Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management


Sharing ideas

Great leaders share ideas. They often speak at conferences and similar events where they communicate their successes and give their audience ideas for their own path to success. I’ve noticed an interesting trend: great leaders share their ideas for free. They give their customers advice on how to improve their companies; they give individuals advice on how to improve their lives. While they always offer products and services for a fee, they share ideas — valuable ideas — for free. This “service-begets-commerce” model works, and we will see that people and organizations that focus on providing value to their customers will emerge from the current downturn as the leaders in their market.

The Product Management Perspective: Product managers have been sharing ideas for years. However, when compared with other fields of expertise (e.g. IT, accounting, HR, etc.), product management has not provided nearly as many opportunities for gathering and sharing ideas. The good news…it’s changing. With the creation of product management associations (PMAs) such as the Silicon Valley PMA, the Boston PMA,  and the Toronto PMA, local groups are starting to pool resources, share ideas and help each other to improve the role of product manager. These and other organizations have collaborated to provide “product camps” (after the bar camp model) where product managers gather to share ideas and learn from industry thought leaders. Check out these upcoming events:

Product Camp Austin 2009
When: Saturday January 24th, 2009 from 8:00am to 5:30pm
Where: The ACTLab @: The University of Texas at Austin, College of Communications, CMB Building, Studios 4B-4E
Corner of Dean Keaton (26th) and Guadalupe St. in the “Big Grey Building”
Cost: FREE
Registration: Register here.
Check out Paul’s post on ProductBeautiful for more details.

Second Annual P-Camp Silicon Valley
When: Saturday March 14th, 2009 from 9:00am to 3:00pm+
Where: Yahoo! Building C, 701 First Ave, Sunnyvale
Cost: FREE
Registration: Sign up here.

If possible take advantage of these and other opportunities where you can get together with other people passionate about product management, share ideas and contribute to the community. Check out the PMA web sites for other upcoming events. For those of you in the Utah area, check back for an exciting (upcoming) announcement in our area.