Common Patterns in the Launch of Successful Products

Update: The weekend finished on a high for me & the two teams I mentored with each taking away winning prizes of cold hard cash!

George McKibbin took out the $500 runner up prize with his “Pokemon for Cafes” Coffee Monsters iPhone app that placed a digital monster inside every cafe within Australia. Once a user checks into a cafe they can view that cafes Monster and feed it items off the cafes menu. It was great to work with George as this was one of the most creative uses of the Sensis API over the weekend and was well deserved of the runner up prize.

George pitches Coffee Monsters to the judges at SAPI Product Hack Camp 2012

Shopportunity was the other team I worked with closely over the weekend and they took out 1st equal and the $5000 winners prize. Shopportunity is a mobile web based app that takes the planning out of shopping.

Shopportunity integrates with popular list applications like Remember the Milk by fetching each list item and matching them up with a Sensis business. The app’s killer feature is that it will then push a notification to you when you’re out & about and near a business that sells the item on your shopping list.

The team used Christmas shopping in their pitch as an excellent example of how Shopportunity delivers value. Imagine you have put together your Christmas shopping list of items for loved ones and when you were close to a business that sold an item on your list you received a notification or email.

Think “Golf Balls for Dad” and being told when you’re near a sports store while walking to the train station after work. Genius. This means you can carry on your normal day and still get your shopping done without planning.

The Shopportunity crew

I’m still recovering from the big weekend but super proud of both teams and the awesome products they created in just 33 hours!


This weekend I’ve been involved with Product Hack Camp at York Butter Factory in Melbourne.

Product Hack Camp is run by the Sensis API (SAPI) team and is a chance for developers, testers, designers, product managers and marketers to hack together new product concepts and mash some great open data sources together. There are some great prizes up for grabs for the teams that come up with the most creative products in just 33 hours.

The #sapihack twitter stream is full of great tweets from over the weekend, check them out here.

I was asked to be a Product Mentor for the weekend and 2 teams asked me to help them out as they work over the weekend. They each have a great idea and my involvement has mainly been helping them articulate those ideas clearly and agree on the scope they want to deliver in such a short period.

Each team is required to pitch & demo their product idea to a panel of judges at the end of the weekend so a lot of my time has been providing feedback and recommendations on how they could run the demo and talk about their product idea in a way that highlights it’s potential.

As a Product Mentor, I was also required to give a short presentation to attendees about product development or management. The broad theme of the presentation was “How to make great products that are successful”.

Phil Metcalfe SAPI Product Hack Camp Talk

Presenting to the Hackathon crew…

I decided to dig into the common patterns that successful products follow leading up to their launch. Instagram’s launch story is one that very few people are aware of so I decided to use them as a case study.

I received some great feedback on my presentation so thought I’d get it on Slide Share and pass it around. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.