Sunday, March 14, 2010

Silicon Valley P-Camp 2010 Report

This past sunny Saturday, March 13, I attended “Silicon Valley P-Camp 2010” along with roughtly 550 attendees comprised of other product managers, product marketing managers, bloggers, vendors, sponsors, speakers and others interested in product management issues. Held at Yahoo Campus in Sunnyvale, this was the third annual P-Camp for Product Managers and Product Marketers. P-Camp is the world’s largest free get-together of product managers based loosely on the successful Bar Camp and Open Space formats. I was excited to be surrounded by colleagues who share my interests in developing software, products, technology, methodology, trends and related issues.
The schedule for the morning sessions was confirmed ahead of time. Preregistered participants including thought leaders from all over the country proposed more than 70 different session topics. Uservoice enabled collective intelligence to determine which presentations would be scheduled for the two morning sessions. Participants voted online for favorites and commented on the subjects they were most interested in. Starting quite early for a Saturday morning, we got in two 45 minute sessions before lunch. I attended Product Management in a Start-Up Environment hosted by Adam Birch and Use of Social Media for Product Marketing Research with Scott Gilbert. In the first, we collaborated in small groups to identify the critical steps, resources and deliverables vital to a PM’s ability to hit the ground running that establish credibility and momentum from day one. In the second session, Scott encouraged a lively audience discussion of case studies, questions and answers about how social media is currently being implemented by PMs.
Of course, the event included the customary souvenir white t-shirt covered with more than 15 sponsor logos on the back as well as an abundance of deli sandwiches, soda, chips and cookies for lunch thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, including the Silicon Valley Product Managers Association.
The afternoon agenda was created in a real-time Agile manner by attendees with the world’s largest dot voting experience ever undertaken. The volunteer team was quite efficient in posting the finalized schedules. During the lunch break, sponsor donated books, software, trainings and other desirable items were raffled off. Throughout the day, 34 different sessions took place.
After lunch, I attended Making Web 2.0 work for product management with Andrew Filev, Product Strategy with Sue Raisty-Egami, and Agile Story Craft with Dennis Britton and Amy Lightholder.
This was the kind of professional event chock full of networking opportunities, educational insights, and information that will take some time to digest. Session content and notes are being captured on a wiki. I was delighted to meet face to face the bloggers and Product Management celebrities who have been tirelessly promoting critical visibility of product management in the industry.
Thank you Silicon Valley Product Managers Association, Rich Mironov and the 25 other volunteers who handled all the logistics and promotion for an excellent event. Not only did I come away with new information, I got to validate some product ideas, and recognize how much I enjoy the challenges of product management. Next P-Camp I’ll be presenting!
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