in terms of risk assessment accuracy and operational efficiency. By adopting an investor’s mindset, we are not just building products; we are strategically investing in solutions that promise tangible returns.

Product team principles
Credit: Fabrice des Mazery - Former CPO, Tripadvisor

The Intersection of Tech & Business

A key observation highlighted by Carlos (CEO of Product School - Organisers of ProductCon) was the importance of Product Management in bridging the gap between technology and business teams. Rather than being siloed within just the technology area, Product Management plays a pivotal role in ensuring collaboration across all areas of the business. This insight underlines the necessity of effective stakeholder management, promoting early and significant engagement with all relevant parties to maximise the success and impact of the features and products we ship – at Houseful, we ‘Build Together’. This approach aligns well with our commitment at Houseful to enhance collaboration and ensure that all teams are focused on delivering outcomes of high quality and value from the outset. It reinforces the idea that the success of a product is a result of collective efforts and unity across the organisation.

Equally, our ambition of revolutionising the property industry by automating risk decisions and streamlining the mortgage application mirrors this concept. It’s a testament to the importance of cohesive teamwork and strategic collaboration across all business areas to identify those connections and pain points to be addressed along the entire journey.


Millie Zah (Head of Product, DAZN) shared the notion of Product Managers taking an entrepreneurial mindset and with that the need for cultivating ability in storytelling and crafting compelling stories to help convince stakeholders and users alike. The benefits of crafting a good story are numerous but can be seen in the form of stakeholder buy-in through presenting ideas in more engaging and memorable formats or generating ‘shared-understanding’ and alignment through clarification in ways that are easily digestible.

At Houseful, effective storytelling is about more than just sharing ideas; it’s about transforming those ideas into narratives that captivate and convince. Whether we’re aiming to rally the wider organisation like Client Delivery, Sales and Client Analytics behind our choice of Product initiatives or persuading our Product teams to pivot based on the latest learnings from a technical spike, the power of a well-told story can be the key to achieving our goals. Some of the ways we can as Housemates incorporate storytelling into our toolkit is by how we personalise our stories to our audience’s experience (remember, Know Your Audience!), utilise clear visuals for clarity and importantly, highlighting the outcomes we’re generating for our users through concrete examples.

Personal Reflections

Jessica Hall’s session on career development and the non-linear path to leadership in product management resonated deeply. It reminded us of the importance of self-reflection, introspection and the pursuit of doing fulfilling work. Her advice to recall moments of high motivation and to look for similar challenges as a way to continuously reinvigorate the passion for product management offered a valuable tool for continued personal and professional growth. Remember and recognise what energised you from the problem solved, launched feature or hurdle overcome and don’t shy away from asking for more of the same.

Product team principles
Credit: Jessica Hall - CPO, JustEat


ProductCon was an enlightening experience that has provided us with a rich array of insights and strategies to apply in our roles at Houseful. The conference not only broadened our understanding of the current product management landscape but also equipped us with practical tools and strategies to enhance our work.

The journey of learning and improvement for any role but especially a Product Manager’s is ongoing, and the insights gained from ProductCon will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping our approach to Product Management. We look forward to the positive impacts these strategies will have on our products, our teams, and Houseful as a whole.

For further information about ProductCon please visit the Product School website.