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
- 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