Outstanding P-Camp this weekend

This Saturday's convocation of product managers, P-Camp 2009, was an outstanding event. Great presentation and great conversation. Many thanks to Rich, Luke, and everyone else at Enthiosys for organizing P-Camp, and to all the sponsors for making it happen.

Here are a few take-aways from the presentations I attended:

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Invention, innovation, and product management

In response to the last couple of posts about invention and innovation, Jennifer says:


While this is an interesting thread to read, and can definitely cause many long hours of debate sitting in front of the fire with our pipes et al, it seems that it might be missing the mark with product management.

Yep, I agree. Which leads me to the next point I wanted to make in this series:

Inventors in development need innovators in product management.

While the two groups often don't get along very well (product managers are naysayers, development is just doing its own thing, etc.), the partnership between them is essential.  Someone with a cool idea and enormous technical skill is usually the first person in a new product group, or a new startup company. However, that inventor can benefit immediately from someone who's a professional reality checker and opportunity finder--a product manager.

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Can we talk?

Last Wednesday, the part of Forrester that runs the Leadership Boards sponsored a dinner in the Boston area for product managers and product marketers. (This was part of the regular activity for the new Technology Product Management Council.) And wow, was that a good conversation.

The good news is, the research agenda is on the right track. From social media to product requirements, from the PM job description to general best practices for PM, from Agile in the tech industry to how people become thought leaders, we seem to be picking the right topics.

The bad news is, I have a lot of research to do. But that's only bad news as long as I'm not doing it.

However, that wasn't the best part of the dinner, which was when we Forresterites shut our big yaps. The product managers and product marketers had a lot to talk about themselves, comparing experiences in profession that doesn't give many opportunities to talk across organizations. Fostering and participating these missing conversations was one of the reasons I wanted to join Forrester in the first place.