2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Your Founder Is Your Product Manager

#sxsw #ProductMgr

Since most start-ups are operating on a tight budget, hiring a Product Manager is often delayed until the business begins to scale. However, for start-ups to be successful the product management function still needs to be performed by somebody. In most cases that person is the Founder or CEO, who often lack product management training.
In this session a panel of experienced Product Managers and start-up Founders will review the basic principles of product management that every start-up leader should know , including problem identification, market analysis, and feature prioritization. In addition methods for transitioning the product management role from the Founder to the first Product Manager will be presented.



Alicia Dixon

Mobile Prod Mgr

The Sheridan Group

Alicia Dixon is a Product Manager with a specialization in mobile software. Her expertise includes product development, product strategy, and market research. Throughout Miss Dixon’s career she has successfully produced enterprise and consumers products through positions held at leading companies including UPS, Dell, Blackboard, Fruit of the Loom, Nike & Toys R Us. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University along with an MBA from Baruch College, CUNY and an MS from the University of Alabama. She is an active member of DC technology community and sits on the planning committee for ProductCamp DC. Miss Dixon currently resides in Maryland.


Jason Shah

Prod Mgr

Sherpa Foundry

Jason Shah is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Sherpa Foundry.

He previously was a Product Manager at Yammer, where he focused on building out new features for the leading enterprise social network which was acquired by Microsoft in 2012. Prior to Yammer, Jason founded INeedAPencil.com, which provides free online education tools to students from low-income families. After growing INeedAPencil.com to more than 50,000 students with an average score increase of 202 points, Jason sold INeedAPencil.com to CK12 in 2011.

Jason holds an AB with honors from Harvard College with degrees in sociology and computer science. He blogs regularly at blog.jasonshah.org and tweets shorter thoughts @jasonyogeshshah.


Paul Young

Prod Mgmt Instructor

Pragmatic Marketing

Paul Young has more than a decade of experience in hardware, software, and services product management and marketing. During his career, Paul has launched and managed dozens of products, started his own business, and successfully implemented the Pragmatic Marketing Framework at several companies.

His experiences range from large companies to startups, and across a wide range of technologies and business models. His focus on building market-driven teams gives him a unique ability to relate to product management teams and executives that are transforming their business. As one attendee put it, "Paul Young is the essence of pragmatic! Great depth, conversation, and practical reinforcement - excellent!"

Prior to Pragmatic Marketing, Paul served in senior product management and marketing positions at a number of companies, most recently leading product management and business development for SaaS products at Dell. Paul is the founder of ProductCamp Austin.


Teresa Torres

Prod Consultant & Coach

Product Talk

Teresa Torres is a product executive, consultant, and coach. She draws from psychology, behavioral economics, organizational design, and learning theory to explore what it takes to build great products.

Her practice is based on developing the three pillars that support great products: a clear vision, sound decision making, and building the right team.

Teresa has worked in a variety of product roles including:

VP, Products at AfterCollege
CEO, Affinity Circles
Senior Director, Product & User Experience, Affinity Circles
Product Manager / Interaction Designer at Become.com
Interaction Designer at HighWire Press

She received her BS in Symbolic Systems (a cognitive science program that draws from psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and computer science) from Stanford University and is working towards her MS in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University.

Thanks to our sponsors

Miller Lite Monster Energy Esurance Chevrolet AT&T IFC Subway Austin Chronicle

Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil