ProductTank organisers Jase Clamp and Louise Flynn give us a snapshot of the Brisbane product scene and reveal something the rest of us have been missing!
What is it that motivates you to run ProductTank meetups?
In running ProductTank we’re able to help our friends and product people in Brisbane to be happier in their work. It’s also an opportunity to build capability in Brisbane for great Product people, especially the ones that don’t know yet that they are great Product people!
Who plays an important part in Brisbane’s ProductTanks?
There are lot of people who support our ProductTank but really, it’s the senior product people in Brisbane who attend our events and share their lived experience that help to make it what it is.
In 2020, many of them are also opening their doors to share their product operations with the community as part of our “Brisbane 2020 Product Roadshow”. We hope this will help us to put the spotlight on Brisbane – showcasing the best product and design practice. Each month we’re hosted by a different company (who give us a sneak peek into how they do product) and host great local speakers who join us to discuss topics relevant to product practice.
How many members does your ProductTank have?
How many ProductTanks have there been in Brisbane to date?
When it comes to event planning, we’re gluttons for punishment. Last year we had more events than any other city in the world – 19, followed by our friends over in Auckland. We recently ran our first virtual meetup in light of COVID-19.
Anthony Lee has coordinated most of our ProductTank “Yakka” workshops (the word Yakka has its origins in Aboriginal language meaning “hard work”). ThoughtWorks has been a great partner as they host all of these workshops which are more hands-on and interactive.
What can you tell us about Brisbane’s Product Community?
Brisbane is a very exciting place to be for product at the moment. Recent years have seen a real maturity in the software and digital delivered businesses that are Headquartered locally. Companies like Skedulo, while headquartered in the USA have kept their operations here. Other companies like Clipchamp and Outfit.io are ones to watch, having recently obtained funding. These are featured in our product roadshow and have grown off the back of good product practice by solid practitioners. With investment now supporting our innovation precinct and programs, we are also seeing a new generation of educated, curious and empowered entrepreneurs in need of amazing Product people. The confluence of these two things is seeing our ProductTank community more active than ever!
Our events tend to get an even split of product people, design people, engineering/tech people, and others including founders and executives.
Which talks have been a hit?
Design-led or Designer led by Liam Casey was very popular. It was a talk where we unpacked the purpose of good design within a product company.
We also had a series of workshops that were oversubscribed in 2019 – these gave practical go-to-market, digital marketing and sales advice.
How does ProductTank help product people?
Having ProductTank has encouraged us to do more because it’s helped to remove that feeling of being alone in the pursuit of the craft. It also helps us to show people how many paths there are to becoming a product person.
Can you share any fun facts about Brisbane?
We fondly refer to Brisbane as Brissy or Brisvegas and it’s the capital of Queensland which is also known as “the sunshine state”. We have a marketing slogan here “beautiful one day, perfect the next” that you could argue is pretty accurate – statistically, we have 283 days of sunshine a year!
Nestled between the wave beaches of the sunshine coast and gold coast, Brisbane is the third-largest city in Australia and was known to the early Aboriginal people as “Meanjin”, which means “place shaped like a spike”. This describes the snaking path the river takes forming some peninsulas.
The first lamington was made here in 1900 at Old Government House for Lord and Lady Lamington. If you don’t know what a lamington is – you’ve missed out!