P-Camp ’10 at Yahoo

This weekend some friends and I went to P-Camp ’10 (product management camp) at Yahoo in Sunnyvale, California (Thanks Yahoo for hosting!).  I am a product manager after all and I do like to perfect my craft.  This is my second time attending and I think its third year in running.  Last year, I had an okay time, maybe it was the sessions that I picked.  I wanted to try P-Camp again this year.  I’m glad that I did.

One rule that P-Camp has is that if a session is not useful to you, feel free to walk out and join another session.  I didn’t follow this rule last year, so this year I am sticking to it.  During the 2:15pm time slot, I left two sessions and finally ended up at a session that I really liked and asked two good questions such that people approached me about the questions.  In any case, I really enjoyed my experience at P-Camp this year.  I met a lot of interesting folks and learned new approaches and new tools.  I recommend that folks go next year because 1) it’s free (let’s hope sponsors keep it free), 2) you’ll learn valuable skills that can be applied to a startup or a large company, and 3) network, network, network.  Go next time!

Here are the sessions that I attended and my key takeaways:

Product management in a startup environment (Adam Birch)

  • Leverage POC as a selling technique to get sales, more funding
  • tools: jing, inkscape, powerpoint, uservoice

Customer segmentation

  • talk to existing customers, ex-customers, potential customers
  • find out why customers went to competitors
  • look at the roles / job titles of your customer base / decision makers

Creditability and authority in product management (Alan Armstrong from Eigenworks)

  • what is your value if people are trying to go around you?
  • be good at bringing ideas together so that anyone can understand
  • a study that shows it takes 20 minutes to get something started
  • consolidate discretionary time
  • person who interviews the most buyers wins
  • if not able to talk to customers, go to forums/support information to learn what customers are saying, maybe answer some of their questions
  • what’s in it for the sales person to let you talk to the customer?
  • reach out to an ex-employee of your client
  • go after sales deal that went dead
  • create a FAQ

Top 10 principles of great sales messaging (Michael Cannon from Silver Bullet Group)

  • communicate value in customer context
  • make the right comparison: 1) business creation, 2) order creation
  • use strong words
  • clear compatibility comparisons
  • incorporate lots of proof points

Engineering makes the decisions, what do you do? (Phil from 280 group)

  • influence the product development space
  • work on messages asap to influence product development and roadmap
  • go to all meetings
  • leverage usability studies to kill/propel ideas

3 thoughts on “P-Camp ’10 at Yahoo

  1. @Brent Thanks for posting the link.

    @Michael Your session was one of my favorites because it had actionable items.

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