I recently delivered a talk “Deep Dive into Virality and Network Effect” at ProductCamp Silicon Valley held at Santa Clara University. My presentation is now available on Slideshare (enabled for download too). I had Excel models too but that would be too complicated for someone without a discussion.
It was the 8th year for ProductCamp Silicon Valley, which is biggest of all the ProductCamps anywhere in the world. It was fantastic to see dozens of people at the sight as early as 8AM on Saturday.
Tom Gilheany introduced the event to the audience in a very interesting way including an exercise to demonstrate how regular practice leads to a habit. Out of 27 on-the-fly suggested topics, my session managed to gather 19 votes to stand 9th and get a place in the second round of sessions. The entire list of sessions can be seen here. The topics were extremely interesting, diverse, and delivered by extremely well rounded Product Management professionals in the valley.
The top voted topics in the first session were
- How Product Managers Decide What to Build (7 Ways to Prioritize)
- What Directors and VPs of Product Management do?
- WTF is HDFS? – Big Data for PMs
- Beyond the Tech Cube: the 7 steps to building a thriving marketing consulting practice
- Our Product Managers Are Not Strategic & Other Complaints
- The Lean Product Playbook
As I looked at the choice of top topics closely, it revealed some interesting facts about the audience
- The confusion of PMs around what to build can only be appreciated by PMs. Other professionals wouldn’t probably relate that well. Indicates that hardcore Product Managers were present at the event.
- The second most voted event attracted double the capacity of the room. It was obvious that most participants were ambitious mid-level PM folks looking for career promotion.
- Big Data is the current Mega trend in valley and the pace at which the space is evolving and the startups are getting funded, PMs definitely need to upgrade themselves about it. The seen on HDFS was definitely an important one and voted rightly so.
- 4th and 5th sessions confirmed my belief that the large audience was mid level PM community. This is the obvious stage when PMs get frustrated with the status quo at their company and start evaluating options for self practice, freedom, and larger opportunity portfolio.
It was delight to see that some participants pulled bigger audience with even ad-hoc sessions in the open area. The feel of event was pretty addictive and reminded me of Barcamps. There were quite a few Job postings on the wall. Silicon Valley is definitely a great Product ecosystem and this event reflects it so well.