Sunday, March 24, 2013

Silicon Valley Product Camp 2013

Silicon Valley 6th annual Product Camp 2013 was held yesterday at eBay San Jose campus.  This was my 3rd time attending PCamp, and it was very exciting to see fellow product managers in the Silicon Valley area.  I have learned a lot from attending earlier PCamp events, and this year was no exception.

I wanted to share some random points that stuck with me from the sessions that I attended.

1. Steve Johnson: Shaggy Dog stories

A funny story with a lesson:

A product manager is talking to a developer.

Product Manager: I was on my way to work, and my car breaks down.  Then I found out that my cellphone was out of battery.  It didn't end there.  When I got home, I saw my husband kissing a neighbor.  I sure can use some help.

Developer: Ok.  I have a charger.

Moral of the story: Don't put too many context when specifying user story.  Pay attention to important things that PM must do, not just urgent things.

2. Dan Olsen: How to be a UX design army of one

Product design needs a dedicated resource because it requires its own craft and skillset.  UI/UX design is not just pretty layout design.  It is based on information architecture and deep understanding of what problem the user is looking to do.  Before product managers can fill in product designer roles, PMs must understand what the designer's charter is.

3. Jim Foxworthy: Pragmatic Marketing annual PM survey gap analysis

Product managers reported that their biggest gaps were on market problem research, win-loss analysis, product profitability and customer retention.  PMs understand these are important areas, but because of all the daily grind and distractions, they are not spending as much time as they know they should.


4. Todd Tullis: A lean enterprise software retrospective

As an enterprise software company PM, it's difficult to pitch a new idea to executive team.  Priorities are driven by customer engagements, and it's difficult to look ahead and start investment with long term view in mind.

It is also important for enterprise software company PMs to get direct feedback from customers because of all the layers between customers and PMs.  One suggestion made during the discussion was to build personal relationship with customer so that PM can reach out to the customer directly.

5. Sean Campbell: Going beyond Google - gathering competitive intelligence from the deep web

Social media can be viewed as social exhaust where all kinds of bits of information about the company can be collected and analyzed.  For example, LinkedIn provides company headcount and its distribution across the globe.  User communities shows unfiltered feedback on the product from customers' perspectives.

If you attended SVPCamp 2013, is there anything that you would like to share?


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