Join me for my #pcampatl tradition!

For the last 4 ProductCamps, it has become my tradition to host a brief invocation at the beginning of the day. I’ve always struggled with the best way to approach this, since ProductCamp Atlanta is not a “faith-based” organization and it is not backed by or supported by any church or religious institution.

However, I am a Christian and love the opportunity to share a quiet moment with others and pray for a blessing on the day and event. Historically, I’ve done this at a separate location in order to fully separate ProductCamp from my own personal beliefs. However, the response in the past has been so strong, I believe it will benefit all to meet at a more convenient location.

So, I’d like to invite you to join me at 7:30 AM on the morning of September 10, 2011 at the GTRI Conference Center. All are welcome to join me in Room C of the conference center for a 5 minute Christian-based invocation as we kick off the day.

Regardless of your faith or beliefs, I hope to see you there as we share a brief moment with each other and contemplate how we can each contribute to making our professional world a brighter place.

Product Thug Life(cycle)?

Some ideas are better left alone, but this isn’t one of them. Thanks to J.R. Francis for the photoshop job.

Product Thug Life
Creative Commons License
Product Thug Life by Jason Brett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

ProductCamp Austin Resources

I’m at ProductCamp Austin today which both of the readers of my blog already know. If you’d like to follow along and join us virtually, there are a few ways you can do that…

I’ll be streaming some content live at http://www.qik.com/jasonbrett

Twitter hashtag #pca10

Occasional comments at http://life.jasonbrett.me

Sessions and schedule for the day are posted at http://pca10.getcs.com/SessionList.aspx

Feel free to comment with more resources!

Book Review: Mike Cohn’s “User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development”

This post originally appeared on Strategic Product Manager on November 2, 2009

As a <type of user> I want <some goal> so that <some reason>.

Whether you are new to story-driven software development or have been managing products or development with user stories for a decade, “User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development” (Mike Cohn) is a great read.

I’m personally new to writing user stories, so I dove into Cohn’s book from a relatively fresh perspective, and found the entire book highly digestible. Mr. Cohn makes no assumptions about the readers level of expertise or familiarity with Agile methods. At the same time, he writes in a way that gives the reader credit for being intelligent and purposeful.

The book is broken into 3 parts:

Read more

Quick Thoughts on Business Cases

Earlier today, Stewart Rogers asked on Twitter, “Why do a business case?”

My immediate answer was that a business case helps to answer the question, “why are we doing this?” and to  define value.

But maybe “define” isn’t the right word. Read more

5 Reasons Product Managers should be at Startup Weekend

This post originally appeared at the TAG Community blog on October 24, 2009

I can think of more than a dozen reasons why every serious product manager should go to Startup Weekend on November 13, 14 and 15. For starters, Startup Weekend is a chance to get out and do something that’s, well, different.

Startup Weekend is in its third year in Atlanta, and you can read all about it (and register) over here. But, in short, you can imagine about 100 (or so) entrepreneurs, technology enthusiasts, developers, marketers, and experts from a variety of fields gathering together with the express purpose of building something new, and doing it in a single weekend. The energy is unbelievable, the dynamics thrilling and the opportunities are unlimited.

But this is a product management blog, right? Most of the people reading this have “real jobs,” (or are looking for one), families and responsibilities. This is not the time in your life to be getting involved in some half-baked startup crusade, right?

Read more

Thoughts On ProductCamp Atlanta

I’d definitely call ProductCamp Atlanta a success. Colleagues, friends and sponsors have been asking for a post-mortem or a wrap-up post, and now that I’ve had about a week to let it all gel, here it is. I’ve also got some survey results that I’ll post in a few more days. (If you registered for ProductCamp, and haven’t taken the survey yet, please do so, even if you didn’t attend!) Read more

The 5 Most Important Product Management Personalities on Twitter (Plus One)

I’ve seen a few great lists of product managers on Twitter. I think Cindy Alvarez “started it” with this post on her website. It’s certainly the first comprehensive list of “products” people I came across, and it introduced me to a larger world of active professional product management thinkers. Thanks Cindy.

There are a few great lists at WeFollow.com, and other places around the web. The other day Thomas Fuchs-Martin posted his list of 50 Product Managers worth following. It’s a great list too, narrowing down the hundreds into a few dozen key personalities.

But I got to wondering: “Who do products people themselves find most valuable on twitter? Who should I be giving more attention to?” So, like any good, thinking product manager, I asked. I made the question specific, and I made it hard. Read more

@Twitter Revenue Model Proposals Abound #metoo

I just finished reading Saeed’s post on Ideas for Twitter’s Revenue Model, and it was, of course, a good read. I’ve been meaning to write up my ideas as well, and it’s just never taken priority. By the time I finished typing up my comments at On Product Management, I realized I had a full blog post, so I just copied and pasted here instead. Enjoy!

Inspired By: (And about a million other blog posts I’ve read)

Ideas for Twitter’s Revenue Model – pt. 2 « On Product Management

It’s fun trying to figure out how and when Twitter is ever going to monetize the service. I think as fans we really want them to succeed, because we value the service so much and would hate to see it go away.

I’m a proponent of a four-fold revenue model for Twitter. Don’t limit it to four necessarily, but these are the biggies in my estimation:

1. In-stream advertising on the website. There is a tremendous amount of targeting data available to twitter to ensure that ads are relevant and highly targeted. The revenue from in-stream advertising may not move the needle much on its own, but it will drive people to more lucrative revenue producing access methods. Possibly consider upgrade to premium account removing advertising.

2. Tweet throttling based on account type. Free members would be limited to, say 10 updates per day (maybe even with the exception of DM and direct @ replies), while Premium members would be able to update more frequently. This takes a different approach to monetizing celebrities and power users. Trying to charge based on number of followers or follows I fear would devalue the service as a whole, unless the thresholds were extremely high. But monetizing heavier tweet volumes with a fairly low price would go a long way toward generating revenue on the users who actually cost the most to serve.

3. API Throttling based on account type. I propose all users be given access to an API key for their third party clients. Free users would be throttled to, say 5 – 10 API calls per hour, while premium users would get today’s standard 100(I think) and an elite or super-premium user would have a non-throttled (or nearly non-throttled) account. The Twitter API is one of the key reasons for it’s exceptional growth, and is one of the main value propositions of the service, even with all of its weaknesses. It is hard to think of anyone anywhere who has the volume of raw data available through APIs that twitter offers and, in my opinion, the company is absolutely insane to not be monetizing this. Note that I am still proposing that all this data be available for free, as it is today, through the Twitter.com website. It is access via third party tools that should be monetized.

4. Brand protection/resolution. Update the TOS to make free accounts subject to required name change in certain special scenarios. Allow brands to purchase  their brand name. This will probably create a little negative PR in the process and there are definitely some challenges to implementation, and I’ve got some ideas for how to make it happen. Premium accounts would have the ability to apply for a username that matches their legal name or a registered trademark. In cases of conflicting names and trademarks, a combination of first-come, first-served and an auction/compensation system would be used to resolve. Twitter waited to long to protect brand names from the beginning, so squatters own names like twitter.com/kraftfoods. Twitter does have the ability to resolve this now and I think the financial motivation to do so.

What are your thoughts?

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Coming Soon: ProductCamp Atlanta

Atlanta area product marketers and managers take note. ProductCamp Atlanta is coming!

ProductCamp Atlanta Logo

If you don’t know what a ProductCamp is, take a look at the official ProductCamp wiki for details, but in short, ProductCamp is an “unconference.” It’s a gathering of product managers and related professionals (or students) for the purpose of collaborating on topics related to Product Marketing and Management.

Step one is to secure a venue and date. I’ll make more announcements here, via twitter and of course at the official wiki.

If you’d like to get involved from the start, email me at jbbrett at gmail dot com with “ProductCamp” in the subject line.

More to come.

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