Announcing the Product Strategy Workshop –October 3rd Bangalore

So, you’re building a product. Great!

Of course, its a great experience building products, and even more, doing product startups.  So what goes into creating a great, useful product ? Does it start with design ? It obviously does not end with ‘shipping’.  Why is it tough ?

A lot many of us have got our own comfort zone – be it development, or marketing, or a sales cycle, or even operations. But it takes a whole bunch of different aspects of building a product to work out great for it to succeed amongst its users, and sometimes just one of those to go wrong for the pack of cards to collapse. For startups, with all their constraints, it gets even more complicated. And it gets also more and more attractive to stay in one’s comfort zone when that happens.

So what are these many different things you need to keep an eye on ?

Some of what’s needed in the current Indian startup scenario is a better understanding of competitive landscape, structured thought process in assessing opportunity; replacing gut-feel based feature prioritization techniques with data-driven process and questioning a few misconceptions regarding the target segment (“I am the end user” syndrome).

With this one-day intensive workshop, we hope to help Startup folks who want to inculcate some measure of ‘Product Management’ discipline in themselves and help build kickass products that actually connect with the business they’re in, or want to be in. (Fyi : product management is not project/program management, but if you’re reading this, you’ve probably at least read that much.)

The 1-day workshop will have meaningful case studies, role plays and an interactive learning session.

Venue: Evoma Business Center, Bangalore (K R Puram, Old Madras Road, Bangalore)

Date : September 26, 2009. October 3rd, 2009

Timing: 9 AM – 6 PM

Format: Will include case studies from real businesses. Interactive.

Fee : Rs, 2,000 (includes lunch/coffee/material)
Contact : Ashish Sinha (ashish at NextBigWhat.com), or Sameer (get.sameer at gmail dot com)

Who should attend? Early stage startups to late stage startups – essentially, this is a ‘Product’ workshop (for companies building products) and not a ‘B-plan’ workshop.

Why attend?

1. Who are you ?

Founder/CXO/Product Manager/Want to create something meaningful.

You are, or would rather be, responsible for the execution of the brilliant concept that’s been discussed within your team. You need to convert the brainwave into a real thing, with real users and making real money. In other words, translate the desires/hypotheses/visions into a running product, and ensure that’s really the one that’s needed, and that its really needed (there is a difference, you’ll see).

This involves understanding the real users being addressed, the difference between users and customers, assessing the opportunity, deciding on the important features, and how they roll into a road map, helping out with design from a coherence point of view. And all you’ll usually have to work with are numerous constraints and perhaps a few resources.

Juggler-in-Chief describes it, possibly 😉


2. Why attend ?

You actually want to do a good job of the above 😀

Seriously. Product creation – and even running one – benefits from some structured methods of approaching the various problems associated with it. Product Management bridges multiple functions, and ensures the product stays on target every which way. Sure, a lot continues to be instinct, but backing it with some methods, tools and techniques that have been learned from (others’) mistakes helps you spot problems early, measure success better, and plan for what-ifs. It also helps succeed, or fail fast, which is critical in any product’s lifecycle.

Some things are better learned from experience, so meaningful case studies, role plays and an interactive learning session will help get some of that.

By the end of the session, hopefully, you’ll have understood the function of Product Management, and truly internalized some of the learnings (which are otherwise available in small scattered post lunch notes on Twitter as well). Of course, a lot many standard tools, techniques and methods that you might benefit from while playing this role late will also be shared. Finally, we’ll be thrilled if you can spot and share some of the possible pitfalls you’ve been getting into, and the session can directly or otherwise help identify a few possible fixes for the same.

3. Who are we ?

We are entrepreneur+product managers, who have worked with startups and have seen the enterprise as well as consumer world.

– Ashish Sinha – has worked as Product Manager in enterprise space (SCM, SAAS, SRM) as well as consumer space (Yahoo!) and has been running pluGGd.in for the last 2.5 years. He has seen the entire startup lifecycle closely and while there has been few great success story, many of the products have met with mediocre results – the dream is to build more success story.

– Sameer Shisodia – Earlier cofounded Zook/Ziva (mobile startup) and now a product consultant, Sameer has worked in core engineering positions at Yahoo! and later moved to managing products (and doing everything else) @ Ziva/Zook.


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