Call for speakers

We are making the call for speakers – we have been asking for topics here and a summary of those posted so far are listed here.

We will be running a speaker workshop on the 20th of July to share more info about what ProductCamp is all about, give you insight and tips about our audience and provide some prep tips and tools for presenting and facilitating.

Our fellow ProductCamp organiser Adrienne Tan from Brainmates will take you through the session. Adrienne is the co-founder of Brainmates, a Product Management training and consulting practice. She has been spruiking Product Management since 2004. Finally, companies have heard her message and are now realising that Product Management is a vital function in any healthy business. In her spare time, she keeps a number of loyal clients happy by helping them develop robust Product Management processes, solid product strategies and usable roadmaps. Her favourite project has been working on the alpha prototoype and making a video (with help from a video dude) for Malcolm Turnbull.

RSVP here.

Thanks to Level3 and Stax for hosting.

stax-logo-sponsorStax shines a light on everything enterprises need to know to be confident in cloud by taking out the guesswork and providing visibility, automated risk assessments, compliance and maturity, and recommendations for achieving best practice.


Level 3 LogoLevel 3 is all about bringing the creativity back to technology, by generating conversation within the tech community and facilitating introductions between start-ups and enterprises. At Level 3, ideas come to life.

Product Camp Melbourne – this Saturday!

Hi all,

This upcoming Saturday is the 6th annual Product Camp Melbourne!

If you’ve already RSVP’d, we’re looking forward to seeing you on Saturday! It’s a camp so things can change although we have a rough schedule.

Doors will be open from 8:30am for attendees (& breakfast will be served starting then!) We’ll kick off at 9am.

You can check out the suggested topics for the day and there’s still time to throw your hat in the ring. If you’re interested in leading a topic, you can add it to the list or even suggest it on the day (all topics presented are voted on by the audience).

If you have any questions please contact us on Twitter or Meetup or any of the other places you can reach us ūüôā

Remember, after camp wraps up, we’ll have drinks. For those who want to continue on, many of us go for dinner. You’re welcome to come along.

See you on Saturday!

Themes for Product Camp Melbourne

Have a question you’d like to discuss with other product managers and product people? A topic you’d like to tell others about?

If you’d like to present, lead a topic or roundtable discussion, or would love someone to talk about X (but *you* don’t want to talk about it… here is your chance to tell us and vote on what you’d like to hear at Uservoice!

Talks at Product Camp Melbourne 2015 will follow 3 topic streams. The ideas below are just that – ideas & potential talks. If one catches your eye, offer to lead the session. Or use these to help brainstorm what you want to talk about!

Each talk will be ~40 minutes long and should include time for questions. Interactive sessions are always well received. Slides are not required (though screens available if you want).

Theme 1 – Customer Research Talk Ideas

  • Understanding our customers is at the core of product management.
  • What are the best ways to reach customers?
  • How do you communicate your research to stakeholders & team members?
  • A/B testing tips, tricks, hits & misses
  • How can you translate research into user stories & features?
  • Tips for interviewing customers
  • Matching your hypothesis with a great way to test it

Theme 2 – Finance Talk Ideas

  • Often we don’t have the deep details of our product’s financials but as the product person, we should understand even if the responsibility falls to others.
  • How to read a P&L
  • What is missing in your budget & could bite you later?
  • Profit Driver Trees in action
  • The psychology of pricing
  • How to understand your product’s financials when no one is sharing numbers

Theme 3 – Product Management 101 Talk Ideas

  • In this jack of all trades role, there’s lots of core topics we use again & again. Which do we need to improve on or change our way of thinking?
  • Developers love hackdays! How can product love them too instead of feeling like the janitor?
  • Competitive Analysis tips
  • Can you actually get product/market fit? How?
  • Optimising products for growth
  • Are roadmaps worth the time?
  • The role of social media in product management
  • What to do when it all goes to hell!

Lightening Talks
Want to dip your toe into the water? Not sure if you have enough to discuss in 40 minutes (HA! you’ll be surprised!)?

Then suggest your topic for a 10 minute session in the lightening talks. Your 10 minutes needs to include question time. Ideas include:

  • Five things you need to know about SEO
  • The most important thing in your go-to-market plan
  • Resume tips for wanna be product managers

Once you have decided and even if you are still forming an idea get it posted on Uservoice and share with the community what you are working on. Once the votes are in you will know whether you are going to be presenting or not. Feel free to ping us info at if you have any questions or need any support.

Product Camp 2015 – date announced!

Hi everyone!

Mark Saturday August 22nd in your calendar. Block it out now. Tell everyone you’re busy and they shouldn’t even think of organising something for that day! Why?

Product Camp Melbourne 2015 on Saturday August 22nd!

More details to come, of course, but start thinking about the following:

  • would you like to volunteer & help organise the day?
  • are you interested in speaking?
  • do you know someone who would make a great keynote speaker?
  • would like to hear about a particular topic but don‚Äôt want to do the talk?
  • are you interested in sponsoring the event?

There’s 5 years of summaries to check out from previous camps in Melbourne so have a look & get in touch if you have any questions regarding sponsorships, giving a talk, volunteering or anything else.

Questions about Product Camp

We’ve had a few questions about this week’s camp so thought I’d pull them together here.

How does camp work?

Product Camp Melbourne is an un-conference. Other than the keynote, all sessions topics are driven by participants. The topics go on the wall to be voted on & which determines the day’s schedule.

How much does it cost?

Money wise, it’s free. We organise sponsors to pay for the venue & food so you don’t have to. Brain power wise, we encourage you to participate in discussions, be on a panel & even lead a talk.

Where is it?

This year is being hosted by Sensis in their building at QV. We’ll post a map soon.

What time does it start/end?

We recommend you arrive at 8:30am for check-in. Free coffee and breakfast will be setup so you can grab something to eat and drink while chatting with other attendees.

We kick off at 9am. We have a *rough schedule* but as it’s an unconference… it may change slightly.

The discussions end about 4:30pm. Everyone is invited to continue on for a drink nearby at Sahara bar. Drinks and food provided by our sponsor Intel Mashery. Later some of us go out for dinner.

What is talked about & how long are the sessions?

Sessions are attendee driven but obviously focus around product management, product marketing & the things that go into creating great products like communication, usability, frameworks, etc. Session topics have been posted on Uservoice & more will be coming on the day. Each session lasts about 30-45 minutes.

How long should I plan if I’m interested in giving a talk? Do I need to use slides?

Estimate 30-45 minutes per talk including time for questions or activities. It will depend on how many sessions we have over the course of the day but not shorter than 30 minutes.

You don’t need to use slides but you can if you want. We recommend sessions that are facilitated conversations, an activity, more interactive over talking to slides (of course, we understand slides can illustrate so let us know if you have any).

Won’t I get hungry?

Our sponsors will be providing breakfast, coffee, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea & end of session drinks. We intend on keeping you fed.

Camp Update

We are excited to announce Ben Ross as one of our keynotes this year. Ben is the General Manager – User Experience & Design at MYOB.

We’re welcoming some new sponsors this year & some that have been supporting us for years! Thanks go out to Brainmates, Intel Mashery, MYOB, PageUp People, Product Anonymous & Xero.

There will be a couple more announcements on another keynote and sponsors coming.

If you haven’t yet, check out the talks posted so far to Uservoice and start voting.¬† This is your un-conference so if there is something you want to hear about – add it to the list!

Make sure you RSVP to join us on the 4th of October!

Product Camp Melbourne: Talks

How will Product Camp Melbourne work you ask?

Product Camp Melbourne is 2 months away and we would like to let you know what to expect and what we are working on to make this a great day for you.

Product Camp is an unconference Рthis means the content and talks are by the community for the community. No sponsors talking at you pitching their own products, but talks within sessions decided by you. If you haven’t experienced Product Camp before, you can get a feel for it by reading last year’s wrap-up.

We are running the day this year with four themes to guide the submissions, but these will finally be decided by the votes from the conference attendees (YOU!). Our themes will be Lean, UX/design, Careers and Mystery Box. The Mystery Box is all about the surprises – what have we missed, what do you absolutely need to hear more about, and what is burning in your head right now.

Suggestions for talks should be posted to Uservoice and the community votes on what they would like to hear about.

You can get involved  in a few different ways:

  • Vote on the topic that appeals to you most that you would like to hear on the day, or
  • Want to lead a discussion or present on a specific topic? Post the topic on Uservoice (indicating the theme it is in) and whether it is a presentation or an activity, or
  • Is there a topic you‚Äôd love to hear covered but don‚Äôt want to lead that discussion? Post what you‚Äôd like to hear and note it needs a speaker, or
  • Suggest a speaker you think would be great to hear and what topic you‚Äôd love to hear them talk about

The Camp Organising group will reach out to you to help with shaping your session. They’ll give tips and suggestions from previous Product Anonymous events which will help you have a great experience presenting.

The top voted sessions will get an opportunity to pitch to allow the attendees to confirm the talks they want to hear on the day.

Other great things happening on the day – 2 keynotes, coffee, breakfast, lunch, and meeting passionate folk building products – all brought to you by our wonderful sponsors. More details on them and our keynotes to come! If you haven’t already RSVP¬†to join us for a fabulous day on the 4th of October!

Save the Date – Product Camp Melbourne 2014 – October 4

Over the next several months there will be lots more info forthcoming but right now mark your calendar for Saturday October 4th as the 5th Product Camp Melbourne.

We are looking for the following so get in touch with the Product Anonymous folks if you have ideas or are interested in any of these:

  • want to volunteer to help organise the day
  • are interested in speaking
  • know someone who would make a great keynote speaker
  • would like to hear about a particular topic but don’t want to do the talk
  • are interested in sponsoring the event

As usual we’re looking forward to a great day of product management conversation.¬† We are incorporating attendees feedback from last year’s Product Camp so you’ll notice some cool updates to previous years.

Stay tuned!  Jen

Product Camp 2013 – Wrap up

Product Camp Melbourne 2013 is done and dusted and what a fabulous day it was. While Melbourne rained itself out – those of us inside were listening to some great presentations, participating in some awesome workshops, and meeting fellow product managers across industries – and we weren’t letting that weather dampen our fun.
We kicked off the day with breakfast and coffee and an introduction to what the day was all about, we then got people out of their chairs and into the first icebreaker of the day – Product Management speed dating.
With all that noise and energy in the room we got ourselves gathered to listen to our first keynote speaker for the day, Guy Inbar: head of Mail Product Management and Innovation at Australia Post telling us about letter products.  Some fabulous insights into this tough industry were shared with us, including that the 60 cent fee for sending a letter in Australia does not even cover the costs to do that.
We then built out the day, with each presenter wishing to share a topic, letting us know what they would share with us and everyone voting on their topics of interest.  That had us run two group sessions before lunch and then plan out streams for the afternoon.
We started off with a conversation about your product management career.  Steve Bauer and Adam Fry joined up to talk through this one.  With some sharing of experiences and challenges when applying product management across different industries and businesses, to ways to take some time to think about where you want to be next it was a well-run session. It rounded up with time for those looking for their next role to put their hand up and those seeking product managers to share the opportunities they had available.
The next session on the Agile business gap was a hot topic.  Nick Coster split the group into two Рthose who had experience with Agile and those who did not.  Each group was asked to write down what they thought Agile was.  When comparing notes after this brainstorm, the group who had no experience seemed to sum it up better than those who had experience!  However, this was due to jargon creeping in from those with experience.  The discussion then steered towards how this methodology may not always be aligned or in sync with the product management process.  Gathering new market insight and creating a building a product back-log versus managing it once it is created.  The core summary of this conversation was that Agile is a very small part of the Product management methodology:
Agile fits into the build phase – and there is so much more that needs to happen before you get to that stage. ¬†There was some fun discussion about the difference between the product management role vs. the scrum product owner. ¬†In short, with any expletives missing, they are two people and two distinct roles that should work incredibly closely together. ¬† There is a whole three day Brainmates course to cover all this fun stuff, if a half hour discussion and a two paragraph write-up don’t whet your appetite!
So time for lunch after that rather intense discussion, consuming the fabulous food provided by Mister Close and sponsored by Telstra Wholesale and Seed Talent. ¬†That gave us all the energy to kick-on into the afternoon and listen to our second keynote speaker¬†Marc Galbraith from Thoughtworks on the topic “Jobs to be done”. ¬†Marc is an excellent presenter and obviously passionate about what he has learnt on this methodology. It was certainly insightful, and while some of the tools may be similar but with different names in the product management toolkit, there was definitely something to learn about a different way to ask questions of your customers, to gain a deeper understanding of their decision making motivations. ¬†Some additional reading on some other case studies of applying the “what did I hire this product/service to do for me” can be found¬†here¬†and additional resources for Jobs to be Done can be found here.
We had another fun icebreaker kicked off by Natalie Yan-Chatonsky  asking us to visually outline what product management was, as if aliens had just landed on earth, and we needed to justify not being exterminated :-).  The variety of visual interpretation of the same role was fun to see come to life, and then the chance to use that to explain to others how our pictures described our roles was a good laugh.
We kicked off into streams after this and so in rough order of each topic a little summary or snippet on each:
1. From Conception to the storeStefano Tempesta. You can find a copy of his presentation here.  This was a popular topic, highly voted on before the day, and Stefano prepared well for the session.  The majority of attendees joined this session and got a lot out of the sharing of experiences.
2. From Mortal enemies to best to get the most out of working with sales people.  This session was well  facilitated by Belinda Fry our resident Sales person of the day.  Belinda got us to call out things that create tension between product and sales, and then guided us through some options for preventing that tension from growing or continuing.  Some simple tips such as sharing the process more clearly, working on strategy together, so as to understand when tactical options may be limited.  A good lively discussion that helped us think about the situation from both sides.  Thanks Belinda.
3. Product Pricing: how to extract more value? by Alex Levashov.  The next topic was well hosted by Alex with another excellently prepared presentation.  Always a great subject to dive into and Alex had some case studies to support his approach, which is really helpful as one takes theory and applies in practice.
4. Product and Project management or¬†otherwise known as “the how many different hats do you wear in your Product mgmt role to help get the job done” topic? ¬†Nick Coster from Brainmates kindly stepped up to facilitate this session and it became a pin the tail on the donkey kind of session. ¬†The output of the game (although a little blurry) was this:nick's session.
In other words, there is a lot of shit that needs to get done, and that is what Product managers are so good at making sure it does. ¬†When there is a defined role in the organisation such as Project Manager, you might find you have someone to rely on to get shit done. ¬†But sometimes you even with this support there are still tactical things you have to keep an eye one or your product won’t ship, deliver or launch. ¬†Yet, one must spend some time with their head above water and taking some on strategy or you will end up just moving from one pile of shit to the next… and I think there is something in that for all of us.
5. Customer centre design briefly explained by Roy McBurney. Roy kindly put his hand up to run through this topical topic and present an overview of what the words mean, what it involves from a resource point of view, and why it is worth that investment in the first place.  Roy kindly takes out the award for being the first to mention Apple, which is quite impressive that we had gotten this far and not used our classic bingo word yet.
6. Why should people listen to you? This topic was posted by a PM that could not attend on the day, but really posed a good question for discussion so we gathered around to talk through what it means for a product manager to have influence, as influence is key and there are many people to influence. How do you foster your own credibility? Where does your authority come from? What should you do? What should you avoid? Liz Blink facilitated and first asked about the difference between influence and stakeholder management? And what different skills are needed to have influence?  Some great contributions from the group about the softer people skills needed to create this, the core passion that you run with as the biggest and strongest evangelist for your product, and a deep understanding of what motivates people are all areas to cultivate to build influence.
So it has been a massive day, so many topics covered, so much great insight gained, we pull everyone back together to go through the final topic of the day, brought to us by Brainmates and that is The Idea pad¬†– a simple way to capture your idea and validate it! a very simple concept with powerful ramifications for your every day product management approach. ¬†A great use case for it was outlined by Nick – the next time your CEO, the CTO, your boss or the customer with the biggest spend throws an idea at you that “must be done” then use this template to flesh it out and then say no! This tool helps you to validate whether the idea holds up just be answering four simple questions. ¬†Then if you are going to say yes, you will know exactly why, as you will already know who is the target market, what problem it is solving, what benefits the customer will see if the problem is solved and whether the business would benefit when you solve the problem. ¬†A no with all of this justification behind it will also be far more powerful.
On that great note we wrapped up the day by handing out the prizes of the day. Fabulously our sponsor Seed Talent had offered tickets to King Kong as incentive for sharing contact details.  The lucky winner of those tickets is seen here looking joyful about that cool prize. Our other awesome prize came from our super fabulous sponsor, contributor and co-organisers Brainmates who donated a ticket to their Product Management essentials class, when next in Melbourne.  A sensational give-away and I think our happy winner looks appropriately joyous.  For more photos of the day check out Brainmates facebook page here.
Thanks to Sensis, Brainmates, Product Anonymous, Seed Talent and Telstra Wholesale for their generous support of ProductCamp Melbourne
So thanks everyone for your attendance, your contributions and energy to make this such a great day. ¬†We hope it is not another year before we see you again – so if you enjoyed Product Camp – don’t forget to join Product Anonymous at LinkedIn¬†or follow us on Twitter to keep the conversation going.¬†Our next meeting is Thursday August 22nd.¬† The topic is being¬†confirmed so watch Twitter & our Linkedin group for more info.¬† RSVP here: