Saturday, January 19th, 8:30–4:30
Establishing a World-Class Product and UX Practice; Healthy Product Prioritization
Learning goal: Product management and user experience design are a combination of art and science that justify a dedicated independent team.
Product management is a frequently misunderstood role, often conflated with project management or product owner or scrum master in Agile development teams. And, most companies relegate design to afterthought: “make it look pretty and easy to use!” When properly empowered, these two roles can operate as a yin and yang to be the catalyst for sustained accelerated business growth. This class will focus on how to position these roles, how they should operate, and a nuanced approach to building (or rebuilding) a solid product team.
Roles and responsibilities
Product management vs. other peripheral roles
UX, UI, and research
Collaboration and execution with engineering
Intertwining product management and UX functions
Ideal org structure
Best-in-class deliverables and process
Elevating the role of design
Building a top-notch product organization
When and where to start
Overlaps between CEO and PM
Keys to finding, selecting, and closing top talent
Learning goal: There’s always more to do than there is capacity to get it done. Product-forward companies live and die by their ability to continuously make smart product priority decisions.
Product desires/needs come from every angle: customers, competitors, shifting sands in the market, internal stakeholders, executives, engineers, etc. There is a long list of product prioritization methodologies out there, but no single best framework because the right roadmapping process depends on several factors, such as the market, timelines, sales cycle, stage of company, and so on. This class will illustrate the best methods for building a robust product roadmap across various situations, and bring them to life by addressing real world complications, such as technical debt, defects, and outside influences.
Product prioritization considerations by company stage
Top prioritization frameworks
Addressing real-world complications
Handling technical debt and bug fixes
Addressing prospect/customer demands
Achieving a balanced product roadmap
Purpose of a product roadmap
Iterating and triangulating on priorities
Presenting the roadmap internally and externally
Scale: Mastering a Strategic View Toward Financing Your Business
Leaning goal: Money is a way to get needed resources, but it is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
This class will expose participants to multiple methods and sources of obtaining growth financing, the tradeoffs among them and the best ways to attract the best and most likely funding source for the business.
Using other people’s balance sheets.
Joint marketing and other channel strategies.
OEM and outsourcing of manufacturing.
Joint ventures and partnerships.
When it makes sense to use debt.
The role of personal guarantees.
Friends and family.
How to choose
What it takes to be a “backable” business.
Lunch roundtable and discussion
Discussion on fundraising
The Mechanics of How Deals Get Done
The terms and mechanics for how venture capital and business exits occur.
What are the essential terms of any venture financing?
How much can you negotiate these terms?
What is the role of a term sheet?
How does a VC value a business?
What’s in a capitalization table? Does it tell you everything you need to know?
How VCs value a business
Teachers: Aberman and Riechers
Summing up and Lessons Learned
Discussion of program and lessons learned to assess benefits to participants.
Teachers: Aberman and Kudisch