PCA 23 Sessions

Proposed Sessions for ProductCamp Austin 23

 

Careers 1 – Take an RPG to your product Career… Essentials Workshop Caleb Smith
Product Management 2 – 5 Anti-patterns of Modern Product Management Advanced Presentation Reza Shirazi
Product Marketing 5 – From Zero to Hero: Establishing the Product Marketing Function Entrepreneurs Town Hall Nisha Bagepalli
Careers, Product Management 6 – The Break-In: Finding Your Way Into Product Management Essentials Town Hall Tobin Abraham
Careers, Product Marketing 7 – Writing Your Unique Story to Shift Careers Essentials Case Study Danika Schmidt
Product Management 8 – Where do I begin?? I need stories now!! Essentials Workshop Betsy Stockdale
Product Management 9 – The Black Art of Valuing Stories – Demystified Advanced Workshop Scott Killen
Careers 10 – Product Job Club: The Smarter Way to Build Your Network & Accelerate Your Career Advanced Case Study Dan Corbin
Careers, Product Marketing, Product Management, Other 11 – Life of the Lone Wolf Entrepreneurs Ask the Expert Will Scott
Product Marketing, Product Management, Other 12 – Top 10 Disruptions by Tesla Advanced Presentation Ahmed Zouhair
Careers 13 – So You’re a New Product Manager, Now What? Essentials Town Hall Francisco Salas
Data Analytics, Product Marketing, Product Management 14 – Data Science for Product Managers and Marketers Essentials Presentation Roger L. Cauvin
Careers, Product Management, Other 15 – Creating an Agile Life Sprinting Around the World Essentials Presentation Dan Balcauski
Other 16 – The Magnificant 7 of Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurs Ask the Expert Jan Triplett, Ph.D. CBTAC
Product Management 17 – Monolith to Microservices to Serverless… and back Essentials Town Hall Drew Bixby
Product Marketing, Product Management, User Experience 18 – Flip your site strategy: Moving from demographics to psychographics Essentials Presentation Annie Hardy
Careers, Product Management 19 – Using Vision-Led Product Management to Become a Better Product Leader Essentials Town Hall Rajesh Nerlikar
Other 20 – The Blueprint for Building a Successful Hemp Bsuiness Entrepreneurs Presentation Leah Lakstins
Product Management 22 – Untangling the MVP in Lean Product Validation Advanced Presentation Tom Evans
Product Management, User Experience 24 – Exploring the Enneagram : Implications for Product Design and UX Advanced Presentation Les Wilson
Product Management, Other 25 – How to successfully manage your team from a robotics perspective Essentials Workshop Andrea Hernandez
Product Management 26 – Software product pricing considerations Essentials Presentation Jay Kruemcke
Careers, Product Management, User Experience 29 – From $180 Million/year to $0, While Keeping the Customers Advanced Case Study David Kirsch
Data Analytics, Product Marketing, Product Management 30 – Monetize Your Data! Wait, That Means Data is a Product… Entrepreneurs Presentation Paul Teich
Product Management 31 – Closing the Gap – MVP to Market & Scale Essentials Town Hall Tanja Horan
Product Management 32 – The importance of challenging your assumptions Essentials Presentation Ross Weems
Careers 33 – Create the Ultimate Product Management Learning Guide Essentials Town Hall Brennan Dell
Product Marketing 34 – How Opinion Surveys & Focus Groups Are Killing Your Business Essentials Case Study Craig Andrews
Careers 35 – Beating out the Competition for that Product Job Essentials Town Hall Mark Stephan
Product Management, Other 36 – What Product Managers Should Know about Productizing Machine Learning Advanced Presentation Lynn Pausic
Product Marketing, User Experience 37 – Leveraging Storytelling and Empathy to Foster Product Success Essentials Presentation Jay Drayer
Product Marketing 38 – Pitching Ain’t Easy Advanced Town Hall April Thomas
Product Management 39 – Design Thinking And Innovation Frameworks For Startups Entrepreneurs Workshop Arooj Sheikh
Careers 40 – Break into Any Career Essentials Presentation Donna Imam
Product Marketing, Product Management, User Experience 41 – Increase Your Velocity With Agile Communication Essentials Presentation Karen Kelvie
Product Management 42 – How we cut a product team’s costs 31% and improved quality, speed, and happiness by 25%+ each Entrepreneurs Case Study Isaiah McPeak

 

1 – Take an RPG to your product Career…

Explosive growth is awesome, but career growth takes a little planning and a lot of help. This fun and interactive workshop will help you see your career and personal growth through the lense of RPG style games. Define your character and map your skill tree, pick your party and guild. Test your fate and let your inner player run wild today.

Presenter: Caleb Smith
Caleb Smith is a lifelong adventurer and personal growth hacker, product pro and dad. His product mindset and talent for ideation drives him to seek patterns and analogies in any challenge. Caleb is fascinated with psychometrics, quantified self, strengths, and temperaments, and he believes any character type can benefit and reach higher levels in life and career.

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2 – 5 Anti-patterns of Modern Product Management

What anti-patterns should you be aware of that will be counterproductive to building successful products? Why are the following five approaches ineffective and corrosive for product teams? 1. Sales led product management, 2. Engineering led product management, 3. Process led product management, 4. Support led product management and 5. Founder/Exec led product management. How do you overcome these anti-patterns to practice modern product management that is focused both on Discovery and Delivery?

Presenter: Reza Shirazi
Reza Shirazi is passionate about building products and building community. He is a senior product manager at AffiniPay – a payment technology company focused on transforming how professionals get paid. His online publication – Austin Voice of Product shares insights of product leaders to build a stronger product community in Austin. He is also co-organizer The Product League meetup.

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5 – From Zero to Hero: Establishing the Product Marketing Function

Best practices on how to help younger and start-up organizations realize the value of product marketing and successfully building a PMM program.

Presenter: Nisha Bagepalli
Nisha Bagepalli is the Director of Product Marketing at Cantata Health, an electronic health records company. At Cantata Health, she is focused on addressing key issues for clients and building unique products that specifically solve these challenges. Nisha has over 10 years across the healthcare industry and is particularly interested in helping small to mid-sized organizations build successful PMM programs.

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6 – The Break-In: Finding Your Way Into Product Management

Every person reading this description has at least one skill that would make them an attractive product manager candidate…even if that skill is doing internal celebrity voice-overs when reading through a description. Successful product managers, however, are multi-faceted beings with the ability to frame problems accurately and lead without being in a position of authority; you’ll need more than one skill in order to accomplish these aforementioned goals. In this session, learn to leverage your existing skills (and how to develop new ones) in order to break into and grow in the world of product management. This session is designed to encourage discussion, and applies to attendees that are attempting to land a product manager role for the first time or are early in their product management careers.

Presenter: Tobin Abraham
Tobin is a barbecue enthusiast who happens to be product manager at Under Armour Connected Fitness. He has 4 years of experience with mobile and desktop applications.

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7 – Writing Your Unique Story to Shift Careers

Telling your personal story is a powerful tool for making a career shift, especially when moving into Product where storytelling is huge component of the job. However, writing a compelling story that highlights the skills that are “uniquely you” is often the hardest one to write. No one teaches you “story telling” in school – it’s been researched! Follow along as a millennial, details how she crafted her unique story to reapply her skills and break into Product Marketing in a growing industry.

Presenter: Danika Schmidt
Danika Schmidt – The focus of my career has been helping marketers and product teams to improve their customer experience through innovative marketing and technology services. A natural competitor, I honed my skills in sales, and recently broke into Product Marketing at an ed-tech company driving digital transformation in the ed-tech space.

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8 – Where do I begin?? I need stories now!!

Congrats! You just joined a new company as a Product Manager! Or you just took over a new product! You are excited! Your product is cool! Or at least you hope it will be. Where do you begin to understand your product? Be it a new product or an existing one, coming up to speed quickly and starting to deliver features is crucial…not only for your product for your career! The last thing you want to do is write lots of user stories, with no idea if those user stories are complete and correct. We will discuss the value of visual requirements models and give you a few impactful models you can use immediately on any project to improve your user stories. And we will practice a few of these models too!

Presenter: Betsy Stockdale
Betsy Stockdale is a Business Architect at Seilevel, a professional services company that works to deliver 10x value for their customers. Betsy works with companies to lead their projects or modify their approach to software requirements to be more effective so IT projects deliver their intended business value following Seilevel’s Requirements Modeling Language (RML).

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9 – The Black Art of Valuing Stories – Demystified

As an agile practitioner, you struggle mightily to value your work. After all, it isn’t like you can put a dollar figure to each story. Or can you? In this session, we’ll begin by learning why valuation is such a complex problem. Once grounded in the various intrinsic difficulties of valuation, we’ll advance to understand methodological tools that exist to overcome that complexity. To complete the session, we’ll conduct a survey of a number of specific, practical, valuation techniques. Several hands-on exercises will be offered to give you an opportunity to practice techniques and to establish skills. Attendees leave with a set of specific tools to value software, an understanding of why they work, and the knowledge of when to apply them.

Presenter: Scott Killen
Scott Killen is an Agile Coach for Netspend. He’s held CSM, CSP, PMP, SPC and CSQE certifications and taught Agile skills to thousands in corporate, university, and non-profit settings. He founded and was President of Agile Austin, co-Chair of Keep Austin Agile 2018, President of Austin SPIN, Chair of PMI Technical Local Interest Group, and participates in several non-profit boards.

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10 – Product Job Club: The Smarter Way to Build Your Network & Accelerate Your Career

Don’t job search alone! As the saying goes, “we are better together” and it’s true. Our panelists will prove to you how easy (and successful!) it is to set up a local product job club to help each other get jobs, achieve career growth, and develop further as professionals.

Join this hands-on session to learn about creating your own Product Job Club, building your network authentically, and accelerating your journey into your newest career or job.

Presenter: Dan Corbin
Dan is a Principal Product Manager at H-E-B and Product Management Instructor at General Assembly. He’s a Certified Scrum Product Owner and Certified Scrum Professional with 20 years of product development experience. He’s also the founder of The Product League meetup, co-organizer of the Agile Austin Product SIG, and instructor for Agile Austin U.

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11 – Life of the Lone Wolf

How to become a successful independent Product Marketing and Management consultant. Time to turn in the corporate storm trooper uniform? Or, maybe you’ve answered the call for one too many “let’s take on the world” worthy start-up rebel causes? Wanna try your hand at becoming a gun for hire? I’ve been through that journey. The skills you need to hunt and thrive as a lone wolf are a far cry from life with the pack – so brace yourself. Hear about my top 10 learnings – from Reputation to Referral, from Politics to Upsell, from Biz Dev to Billing and much more. Through this session, I hope to up your savvy on living the life of a mercenary.

Presenter: Will Scott
A native of the UK and a resident of Austin – Will has spent 25 years in the business product marketing and management. From multi-billion dollar corporates to hand to mouth startups – across software, services, hardware & saas offerings, He now runs his own independent product marketing and management consultancy, Steelpoint Marketing.

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12 – Top 10 Disruptions by Tesla

Tesla is one of the world’s fastest-growing electric-vehicle (EV) companies. With reasonably priced, high performance, zero-emission vehicles and eco-friendly designs, it is disrupting the traditional fossil-fuel automotive industry. The company’s approach incorporates excellent customer service, superior products and services, innovative disruptions using Enabling Technology mainly by their Batteries Electrical Vehicles (BEVs) and Powertrain Motors, 182.8 Billion dollars business model similar to Apple, and Networking like for e.g. Elon has 22.7 Million followers. Tesla is not just an automaker but also a product and service conglomerate that integrates its automation, energy, neurotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI), and software solutions into its vehicles.


Presenter: Ahmed Zouhair
Ahmed is a seasoned project and product management practitioner with more than 20 years of professional services in training, teaching, IT, telecommunications, and consulting in Project and Program Management for various organizations.Ahmed is an active volunteer with Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), and Training Small Business Entrepreneurs. He is currently based in Austin, TX.

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13 – So You’re a New Product Manager, Now What?

Have you ever heard “I started as a Product Manager back when the profession was getting started” ?

It seems that nowadays becoming a product manager is easier as more and more resources become available. So you have a killer product resume and you cracked the product Manager interview. Now you are a PM and you want to impress everyone around you.

As a new product manager, it’s critical to ensure success starting on day 1, and to set the foundation for a strong future. In this session you will hear some of the thoughts, failures and learning from a “newly” Product manager. This is a guide I wish I had when I first started as a Product Manager.

Presenter: Francisco Salas
Francisco Salas is a Product Manager at Vrbo in Austin Texas. He was born and raised in Mexico city he reallocated to US where he has worked in various fields including Electrical Engineering, Data Analysis & Visualization and recently quickly advanced into Product Management at companies like Ericsson, Apple and Vrbo.

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14 – Data Science for Product Managers and Marketers

Learn how to use machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and data science to create personalized and delightful customer experiences.

Demand for data scientists has increased dramatically, with a 29% increase in demand for data scientists year over year and a 344% increase since 2013. Incorporating data science in your products and marketing is quickly becoming essential in many industries.

Imagine you could:

1. Use data to predict what a user will do next in your product.

2. Model your best customers to determine which new prospects you should target in your next marketing campaign.

3. Measure, in advance, how accurate your predictions are likely to be.

This session won’t turn you into a data scientist, but it will help you understand the concepts, tools, and what’s possible.

Presenter: Roger L. Cauvin
By empowering teams to make smart product decisions, Roger creates products that transform people’s lives. He is head of products and consumer science at FourLeaf LLC, which provides marketers the best performing audiences for their marketing campaigns. Roger is a past winner of the “best session” award at ProductCamp Austin.

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15 – Creating an Agile Life Sprinting Around the World

Blending philosophy of life, career and product management, a teaching tale about how one product manager applied the skills of PM to conceptualize, plan and execute a solo year and a half expedition around the world. Learn how the PM skills sharpened in the workplace are leveraged in planning and executing a long term sabbatical. Mission, vision, goals, values, road-maps, budgets, stakeholder management, change management, stress management, user experience, trade-offs, skills development – are no longer just for the office! I’ll also be sharing all my favorite apps, travel hacks, and tips for making your trips cheaper and better! Lighthearted, fun, with the goal of shifting your perspective on life.

Presenter: Dan Balcauski
Dan recently took at year and a half journey around the world after leading product initiatives at several Austin-based companies. He started his career as a software engineer and has done product management for the last 11 years. He has a Computer Engineering degree from Iowa State University and an MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University.

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16 – The Magnificant 7 of Entrepreneurship

Don’t go for funding, start, hire, grow, sell, or spin out your business (or your department) without these 7 in place!

It’s not just about the money — but that helps. These are the “must haves” for your business’ future and they are all about you and require your decisions.

It requires following a specific and “best” priority order to get to success faster and safer. Don’t skip one or there may be serious trouble. They need a “team” setting.

Are you curious what they are? Think you know? Here’s a clue. The “Magnificent 7” are not what you expect or what you have read or heard. They are what we have identified at the Business Success Center as critical to the health and growth of thousands of product and services businesses of all kinds.

Attend this session to see if you’re right and on track for success.

Presenter: Jan Triplett, Ph.D. CBTAC
Jan Triplett, Ph.D. CBTAC, is CEO of the award-winning Business Success Center. She is an entrepreneur, author, advocate, and international speaker. She wrote Thinking Big, Staying Small and founded the Profit Mover Advisory Team™. She speaks frequently about funding, alliance building, and networking. She is a professor in the MBA program at Mary Baldwin University, her alma mater.

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17 – Monolith to Microservices to Serverless… and back

No one wanted to be caught with a monolithic application. Everyone wanted to work on microservices. They were the best. Then came serverless to be the ultimate solution. Then, we had issues.

This town hall session is an opportunity to share and learn best practices and considerations for our development teams using these different types of architectures. As a product manager, it is important to understand how these will affect your planning, your stories, your QA, and your sprints.

If you want to know more about monoliths, microservices, or serverless or you want to share your experiences, then join us.

Presenter: Drew Bixby
Drew Bixby is a Head of Product at Liftr Insights with 20+ years experience wearing many hats, from finance (former CPA) to entrepreneur (built & sold a company) to developer (self-taught) to Product Leader on large enterprise products yet, he is always asking “why” and seeking to learn more.

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18 – Flip your site strategy: Moving from demographics to psychographics

Digital experiences are often built around an audience’s demographics, instead of how the audience thinks and feels. Digging more deeply into your users to explore their thought patterns is more complicated than just looking at their age and zip code. It requires more research, most customer conversations, and careful synthesis. It requires a new, often complicated content strategy. But research has shown that a more personalized experience has a powerful impact on brand and revenue. This presentation addresses how builders and creators can shift their mindset from focusing on “who people are,” to “how people think.”

Presenter: Annie Hardy
Annie Hardy is Founder and Principal of zeet insights, an Austin-based market and design research firm. Passionate about human-centered design, Ms. Hardy and her team explore audiences and markets to reveal the human factors that can guide the development of smarter products, experiences, and brands.

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19 – Using Vision-Led Product Management to Become a Better Product Leader

A critical skill you’ll need to advance your product career is the ability to articulate a long-term vision for a product and a strategy to realize that vision. This is important because as product managers, we lead through influence. Our teammates look to us to have a game plan and provide context on where the product is headed and why. In this session, I’ll show you how to craft a product vision and strategy to realize it using a new framework called Vision-Led Product Management.

This is a framework my business partner and I developed based on best practices from our own 35 years as startup and enterprise product managers, along with our time advising 55 companies over the past 5 years. The session will start with the process of creating your vision and strategy and a case study. Then we’ll have plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Presenter: Rajesh Nerlikar
Rajesh Nerlikar is Chief Product Advisor / Coach at Prodify, a firm that has helped more than 55 companies use Vision-Led Product Management to accelerate the creation of customer and shareholder value. Prior to that, he was an Accenture consultant and startup product manager. After 3 startup exits, he led a $40M product portfolio at Morningstar.

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20 – The Blueprint for Building a Successful Hemp Bsuiness

How can you build or create a business fo success in a crowded cannabis startup world? Without traditional marketing, how will your business stand out among others? Learn how to identify your perfect niche, lower customer acquisitions costs, and leverage community collaborations to strengthen your brand. Get ideas on a unique business strategy that will take your business to the next level. Hear real world success stories as you plan your hemp business blueprint.


Presenter: Leah Lakstins
Leah is a Certified Cannabis Professional with more than 15 years experience helping entrepreneurs and startup brands grow into multi-million dollar corporations. As a native Kentuckian, she is passionate about cannabis education, specifically the impact of hemp on local communities. This led her to create Austin Hemp Tours and Hemp Business Builder with her team of hemp enthusiasts and professionals.

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22 – Untangling the MVP in Lean Product Validation

The MVP (Minimum Viable Product) plays a critical role in Lean product validation. It is the most important test to demonstrate that product-market fit has been achieved. Yet teams are often unclear what an MVP is and how to prioritize it versus other research options. In this session, we’ll discuss: a practical definition for an MVP, why getting to an MVP is a critical team priority and a testing framework to select the correct experiments for validation. This session will enhance your ability to prioritize discovery and development initiatives and better negotiate these with your executive stakeholders.

Presenter: Tom Evans
Tom Evans is a Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer at 280 Group and is an internationally recognized authority in product management, product marketing, international business, go-to-market strategies, business partnerships and entrepreneurship. In his extensive experience, he has helped start-ups through Fortune 500 companies create and launch winning products and has led business development efforts in the US and global markets.

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24 – Exploring the Enneagram : Implications for Product Design and UX

Capitalize on the use of the Enneagram framework during the product design phase to facilitate a deeper understanding of personas. Recognize the value to delineate between how the product manager sees the problem/solution fit and how others perceive it.

Presenter: Les Wilson
Les is a 15 year product management veteran with degrees in innovation frameworks and business management. He is an adjunct professor, consultant for product/service innovation and enneagram coach. He loves seizing new ground, making connections between people or ideas and working without a map.

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25 – How to successfully manage your team from a robotics perspective

We are a high-school FTC team that has been recognized with awards in marketing and design. Some of our members have been part of the program for up to 4 years. We will start off with a simple activity called the “Marshmallow Challenge”, where we will create teams of 5 and will try to create the tallest tower by using raw spaghetti, tape and string. The tower will have to hold a marshmallow at the top. After the challenge, we will have an open discussion about what worked within their teams and what didn’t. Then, we will talk about team management and strategic plan design. We will present how to decide on a common goal, prioritizing and establishing priorities. We will provide our audience with tips on how our methods can apply to their teams or companies, while also explaining how this method has helped us become successful.

Presenter: Andrea Hernandez
Senior at Vandegrift High School and Assistant Project Manager of the FTC team Ouroboros 4545. Besides being a veteran in the marketing subgroup of robotics, she is also part of different leadership programs on campus such as PALS and NHS. Along with this, she will be majoring in Business next year in college.

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26 – Software product pricing considerations

Pricing is a key tool for product managers and a fundamental part of product value, but many avoid dealing with pricing because it can be complicated and risky.

Come to this session to understand some of the things you should consider when pricing a new product or changing the price of an existing product.

We will talk about perceived value versus perceived price, pricing strategies, charge metrics, and licensing models. You can’t afford to ignore the impact of pricing on your product!

We only have less than an hour, so the conversations afterward are often the best part!

Presenter: Jay Kruemcke
Senior Product Manager – SUSE

Jay is responsible for the SUSE Linux server products for High Performance Computing, 64-bit ARM systems, and SUSE Linux for IBM Power servers.

Jay has an extensive career in product management including using social media for client collaboration, product positioning, driving product directions, and evangelizing the capabilities and future directions for dozens of enterprise products.

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29 – From $180 Million/year to $0, While Keeping the Customers

This real-world case study addresses an extreme case of product End of Sale (EOS) / End of Life (EOL) from a PM who lived it.

As PMs we usually focus on taking our products from inception to $Millions in sales. With good profit and ROI. Yet how can we optimize the EOS/EOL process to maintain that growth and profit?

Topics covered:

* Standard end of sale and end of life planning and execution, including:

– internal & external notifications

– where to focus in planning for risks

* Organization, customer and legal ramifications of exit of product and exit of market.

* The application of radical honesty.

* Your responsibility to provide best guidance.

* Advice on mindset and fireproof clothing.

* The value of such work to customers and your organization.

* The impact to your product manager career of EOS/EOL work.

Presenter: David Kirsch
David has focused in product management for 15+ of his 25+ years in technology. David has taken products from inception, to market, use, and full retirement. He has worked in startups, mid-market and global technology firms including Sun, Cisco, Quintessent, RádnuSoft, Coban and SiriusXM. Products managed span software, hardware and SaaS/PaaS platforms. He also enjoys building things using wood.

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30 – Monetize Your Data! Wait, That Means Data is a Product…

It sounds simple – your company is generating operational data, data is the new oil, and so time to sell some data! What’s the Etsy for data in your market? Wait, what, there isn’t one yet?

There are folks already selling data. You’re fixin’ to compete with them. What are their business models? Who are their customers? How can you make money? Should you pivot from your original business plan to monetize data?

What are the decisions you’ll have to make on the way to turning all that data you’re generating into a product and then making a profit on it?

Liftr Insights recently spun out of a cloud brokerage to monetize public data we collect about public clouds. Paul has been a technology industry analyst for 7 years and has spent the past year productizing that data and taking it to market.

Presenter: Paul Teich
Paul’s career is focused on successfully commercializing technology-based products and services. He earned an MS in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business. Paul has received 12 US patents while working in marketing and strategy roles.

https://liftrinsights.com/dt_team/paul-teich-principal-analyst/

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31 – Closing the Gap – MVP to Market & Scale

A new product is essentially a “startup”. Entrepreneurs and Product Managers encounter the same challenges to validate their product idea, determine the right investment for MVP and launch in market. Explore the influencers that impact MVP scope and gain perspective on early considerations to be prepared for market launch and scale. Engage in an interactive exchange that includes insights and experiences about the questions to ask and what to do with the answers when developing and launching new products.

Presenter: Tanja Horan
Tanja Horan, Principal at Tacosa 360 Consulting, works with organizations to develop and manage their product portfolios. She’s worked with organizations from startups to multinationals across multiple industries including: AI/ML, Fintech, CPG, health & wellness. She’s led the product management at multiple SaaS companies and built domestic and international teams. Tanja has coached startups on pitches, messaging, and product management.

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32 – The importance of challenging your assumptions

Some of the most established characteristics of products, services, business models,

Products, services, and business models are subject to change at any given time. Not too long ago, the following questions were quite thought-provoking, and some would call the questions downright stupid: Do doors always have to have handles? Do phones really need to have a cable? Do cars have to have a driver and a steering wheel? Join us as we look at techniques to see assumptions and how we can better challenge them!


Presenter: Ross Weems
Ross Weems

Extensive product erience overseeing the development life cycle of new products from creation, pricing, production, and packaging to placement. Always trying to solve finite problems with infinite solutions.

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33 – Create the Ultimate Product Management Learning Guide

Being a kick-ass product manager means nonstop learning and a side hustle to hone your craft. The old adage that what got you here, won’t get you there has never been true. Join your fellow Productcampers to crowd source the Ultimate Product Management Learning Guide by compiling great sources of product management learning content. We will facilitate a session seeded with some of our favorites, you add to it, and then we will share the finished product for all to use!


Presenter: Brennan Dell
Brennan has held product and program management roles at Travelocity, Publicis Groupe, and Dell. He currently works in Product Management for the Strategy and Planning group at Dimensional Fund Advisors.

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34 – How Opinion Surveys & Focus Groups Are Killing Your Business

You can learn a lot about how people make decisions when you cut someone’s brain in half and make them look at chickens. Yes – this really happened! And once you understand it, you’ll never do customer surveys or focus groups the same. Come and learn about this transformative insight. We’ll cover real examples and multi-million-dollar blunders. Discover minor adjustments that will immediately enrich the quality of your customer feedback. BONUS CONTENT: Tired of losing arguments when the facts are on your side? The answer is in the chicken – and I’ll show you why.

Presenter: Craig Andrews
Craig Andrews is the Principal Ally and founder of digital marketing agency allies4me. allies4me helps companies find strangers and convert them into high-paying customers. This is accomplished through a proven framework. A nine-stage customer value journey architects the journey from first contact to post-purchase. This framework builds trust faster. It drives revenue faster. And it strengthens customer loyalty.

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35 – Beating out the Competition for that Product Job

The job market is hot, but that doesn’t mean product jobs are easy to come by. As product becomes more popular, the competition and masses of people wanting to get into it increase. So how can you be the cream that raises to the top? This Town hall will cover basics and advanced topics. Whether you’re just now getting into Product or been a PdM for 15 years, this session is for you.

We will cover; how to network for a job, how to get your resume top-notch, how to create a personal brand, how to get coaching, how to interview like a pro, how to set-up multiple offers and even more tips and tricks on getting that job.

This will be a presentation for 20-30 minutes and then an open Q&A format for the remainder fo the time.

Presenter: Mark Stephan
Mark is an entrepreneur and product executive. Mark leads product for two start-ups, ProductHired (product professional career site) and Kredya (fintech consumer loan discovery and management platform in Turkey), while also leading the Knowledge Program at Broadway Technology in Austin Texas. Mark is active in the Austin leading multiple meet-up groups as well as mentoring aspiring product leaders and start-ups.

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36 – What Product Managers Should Know about Productizing Machine Learning

Whether your product relies on Machine Learning (some form of AI) as a core value proposition or you’re on the hook to incorporate “AI” into a future roadmap, tackling this challenge is often uncharted territory for even the most seasoned product managers. In this session we will demystify “AI” and discuss key aspects critical to predictably and profitably shipping products including:

– Determining if Machine Learning (ML) is relevant and viable for your product

– Factors for Adoption

– Honing Use Cases & Outcomes

– The new “blended” Product Development Process between Software Engineering and Data Science (R&D)

– Predicting timeframe and cost to develop ML-driven features

– Chasing Accuracy and Predictability

– Achieving Product/Market fit with ML

Presenter: Lynn Pausic
Lynn is a co-founder of Expero. Expero creates custom software solutions often involving AI for domain-expert users like scientists, traders, engineers, healthcare professionals and governments. Lynn’s extensive background ranges from augmented reality and wearable devices, to enterprise software solutions. She has an ever-growing interest and expertise in timely topics such as Data Experience Design, Machine Learning and Data Science.

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37 – Leveraging Storytelling and Empathy to Foster Product Success

Jay Drayer is the founder of CareFlash (in 2005) and PrizedPals (2015). Each is an industry-leading application – one in healthcare and the other in the pet-care world. An unabashed Recovering CFO, Jay will discuss his experiences founding, creating and growing these two interactive solutions, and the role and relevance of empathy and storytelling in fostering their success. Also, as to the role of empathy and storytelling in enhancing connectedness and holistic healing surrounding people or pet-families, as they navigate different types of healing or aging journeys, or surrounding a loved one (or a pet) who is living with chronic, cognitive or behavioral illness.

Presenter: Jay Drayer
Jay Drayer has a passion for enhancing the holistic nature of how loved ones engage in times of heightened anxiety. An entrepreneur since 8th grade, he has held financial/operational roles in technology companies. He began his career in public accounting in Santa Fe, after selling market-leading BarCo Catering he founded while in college. UT Austin (BBA), U. Houston (MBA), CPA.

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38 – Pitching Ain’t Easy

The success of pitching is critical for product marketers. Successful pitches aren’t just made up of great products they include articulating and visualizing your creative genius through your presentation. In this session hear from pitch experts at Ghost Ranch on the design, aesthetic and goals of your presentations while their partner talks honing in on the right message.

Presenter: April Thomas
Senior Principal Product Manager with 10+ yrs experience in product marketing and management. From starts ups to enterprise organizations April has refined her messaging crafts and has a proven record of GTM projects in various industries.

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39 – Design Thinking And Innovation Frameworks For Startups

We’ve all heard the stories of world-changing companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Squarespace, but how do you actually create a product that has a shot at disrupting an industry, and changing people’s everyday lives?

In this workshop, we’ll go over design thinking strategies and innovation frameworks for startups to break down how you build a world-class product that your users love. Building on some of the strategies startup accelerators preach, to learning how some of the most impactful products were ideated, you’ll exercise breaking down a need to inventing something new.

Join this engaging session to walk away with the skills to drum up your product’s next feature or even ideate the next brilliant unicorn.

Presenter: Arooj Sheikh
Arooj Sheikh is the CEO of Fuze8, a real estate tech startup based in Austin, TX. She’s worked with and advised numerous startups, and brings in her venture capital experience to analyze the world’s next innovative products and ideas. Additionally, she educates a community of 1.6M+ entrepreneurs via Boss Babe, a women’s entrepreneurship publication.

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40 – Break into Any Career

Hate your job or just want to do something different? I’ve successfully held and transitioned multiple careers from design engineer, to product management, to a start-up that was acquired, to tech entrepreneurship to non-profit. Now I’m making my toughest jump ever into politics. I’m running for US Congress in North Austin and I’ll tell you how our campaign is going to win.

Presenter: Donna Imam
Donna Imam is a computer engineer, a tech entrepreneur, and the managing partner of her consulting firm, Inteleaf. She is the former president of ProductCamp Austin and a candidate for US Congress in Texas’ 31st district which starts in the suburbs of north Austin.

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41 – Increase Your Velocity With Agile Communication

Learn how to decrease friction on the team by learning how to engage with rambling people, and how to catch yourself when you ramble.

Offer your stakeholders an express lane — instead of a traffic jam — and they will communicate with you sooner and with the level of detail you need.

Think of how you feel when you are flying down the freeway versus how you feel when you are stuck in heavy traffic.

Being stuck in traffic doesn’t bring out the best in anyone. It is in our best interest to learn how to respect our flow state and our stakeholders’ flow state.

Developers take pride in writing elegant (pleasingly ingenious and brief) code. Learn how to become an elegant communicator today.


Presenter: Karen Kelvie
Karen Kelvie is a connector. She brings together ideas, people and practices. She triggers faster insights with curated information from SIGs, conferences, books and collaboration. Her recent focus has been bringing best practices from large companies to SMBs and startups. Her experience spans emerging technologies, semiconductor, computer networking and telecommunications in Austin and Silicon Valley.

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42 – How we cut a product team’s costs 31% and improved quality, speed, and happiness by 25%+ each

I’ve been doing product team turnarounds in Austin the last couple years. This past fall we had some stellar results: cut costs (fired people) 31%, improved bugs-per-month by 74%, improved cycle time 95%, increased staff happiness self-reported by 28%, and increased velocity by 46%. How does that all happen at once?

Product culture. I’ll share our complete “turnaround” slides, results, and talk through the issues and how we implemented OKRs, ownership, and product teams, canceled the TPM position, and freed ourselves from “supposed to’s” and really MOVED.

Presenter: Isaiah McPeak
Isaiah McPeak – Veteran SaaS product manager, chief product officer, CEO, and consultant. isaiahmcpeak.com

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