ProductCamp Austin 16 - Teach, Learn, Network

ProductCamp Austin 16 - Teach, Learn, Network

On Saturday February 13 I joined 300+ additional product management and product marketing professionals in an all-day un-conference in Austin, Texas. This was my 3rd consecutive ProductCamp and the second in which I was a speaker. As always, it was a truly invigorating day growing in what I love doing - building great products.

Being surrounded by others who are like minded is more than just a fun way to spend a Saturday. It is a chance to teach, learn and network.

First Houston - Austin day trip: 300+ all EV miles

First Houston - Austin day trip: 300+ all EV miles

For the first time since buying my Tesla Model S 85D in April, I decided to take a zero emissions road trip! Now normally this is no big deal in a car with an 85 kW battery and an EPA rated range of 270 miles. Tesla has built a great network of Superchargers that are designed to make road trips about as worry-free as with an ICE vehicle. But if you are making a day-trip, the challenge is a bit greater.

ProductCamp Austin 14 reflections

ProductCamp Austin 14 reflections

On Saturday March 7th, I joined over 300 other product management and product marketing professionals for the 14th edition of ProductCamp Austin. It was a tremendous opportunity to network with new peers and to learn from others' valuable experiences. Read on to learn more about what made it unique!

 

The Un-conference

The ProductCamp movement is growing across the country, delivering a very different experience from any other gathering of its type. In fact, it's so different it's known as the "un-conference". The un-conference is all about you, the participant. It costs nothing to attend but you are encouraged to volunteer. Sponsorships from well-known product management organizations such as Pragmatic Marketing and many others make this possible. 

Dear product manager: do you have a problem?

Dear product manager: do you have a problem?

What do you think is the one thing without which the product manager cannot do his or her job? Some people would tell you the most important element is the product roadmap. Others would say it's a good requirements backlog. Maybe you think it is a good set of user stories and use cases? What if I told you, as important as all these elements are, they are not the most important element of your job?

A successful product manager must know customers with problems! 

Let's be a bit more specific here. You need to: 

  1. Know some customers, and
  2. Know their problems. 

We'll look at each of these steps in more detail below. 

Remember to forget

Remember to forget

From the time we are children we are taught that forgetting is bad. We forgot our lunch box at school and our parents scolded us. When we are older we forgot too, and the consequences can be harsher ... we forgot to pay the car payment, and now our credit is impacted. So we learned, forgetfulness is bad, but is that always the case?

Sometimes in life, forgetfulness is good. Yes, you read that right. Let's examine some of the things we might want to forget:

  • Past hurts - sometimes the ones that love us, hurt us. Sometimes it is healthy to forget, in order grow.