We Made a Place for People Like Us

We know what you love, and why you became a Product Manager, Product Owner, Product Marketer, Product whatever. Maybe, like so many of us, you started your career as an Engineer (I did), a Software Developer, in Sales, Support, or in some other role. Over time, you felt something calling you, something pulling you from the relative safety & stability of some other organization up to the front line, where market forces are whizzing by like bullets. Where problems can be monetized,where prioritization, decisive action, and informed risk taking is needed.

Is your role more about listening to the market and getting the right product on the shelves, or talking to the market and getting your product off the shelves? No matterwhich end of the Product spectrum or industry you work in, and no matter how you got your own battlefield commission in Product, people like us tend to face the same challenges everyday. Many employers offer product- or industry-specific training, and there is some excellent commercial curriculum available, like that fromPragmatic Marketing, but there are few grass-roots venues where we can all get together to discuss & debate the common best practices which cut across our various industries, market segments, channels & businesses.

Soldiers go through Bootcamp to learn key skills, Developers have communities likeBarcamp. And we Product People have ProductCamp.

What’s ProductCamp? ProductCamp was started in Silicon Valley by Rich Mironov, and spread through Austin, Boston, and many other cities. Today, you can find thriving ProductCamps in almost every major city in the U.S., and many cities around the world including London, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, and many more. It’s either free or low-cost to attend. It’s an unconference.

By unconference, we mean this is no typical industry conference or training event: No pricey registration fee. No preset agenda with glossy program. No big-name Fortune-500 keynote speaker, no t-shirts, tote bags, or cocktail party with big shrimp.

Here’s what our unconference is and how it works: First, it’s either free or low-cost to attend. Passionate, knowledgeable attendees (that would be You) pitch various topics either ahead of the event, or the day of the event. The same attendees then select those topics which are most relevant to what they need to know. And we thus deliver a peer-led, high-value program for Product Peeps, by Product Peeps. Attendees at all levels of experience & practice come for lots of reasons: to learn, to share, to collaborate, debate, get help, test their ideas. Got the picture? And at the end of the day, there may be beer.

So, wherever you live, work and do battle, get involved in your local Product Camp. Go to learn, go to contribute, Go to Lead. Engage.

And if you happen to live in the greater Portland Oregon area, our nextProductCamp Portland is coming up on March 7, 2015. See you there.