Wrap up of Product Camp Sydney

Posted: March 22, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Product Camp, organized by Brainmates and generously sponsored by Atlassian, was downright awesome. The day consisted of talks, discussions and friendly debates on pertinent topics that are close to every Product person’s heart: knowing when to innovate, the remit of a Product Manager at work, Agile vs Waterfall product development and renumeration trends in Product Management in the U.S (via Skype).

Here are my key takeouts from the day:

  • [Tim Buntel] Product Managers need to strike a good balance between satisfying customers and creating shareholder value. On satisfying customers, meet them online and face-to-face to build repoire and identify needs on the spot
  • [Mick Liubinskas] Success lies in focus: this involves identifying a microsegment (market niche) at the expense of other potential opportunities and serving that segment well. This also means being brutal with product features – only those that are critical to that microsegment should be developed. Lean products first, world domination should logically follow
  • [Simon Cantt & Nick Coster]  Product Managers should be more than a feature filter. Take ownership of product lifestock by setting the development agenda for the company. An awareness of where the business is on the typical lifecycle (growth, maturity, decline) should also be factored in
  • [Steve Johnson] Pragmatic Marketing recently conducted a salaries and skills based survey of Product Managers in the U.S and shared that:
  1. You earn more if you have a Masters degree and you see yourself as ‘technical’
  2. Around 20% of Product Managers now report directly to the CEO (rather than Marketing or IT) – up from 4% from a year ago
  3. Company culture (Sales vs Engineering) plays an important part in determining which ‘flavour’ of Product manager is preferred

There’s also a comprehensive matrix of activities that make up a Product Manager’s working day. I don’t agree with the spectrum labels, but it does help create a good checklist of things to consider when developing or launching product.

I also had the opportunity to impart some views on Product Innovation and happy to say that this triggered off a cool discussion on disruptive vs incremental innovation, knowing your customer problem before you innovate and focusing on ‘Outlier’ opportunities across the elements that make up a product in order to be truly remarkable. These slides, plus online tools that can be used in the Product Development cycle can be found on Slideshare here.

If you attended the day and have other insights to share, please add them in the comments below. Tweets on the event are found here.


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