Guest Post: Product Camp Sydney

In our first guest post,  Nicolas Strybosch talks about his experience at Product Camp Sydney earlier this month. With Product Camp Melbourne set for July 20th, it’s a bit of a preview of how camp works & what you’ll be missing out on if we don’t see you on the 20th.  

I hit Sydney ProductCamp with the sleep-deprived intensity and hunger that only a 7am weekend flight induces. Thankfully croissants and coffee were supplied, and I had the chance to cruise around the Atlassian offices and strike up a few conversations before the morning keynote.

The first keynote compared startups to the enterprise from a player who’s been in both worlds. Paul Gray (@paulalexgray) kicked off with a tongue-in-cheek ripping apart of a formal product management framework and rephrasing it into the startup world, before going into a list of lessons that startups can learn from enterprise and vice-versa. The entire list is actually a great guide to product management in general – worth framing for the mantle piece.

Next up: the unconference part.

30-second pitches from people interested in presenting or facilitating discussions. While this was impromptu, everyone was in fine form and voting was tough. The organisers split the talks into 3 streams (to facilitate a manageable group size rather than theme), and I took a punt on Aaron from Lexer and his talk on “Employing Social Data for Passive Insights“. The punt paid off, as Aaron was engaging and his examples – ranging from PayTV to Yoghurt – were used to good effect in explaining how social data is just waiting to be trawled for insights. You just need the tools to mine it and know how to analyse it (catch!). Great for consumer facing products, though I’m going to try using social to build out personas for a B2B product.

After lunch Matthew Hodgson had the whole room to explain the “New New Product Development Game“. If you’re familiar with lean and agile already, it was a good history lesson that starts pre-internet in the manufacturing industry. If you’re not so familiar and are sick of the hype-without-substance, then this was the evidence based case for adopting it.

The last few talks I attended focussed on the Build-Measure-Learn directive: David Neale explaining Cohort Analysis and Shaun Clowes on Growth Hacking.

David’s simple charts and images illustrated his points well, highlighting a few metrics which should be measured on every product. If you’re interested in more, check out the excellent Lean Analytics book and start measuring. Shaun (who won the best speaker prize) is an energised presenter who clearly loves his day job. As a growth hacker, he’s charged with optimising…well, everything. Experimentation is the name of the game, and if you’re getting success from 5% of all your experiments, then you’re doing well.

Between sessions I met a great variety of friendly people, all passionate about product management and marketing. Unfortunately I missed some great sessions, though the one at the bar afterwards did round out a great day.

More slides from Product Camp Sydney can be found on their slideshare.

Find out more about Product Camp Melbourne, RSVP or suggest a topic.


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