By Saeed Khan
First off, thanks to Rich Mironov for inspiring the title of this post. He was wearing a t-shirt from the first ProductCamp Silicon Valley with a very similar phrase on it.
ProductCamp Silicon Valley was this past weekend. Held at the EBay complex in San Jose, over 500 people showed up on a nice sunny Saturday to network, share their stories and learn about product management, product marketing, innovation and other such topics.
I’ve been to a number of camps in New York, Boston, Austin and of course here in Toronto, but this is the first time I’ve attended the event in the Valley. Yes, that’s me on the right getting ready for my talk. Click on the image to enlarge.
It was good to see some old friends such as Barb Nelson, Sue Raisty-Egami, Scott Gilbert, Steve Johnson, Cindy Solomon and of course, the aforementioned Rich Mironov amongst others.
I gave a talk on Product Management Metrics. Steve Johnson spoke about Shaggy Dog stories. Barb discussed Launch Readiness (or lack thereof in some cases).
Our presentations are below, as well as a link to a Storify story by Cindy Solomon on the event. If you were there and have other links to the event or other presentations, leave them in the comments.
Tweet this: One day at Product Camp (Silicon Valley) http://wp.me/pXBON-3OY #prodmgmt #svpcamp
Are you going to ProductCamp Silicon Valley this year?
It’s March 23rd at Ebay in San Jose.
I plan on attending and I’ve proposed a couple of talks as well. Steve Johnson, another contributor here is also attending and has proposed a talk.
You can see and vote for these talks and others on the Product Camp sessions site, or just click on any of the links below to get to the voting page.
Product Management Metrics — How to be the CEO of your product by Saeed Khan
One of my proposed talks. In it, I put some structure around managing products in a more holistic manner and present a model that can be used for virtually any product.
Stories about Product Management – by Steve Johnson
Steve is a great storyteller and always has some great insights to share
How to Become an Independent Product Management consultant by Sue Raisty-Egami
Sue is a really dynamic speaker and has been an independent consultant for a number of year. I’m going to try to attend this session myself.
No More Superheroes – How to build an effective and scalable PM organization – by Saeed Khan
My second proposed talk. Here I present a structured approach to defining differntiated roles within Product Management and a way to grow the org so it best addresses the needs of the company as well as the team members.
Understanding the next job up — and getting promoted – by Rich Mironov
Rich is a true high-tech veteran who has spent years “in the trenches”. He has great insights to share and all I can say is I wish I had attended a talk like Rich’s when I first started in Product Management.
Thanks for the support.
And if you are a reader of this blog and will be attending ProductCamp, I would love to meet you if possible.
Leave a comment here and then let’s try and connect at the camp.
Tweet this: Heading to ProductCamp Silicon Valley? http://wp.me/pXBON-3NS #prodmgmt #svpcamp
Silicon Valley Product Camp 2012 is this coming weekend! March 24th at eBay’s office at 2161 N. First Street. You went to all the trouble to register and vote for sessions, so don’t forget to show up! If you’re like me make sure to warn your spouse so they aren’t shocked that you have plans for 8 AM on a Saturday. If you didn’t manage to register in time, make a note to sign up next year or try to get to one of the other awesome Product Camps taking place around the country or around the world. Check out the top proposed sessions ahead of time to see what catches you interest.
By Saeed Khan
This past weekend, I managed to attend Product Camp Austin 8! Thanks to some business I had to attend to earlier in the week in that same city, I was able to stay an extra day and learn from and network with some of Austin’s finest product people.
I saw my good friend and fellow On Product Management blogger, Prabhakar Gopalan. As usual, he was energetic, excited and full of disdain for conventional thinking.
I met Josh Duncan face-to-face for the first time. He had interviewed me last year on his blog and posted the video on his site. My initial thought: he’s much taller than I expected!
Also met with many other people including Scott Sehlhorst, Tom Evans, Mike Boudreaux and Cindy Solomon. I’ve met Mike and Cindy before, but each just once, and neither time in Austin. As I’ve stated previously on this blog, there’s nothing like face-to-face meeting to really get to know someone or understand what they are about.
Although it’s not a huge city (population is under 1 million), the technology scene in Austin is vibrant. I’m not sure of the official count, but there were at least 250 people in the audience in the opening session. And this was not the largest ProductCamp they’ve had.
Attending the camp and meeting with everyone inspired me to dust off some old personal projects that have been lingering on the back burner for a while. You’ll hear about some of these later this year. But the day also inspired me to get back and blog more regularly. I have at least 3 upcoming posts in the works.
Although I didn’t have a speaking slot on the day (grumble grumble, unpublished deadlines, email snafus), I was directly referenced in various ways in at least 3 sessions that I attended. Two times it was by people who knew me, but one time it was by someone (Dori Gilbert) I had only met that morning and with whom I’d only had a 10 second exchange. I’m not sure what to say, but I was both humbled and, yes, inspired. You don’t find that level of cordiality everywhere.
My lesson and advice — get out of the building more and meet, talk, engage, interact, learn, teach, network, experience, share and deal with people face-to-face as much as you can. You will only come out better for your efforts.
I want to tell you about Josh Duncan’s talk Own Your Story or Someone Else Will. Yes, you can click the link to see the slides, but I want to tell you about the talk, not the slides.
Josh was presenting at the end of day in the main auditorium. The AT&T Conference Center, where ProductCamp was held, is a nice facility. It’s new, modern, high-tech, with wall-sized projection screens, stadium seating etc. What better venue for Josh to deliver his talk. He’d prepared a top notch, visually interesting slide deck. And he’s a good speaker.
Well, Murphy’s Law struck just as Josh was setting up, the projection screen refused to work. Where his slides should have been, all we had was a floor to ceiling 20ft wide black wall. But the show must go on. So what did Josh do — with a bit of encouragement from the audience? He turned his talk into a fireside chat.
That’s how he gave most of his presentation. And you know what? It worked. Everyone learned something. He owned his story!
Earlier in the afternoon, one of the speakers was a no-show. Too bad, as the title — A Slice of Design — sounded intriguing, and there were at least 50 people in the room patiently waiting. I was one of them. Once it was confirmed the speaker was not around, one of the organizers came in, apologized for the no-show and suggested people go to one of the other sessions that were underway.
While a few people started to get up, someone said “Let’s get another speaker” or something like that. Prabhakar had just entered the auditorium a few seconds earlier and was standing near the front of the room. I pointed at him and said, “I want to hear him speak!”. It seems like everyone knew Prabhakar there, and soon others joined in, encouraging him to give a talk, completely on the fly.
He accepted the challenge, took a few seconds to compose himself and then gave an impassioned talk on the future of Innovation. Here are a couple of tweets from the audience.
And did I mention that at the end of the day, his talk — impromptu as it was — was voted best of the day? That’s what an “unconference” is about!
I’ll end it there, still inspired as I am, and I hope that I inspired you a bit. Where ever you are, whatever role or job you have, if you’re reading this blog, realize that obstacles in your path are simply there to help you think and find creative solutions to problems.
Get out, meet people, learn from them, teach them and leave each other inspired to do great things.
Tweet this: Inspiration, Improvisation and Innovation in Austin http://wp.me/pXBON-3au #prodmgmt #innovation #pcatx