I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the smart and sassy Adrienne Tan from product management powerhouse, Brainmates. Brainmates are a great bunch of product managers who are always seeking to innovate for their customers and within the field of product management itself. Their latest adventure is a Product Mini-Conference as part of Vivid Sydney. The topic is Essential Steps To Creating Great Products & Services and is ideal for anyone looking to bring a great product idea to life.
Adrienne took some time out of her busy schedule to give me the inside scoop on the Product Mini-Conference and to explain the advantages to freelancers, startups and/or idea bootstrappers of product management itself.
What is the aim of the Vivid Sydney – Product Mini-Conference?
Great products and services that make our lives easier and better leave lasting impressions. They’re like good stories … Ones that we love and tell our friends about. Often though, we are not exposed to how great products and services are created. It mostly happens behind closed doors.
The aim of the conference is to learn the magic formula from successful businesses – to learn the process they follow to make products and services that leave lasting impressions in our lives.
Why did you choose to be a part of Vivid for this particular event?
I choose Vivid Sydney because I wanted to bring Product Management and Product Development to a more mainstream audience. 10 years ago when I started Brainmates, only a few people knew or and spoke about Product Management. Vivid Sydney is an opportunity to highlight the importance of Product Management for all types and sizes of businesses, from the one man band to a large conglomerate.
We’ve all got great ideas. We’ve all got a product to sell. And we should, therefore, know how to turn these ideas into products and services which resonate with the market. It has always been a mission to bring these topics to the forefront of our community.
Why would freelancers benefit from The Product Mini-Conference?
There are 3 reasons why freelancers should attend this event.
1. Freelancers have a product to sell. They sell their skills, craft, experience, know-how, information and outputs. They need to be able to package all that is tangible and intangible and make their ‘product’ appealing to their target market.
And they need to do so in a way that is better than the competition.
2. Freelancers plug into this process call Product Development and Product Management. It would be beneficial to know how it works and how businesses create products so that they know where and how to position their way into gaining new work.
3. Freelancers need to network and where better to network than with the likes of the people attending. They are the people that build products and often ones that need help!
What’s the main aim of this particular event overall?
The main aim of the event is to unveil how great products and services are made so that people know that there is a method and process that is applied. If they follow some of these practices, perhaps they too can be the next Mark Zuckerberg.
The panel includes people from eBay through to Pandora. What was the idea/motivation behind your choice of speakers?
We looked for successful digital products and services and these companies were top of mind. I wanted a range of product types represented at the event – so I have marketplaces, music, health and real estate.
I thought that provided a broad range. It was also important to have a mix of male and female speakers.
How can the everyday person apply product management to an early stage business idea? (even without formal training)
People apply product management without even knowing that its product management. Every time we ask ourselves who would want to buy my idea, product, service we are applying product management. Every time we try and work out how much money we might make from selling an idea, product or service, we are applying product management.
Training, short courses and lectures are super hot property at the moment. What advice would you give to a freelancer or solo entrepreneur when it comes to making the right choices with their education budget?
There are 2 things that pop to mind when trying to work out how to make the right training and education choices.
When running yourself like a business you need:
1. Good general business knowledge. Business knowledge is the foundational building blocks. Here I think you need to ask yourself if you have broad knowledge about how businesses run and what it takes to run a successful business.
For example, Product Management teaches us what we need to create and manage products. A freelancer may choose to see themselves as a product and learning product management provides them with the structure for building a better product.
2. Specific skills. Then there are specific skills that you need to get stuff done. Here you have to figure out what you have to do, then determine what you want to do and for those tasks that you want to do but don’t know how, get some training.
For example, you may need to design brochures to market yourself and if you don’t know how to use Photoshop, you may choose to invest some dollars in learning how.
What are the 3 things you think make a great idea turn from a sketch on a napkin to a rockin’ product?
3 things that turn an idea into a rockin’ product are:
1. Determining if your great idea solves a market problem.
2. Identifying who the market is and how big it is.
3. Converting, testing and iterating the idea into a product that is better than other solutions in the market.
Are you looking to discover the Essential Steps To Creating Great Products & Service?
You can catch the Product Mini-Conference as part of Vivid Sydney on June 6th from 2pm to 5pm.
To find out more and purchase your tickets via the Brainmates website.
I’ll see you there!