Product Bash 2010 Review

On 11th November 2010, Brainmates held the first ever Product Bash. This event was a super-sized version of our popular Product Talks series and provided a unique opportunity for professionals working in the Australian product management community to get together, learn from some great speakers and network with their peers.

Brainmates invited a panel of industry experts to share their thoughts, ideas and insights. The topic of discussion was “Product Excellence: How do the leading brands do it?”

We had a fantastic turnout with more than 100 attendees. The feedback we received was that it was our best event ever with great learnings and a fun opportunity to meet others. Some comments from attendees include “Another fabulous event, lots of things to take away and process and best $15 I spent this year!” and “Great night out, but, more importantly, great people too. You’ll be seeing more of me for sure”

The panelists

The panel is made up of three stalwarts of the product management industry.

  • Jane Huxley, General Manager of Media at Fairfax Digital
  • Carl Olson, Product Director at Thomson Reuters
  • Vincent Dempsey, Head of Product at Network Ten

The questions and insights

Moderator Paul Gray asked a series of questions relating to product development, innovation, the role of leadership, how operational structures affect product management, competitive analysis and of course how to keep focus on solving customer problems.

Some key insights that the panel provided were:

  • Organisational cultures that accept the possibility of failure, but in a context where those involved can learn from this and improve in future are more likely to succeed than organisations that punish this innovative thinking
  • Understanding the problems, needs and wants of customers is critical and product managers should use multiple means – from interviews to research, sales calls and focus groups.
  • Heads of product management teams need to set clearly defined responsibilities for the product manager role to ensure that it does not end up having too broad a responsibility. Discussion on the night showed that many product managers find themselves focusing more on tactical elements when they’d prefer to be working on more strategic plans
  • Using product management frameworks is a means for professionals from different backgrounds to be able to speak the same language, and improves the effectiveness and validity of the product management team within the wider organisation.

What’s next?

We encourage all product management professionals working in Australia and beyond to connect with Brainmates. We provide many ways for you to learn, connect and share with your peers.

Share comments

Please share your comments below. What did you learn? Was there anything you heard that challenged some of your assumptions? Have you been inspired to try anything different? We’d love to hear what you have to say.