Past Meetup

Meetup Presentation: Strategic Product Management and Marketing


Topic details: The role of product management has similar characteristics to being a CEO. A good product manager needs to be strategic in his/her approach to making a product successful. Development and marketing skills are often insufficient for success particular in organizations with unreasonable expectations and poor product design and development practices. Useful ways of looking at the strategy for a product can often influence key stakeholders who otherwise might prevent a product from being successful. The one hour presentation lays out useful analytical techniques and rules of thumb for building and marketing a winning high tech product based upon hands on development experience and the latest work on innovation.

Presenter: Alistair Davidson

Presenter bio: Alistair Davidson is an international strategic consultant who has been involved in both running and advising many high tech startups. His clients and employers have included major international consulting firms (Laventhol & Horwarth later merged with Price Waterhouse, Woods Gordon/Arthur Young now CapGemini, Cushman & Wakefield, and AT Kearney), high tech firms (HP, Infinera, Cisco, Linksys, Veritas now Symantec, Hyperion) and clients in other industries such as pharma, medical equipment, financial services, publishing and media. His startup experience includes business intelligence, financial services, new media and automotive telematics.

Alistair is the author of three books on strategy and technology strategy, the best selling of which, Riding the Tiger, is about best practices in information management strategy. In his spare time, he is a contributing editor at Strategy & Leadershipmagazine. He has authored numerous articles, written and video interviews and book reviews on management strategy.

Alistair’s international product management and marketing experience includes full life cycle responsibility for over a dozen software products and turnaround experience for failed software products and services. Examples of his work include:

1. The first ever strategic planning software which included a 3,000 expert system that would provide advice on strategy, along with a financial model and expert system, business planning templates, and portfolio analysis.

2. A networked team simulation game for teaching hundreds of telecom managers about how to cooperate and compete in a converging telecom marketplace where mobile, fixed telephony, cable and over the top services were converging.

3. An information warehouse and business intelligence tool based upon distributed and configurable object oriented database technology.

4. Improving the productivity of developers by 20X over three years.

5. Signing up over 400 new customers for new products internationally.

Alistair is frequently hired by high tech firms and consulting firms for thought leadership development, demand creation and content based marketing strategies. He has also been hired to turn around failed account relationships.

Alistair has an MBA from Harvard, studied AI at Harvard and MIT in the early days of AI, and has taught computer programming. He is a trained strategic facilitator who has run many workshops. His consulting web site is ( his Linkedin profile is . His career experience includes venture capital, running an incubation center, publishing and film, and finance. He has been CEO of both software startups and an incubator.

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