2015 Tracks and Sessions

Michael Campbell took lots of photos. You can view them here.
Charles Dimov posted a review of this year’s ProductCamp Toronto here.

Follow the links below for more information, slides and notes of the sessions.

Product Management for Solo Entrepreneurs – Dan Cooperstock
Let’s Talk Business Cases – Steve Castrucci
Learnings from Talking to Customers and Prospects – Steve Castrucci
Lightsabers and the Death Star: Hero Myth as the key to the Customer Story – Alan Armstrong
Why Product Management is hard, and how you can be a better Product Leader – Saeed Khan
WHO am I working with? – Alexandra Bialek
UX without a UX team – Shannon Bauman
Excellence in Product Marketing – Charles Dimov
If You Build It, Will They Use It? Leveraging Business Objectives to Deliver Successful Products – Kevin
Job Networking for Product Managers & Marketers – Charles Dimov
How-To’s of Marketing Persona Building and FREE Tools to help – Charles Dimov
Failing Fast and Cheap – Moshe Mikanovsky
Beware of Terms Unknown When Partnering – Dmitry Shesterin
Price It Right: Product Pricing Best Practices – Dmitry Shesterin
Product Management Podcast Ideastorm – Allan Neil


Product Management for Solo Entrepreneurs – Dan Cooperstock
Any other sole proprietors of one-person (or tiny) software or other tech businesses here, who wear the product management hat among many others? Let’s compare notes.


Let’s Talk Business Cases – Steve Castrucci
We have all been there, and have had to create a business case. But, there are so many different types of business cases out there. These range in size and depth, from the Consultant’s five-inch thick business case to the scribblings on the back of a napkin. There are different types of business cases required, depending on the oganziation’s size, stage in market, and attitude to risk.

This session will examine the various components of a business case, and the participants will be asked to share their best practices and war stories. Come prepared to listen, and to share your experiences.


Learnings from Talking to Customers and Prospects – Steve Castrucci
What are the most significant issues you discovered through a Customer Visit or a Win/Loss Review? Everyone knows that talking to your customers or prospects is the best way to learn about the market, and the market problems. And we all know that we should be spending more time dong this.

A Customer Visit is defined as an interview with a customer primarily to learn about the market. A Win/Loss Review is defined as an interview with a customer or former prospect, after they have made their procurement decision, to discover why you won or lost the business.

In this session, we will share our findings discovered through a Customer Visit, or a Win/Loss Review. The facilitator will start the ball rolling, but the emphasis will be on sharing customer experiences from the attendees.


Lightsabers and the Death Star: Hero Myth as the key to the Customer Story – Alan Armstrong
Learn brand new techniques I’ve developed for unlocking new business and understanding churn using the Hero Myth and the image of the lightsaber. I propose a model to marry data with the customer story, and teach you a new method to discovery that story for use in product development, marketing, and sales.

I’ve developed these techniques as I’ve personally interviewed a few thousand B2B buyers since I founded Eigenworks in 2008. You will get the first view of this content, which I am developing for a book and training program to be rolled out in 2016.

I would love to see you and get your feedback. The Hero Myth, Customer Story, and even the Lightsaber, can provide powerful tools for engaging in your business life!


Why Product Management is hard, and how you can be a better Product Leader – Saeed Khan
The whole field of technology Product Management is new and poorly defined. Different companies define and implement it differently. It can be confusing, frustrating and downright depressing if you end up in the wrong organization.

This talk discusses the history of Product Management and explains how it can be defined, implemented and staffed for success.


WHO am I working with? – Alexandra Bialek
Understanding the drivers and motivations of the teams you work most closely with: Development, Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Service and Support, Professional Services, Legal.

Each of these teams has their own goals and are measured by distinct metrics. It makes sense to better understand what those are to have an easier time influencing them.


UX without a UX team – Shannon Bauman
Perhaps you’re a startup without a budget, or you are in a larger org that just hasn’t prioritized UX in the past. How can you work towards making your product more usable without the full time UX resources at your disposal? We’ll present some ideas, and then open up the floor for discussion.


Excellence in Product Marketing – Charles Dimov
Product Marketing is key to the success of a firm’s Products, Services, Sales, and New Product Introduction (Launch) efforts. Question is – do you know what exceptional Product Marketing is, or looks like? For those of us in the field we need to define the key functions, what kind of background is needed – or must we develop, which metrics should be monitored, what elements of Digital Marketing are important, and what are a few key examples of exceptional product marketing. This session will be a GROUP BRAINSTORMING exercise to define excellence – and structure Product Marketing so we can target where to learn and improve. Ultimately, this session’s goal will be to create a PRODUCT MARKETING SCORECARD – to help guide those in the Profession.
Read Charles’ summary Blog post here


If You Build It, Will They Use It? Leveraging Business Objectives to Deliver Successful Products – Kevin
B2B customers aren’t buying a product–they are buying a solution to a business problem. To develop a successful B2B product, you need to understand the value that solving the problem will provide them, link it to a clear set of customer objectives, and ensure that your product’s features will enable them to meet those objectives. This session will walk you through the process of developing a Business Objective Model and show you how to demonstrate that your product’s features are meeting a real and quantifiable business need. We’ll also talk about how that information can help you with the sales process, pricing, and more.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how Business Objectives are vital to businesses
  2. Understand how to elicit and write good Business Objectives
  3. Understand how to use Business Objectives to assess the validity and need for product features and focus on those that deliver the greatest customer value.


Job Networking for Product Managers & Marketers – Charles Dimov

We have all heard that 80% of jobs are gained through networking. Question is: as a Product Manager or Marketer – how do I actually do this? You don’t think about it until you are facing uncertain times in your company, or are unemployed looking for a job. After reading over half a dozen books by ‘experts’ on networking – the core element of job networking How-To’s are still completely missed.

An interactive session to review several observations on Job Networking based on the results of over 215 network meetings. We will discuss the core of what to say during the networking meeting itself – for success (what the books DON’T discuss), and what to do for each of the different meetings: Open, Targeted, and Opportunistic.

This discussion is based on one journey, analytics and the discussions of the audience – NOT a networking ‘expert’. Like most of us at the event, the presenter is a Product Marketer / Manager… not a recruiter or in the talent industry.


How-To’s of Marketing Persona Building and FREE Tools to help – Charles Dimov

Persona creation is a critical part of understanding your product buyers and target audience. It helps you hold to a consistent brand voice throughout your launch, awareness campaign, social media efforts, or product marketing campaigns. Most importantly personas serve as quick reminders about the audience to whom you are communicating, including how to speak with them in their language.

This session will discuss the key elements of building personas, sources of information for your research, and a review of several FREE online tools available to help create your key personas. Meant as an interactive session, drawing in some of the key learnings, experiences, and best practices experienced by the Product Management / Marketing audience.


Failing Fast and Cheap – Moshe Mikanovsky

Proven strategies and examples of testing hypotheses early and cheap. There are many ways to test – what works and what not? would be great to hear real life stories for veteran Product Managers on what works and what not…


Beware of Terms Unknown When Partnering – Dmitry Shesterin

Once you chose the partner option in your build/buy/partner trilemma, work out a draft term sheet all parties agree upon before codifying these terms via a legal agreement.

Join me in this session to discuss a wide variety of terms and approaches you should be well versed in when partnering with a third party.


Price It Right: Product Pricing Best Practices – Dmitry Shesterin

One of many Ps on every product manager’s agenda, pricing is a complex and divisive subject.

Join me in discussing best practices in how to come up with a pricing strategy for a new product or service, adjust prices for existing and communicate changes while avoiding common pitfalls.


Product Management Podcast Ideastorm – Allan Neil

Allan, Dave Mathias, and John Crespi are creating a Product-related podcast. This would be an idea-storming session to tell us what you think would make for a gold standard, “must-listen” product-related podcast.

If you are a fan of podcasts and wish there were more or better quality product management-related podcasts then come and help us design a podcast you would want to listen to.