Product management is an ill-defined and often misunderstood field. This panel discussion will lift the curtain on this dark art by moderating a conversation between a group of seasoned product managers describing how they work, what they’ve learned along the way and what advice they have for others interested in creating products that delight users.
Daniel Raffel is CEO and co-founder of Heavy Bits. He is actively developing a new mobile service.
Before founding Heavy Bits he worked at Yahoo where he served as the Product Manager that helped create Pipes, a web based composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. During his tenure at Yahoo, Daniel contributed to launching Yahoo Messengers VoIP product. He also lead the effort to add 3rd party authentication across the entire Yahoo network.
In another life, Daniel co-founded two record labels Lucky Kitchen and Apartment B. He has performed live under various aliases at venues around the world and has released recordings on over a dozen labels. In yet another life, Daniel’s passion for food led him to pursue a culinary degree which culminated in a stint as a chef in the kitchen of Thomas Keller’s NYC restaurant per se.
Michael Sharon is a product manager at Facebook working on location, local and mobile products. Prior to Facebook, Michael was an adjunct professor at New York University and the co-founder and CTO of Socialight, where he led the development of their social location platform. Michael holds a master’s in interactive telecommunications from New York University and a bachelor’s in English and law from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Jeff Bonforte is the CEO of Xobni. He’s worked in email, voice and messaging for more than 10 years. Prior to joining Xobni in 2008, Bonforte was VP of Social Search at Yahoo!, where he ran Yahoo! Answers and Delicious. Jeff also ran Yahoo! Messenger and oversaw its move from #2 to #1 IM client in the US. Before Yahoo!, Jeff was President and Founder of Gizmo5, an innovator in VoIP that was purchased by Google in 2008. In 1997 Jeff founded and was the CEO of i-drive, the largest online storage tool of the time, with over 10mm monthly unique visitors.
Jeff earned his BA in Classical Civilizations He lives in San Francisco with his wife, son and dog.
Jess is the co-founder and vice president of product management of Polyvore (www.polyvore.com), a social shopping platform. At Polyvore, she is responsible for product vision and user experience, but has done a little bit of everything from writing code to selling ads to washing dishes. Prior to Polyvore, Jess worked at Google for 4 years, where she was the product manager for Google Maps and worked on features like My Maps, draggable driving directions and the Maps API. Jess has a degree in Computer Science from Stanford University, loves drawing, and owns over a thousand comic books.
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