The first product-focused summit in Columbus is slated for Monday, November 6 at the Fawcett Event Center, 2400 Olentangy River Rd. Lift: A Product Summit will bring together product managers and product owners from startups to Fortune 100 companies for a day of keynotes and discussions centered around product.
Lift Co-Organizer Laura Jackson sees the conference as a learning opportunity to shed light on what product really means. It’s one of the most common questions people in Columbus have for groups like the Columbus Product Club, the organizer of the event.
“Product management can be a physical product as well as a digital one,” Jackson says, but ‘product’ is largely a mindset. Product managers focus on the entire lifecycle of a product – always looking at user feedback, always looking at competition, always measuring outcomes.
“It’s a different mindset of evolving a product over time,” Jackson continues.
It closely aligns with agile development. Especially in the software world, there are two main development methodologies: waterfall and agile. Waterfall means having everything set up front – research, requirements, design – and then hitting go. Agile favors adapting and evolving over time, inspecting what is happening and responding.
The presenters at Lift come from all walks of product life – both physical and digital.
The morning keynote will feature Ryan Eder of Include Fitness, maker of inclusive physical and digital products meant to provide fitness for all, and his story of identifying a problem and creating a solution for it.
In the afternoon, a keynote panel of startups and founders, including Brooke Paul of Taivera, Pam Springer of ORIS Intelligence, Yiem Sunbanich of TNEDICCA® and Warner Moore, independent executive consultant and startup advisor, will discuss stories of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Additional speakers will cover topics that range from entry-level insights to more intricate, expertise-level discussions. Jackson says the conference will provide a good breadth of knowledge that can really be a tool kit for any product manager.
Individuals already in product manager roles, or that feel they may be sans official title are encouraged to attend. Jackson says there is also value for startup founders and other individuals in leadership roles to understand how product might translate in their hierarchy.
While just catching buzz in Columbus, Jackson expects the product mindset to become more prevalent. She sees larger companies trying to build out more product- or journey-focused teams, as well as more and more startups exploring the product manager role and mindset.
For those unable to attend the conference, but curious about the product world, meet ups like the Columbus Product Club and Product Hunt hosted at the Idea Foundry can provide more insights. Jackson also points to a Product 101 series hosted by Ryan Frederick of AWH.
More information and tickets to the Summit are available here.
For more information on the Columbus Product Club, visit cbusproductclub.com.