Loved By Many ‘24 - it’s a wrap

Posted: 22 Mar 2024

Last week, we hosted Loved By Many. At Connect we have a firm belief: that for products to reach venture scale, they have to be loved by many. But they are built by few.

So we set out to bring together some of the founders, makers and investors building and backing Europe’s defining product companies – in the audience and on stage. We were delighted to be joined by a stellar group of speakers who’ve built products that are loved by many – such as TrueLayer, Dropbox, Citymapper, Finisterre, Pangaia, Monzo, Deliveroo, Stripe, Olio and Product Hunt.

From Connect’s portfolio, CTO and co-founder Luca Martinetti from TrueLayer gave an inspirational talk on how Wabi Sabi – the Japanese art of impermanence – has influenced TrueLayer’s development methodology, fixed in the belief that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

Azmat Yusuf, founder of Citymapper, talked to Pietro about his journey of building a product steeped in consumer love and his obsession with user delight, and how this informed product decisions over time. Pietro shared examples of the wonderful feedback Citymapper gets from its customers – showing it’s truly loved by many.

David Okuniev, formerly co-founder and co-CEO at Typeform, spoke to Pietro about scaling a product company from 0-90M ARR; getting to the point with his co-founder of realising they needed to bring in a CEO to manage the business to scale; and what happens when you lose your product mojo.

Gabriel Hubert, co-founder and CEO at Dust kicked off the day with an illuminating insight into the challenges and opportunities of building generative AI products. Gabriel spoke about how key facets of product need to be reimagined in the gen AI world – from data and performance to speed and evaluation.

We also welcomed a range of speakers from outside the Connect portfolio.

Soleio – one of the first generation designers at Facebook, before going on to head up design at Dropbox, was in conversation with Mike Butcher of Techcrunch about crafting design-led products. His varied insights from the development of the ‘like’ button to how tech can either entrench inequalities or scale inclusivity blew us away.

Mike also spoke to Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder at Olio, on crafting a community around people’s desires to share more and waste less as well as identifying the customers that share your motivation and doubling down there.

Mike Hudack, founder at Sling and formerly CPO at Monzo and CPTO at Deliveroo, spoke about finding the point of leverage within your product experiences, and inspired the audience on building from a place of love – because it’s hard to build great and meaningful products.

Some product-minded investors also took to the stage. Sitar was in conversation with Andreas Klinger, former CTO at Product Hunt and On Deck, who now angel invests in product-led businesses and spends his time looking for ‘weird’ companies, with founders that are pissed off enough about a problem to build a high-potential business around it.

We heard from Kaushik Subramanian, partner at EQT, but formerly product at Meta and Stripe, with a wry take on venture through the lens of a product builder. Kaushik spoke about how key it is for founders to understand a VC’s fund strategy; and the importance of word of mouth referrals from other founders

Finally we were joined by Bronwen Foster-Butler, CMO at Finisterre, who told the story of building a company that everyone said would never succeed – a cold water surf brand out of the UK. Bronwen’s talk was a masterclass in the power of storytelling, and she made us fall in love with Finisterre.

We’re so grateful to all our speakers for joining us to share their wisdom, wit and war stories, and to everyone who took the time to come and spend the day with us – we loved having you with us. We can’t wait for the next edition!