Aug 8, 2008

Great Pubnight Experience!

Wednesday night's Pubnight was a very interesting and rewarding experience for me and hopefully those who attended. We had about 20 or so folks attend. Here's what was really cool about this event:
First, there were no awkward introduction moments. Ever been to one of those "networking" events where you feel like you’re a duck out of water? It's almost like you feel forced to have a conversation. You have second thoughts about giving out your business card in case someone calls you selling something! Well it didn't feel that way at all! We all have genuine interest in product marketing/mgt and hopefully we all have invested interest in the success of PCT. Two attendees re-connected with those they'd not seen in months…that was real nice to see.
Second, I met some really cool people too! I met Libin (PCT's "unofficial" photographer!) who is a Ruby on Rails developer. Libin came from China about 3 years ago. He couldn't speak very much English but now his English is better then mine. If you want to see some of his work head over to LearnHub.

I met Melina who is the product manager over at Idee Inc. They have a really neat image search engine called TinEye. They are looking for more beta users...give it a shot! Idee has a pretty cool work environment, in fact, every Friday they have an informal "open house" where you can pop in. Check with them first though! =)

I talked with Adriana, who is working with a University on a system that facilitates innovation, learning and knowledge sharing. Sign me up!

Shaji from Esprida and I talked about "slash people". Chances are you are a slash person. Think about all the things you do in your professional and private life. For example I'm a marketing dude at a company, I'm bringing ProductCamp to Toronto (with folks like you), I blog etc, etc. I'm a marketing dude/pct organizor/blogger…etc. What this means is that many people have varied interests that round out their lives. There's a book about this but I don't know the title. I wonder how this concept of slash people might result in new products and services coming to market?

Donna Papacosta, from Trafcom News, and I talked about her recent Podcamp experience. PodcampToronto was a huge success! But, what really struck me as a true example of what an unconference is all about was what was missing the day of the event. The event was held at the Rogers Communications Center but if I recall correctly the pop machines were unplugged so participants didn't have anything to drink. In the true spirit of an unconference Donna and a couple of others went and bought water for everyone. No complaints, no waiting for someone to solve the problem. Instead, taking action for the betterment of all those involved. Pretty cool.

So, to sum things up I had a great experience! I hope all those who attended did as well. For those of you who couldn't make it … join us in September..yup we're having another pubnight!

Finally, thanks to Chris Gurney for coming up with the idea of having a pubnight!