Skip to main content
Call for Reservations: 800-972-3165
What Product Teams Can Learn From Jazz Music by Ken Norton, Google Ventures
6:00 PM - 11:59 PM Intuit Headquarters
Date: March 28, 2019 to March 28, 2019
Where: Intuit Headquarters, 2600 Casey Avenue, Mountain View, California, United States, 94043
Phone: N/A
Event Type: Concerts & Music
Ticket Price: N/A
Come hear Google Ventures senior operating partner Ken Norton shares his advice on how to seek discomfort and how to look for ways to push yourselves and your teams into the uncharted. How many of you think of your job as a product manager is "creating dissonance?" Making innovative products requires the same ability to surrender to the unknown, to follow the music wherever that goes. The best jazz bands, like the best product teams, provide the space to take risks. Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington were adept at guiding their bands into the optimal anxiety zone, making them restless and opening up a space where they could create masterpieces. Such talent is also needed in product management. Google researchers undertook a massive multi-year research project to understand the effectiveness of teams. They wanted to know why certain teams at Google performed highly and others did not. Was it the size of the team? The blend of personality types? Or even their physical environments? Over time it became clear that who was on the team didn't matter so much as how the team operated. More specifically, the social norms that determined whether or not everyone got a voice, and whether or not the team members felt that if they made a mistake, they knew it could be openly discussed without fear of embarrassment. Incredibly, group traits like "conversational turn-taking" and "sensitivity to nonverbal cues" matters more than the intelligence or experience of the team members. That's encouraging news for those of us who don't get to perform with John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. Join us for dinner, a great talk, and inspiring conversations. About Ken Norton Ken Norton is a senior operating partner at Google Ventures where he provides product and engineering support to more than 300 portfolio companies including Uber, Nest, Slack, Foundation Medicine, and Flatiron Health. Prior to joining GV, Ken was a group product manager at Google. In his years as a PM at Goo