Thursday, April 22, 2010

Webguild Social Media Strategies Conference - special deal for SDForum members is putting on their Social Media Strategies conference on May 18 and 19 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara.

If you are an SDFORUM member, you can get quite a break on the price.

Here is the deal, courtesy of Jeffrey Blake:

Social Media Strategies is a conference on social business, social marketing, advertising and optimization. Social media technologies are fundamentally changing the sales, marketing and operations. It is changing the way businesses acquire customers, market to, interact and communicate with customers. This conference features cutting edge topics, keynotes, workshops and discussions that provided strategic knowledge, insights and real world examples on how to successfully plan, implement and manage your organizations social media efforts to achieve your business goals.    May 18-19 at Hyatt Regency Santa Clara
Exclusive discount for SDForum:  $595  - use discount code: sdforum
Additionally - there will be some periodic raffles for free tickets - see the website.

Jeffrey says the code saves $555 off the non-member price of $1150.

Let me know if you decide to go.

Friday, April 16, 2010

When do you need a product strategy?

By Mark Helfen


When your tiny technology startup is scrambling to get its first product out the door, or struggling to make its quarterly numbers, or responding to an unexpected sales opportunity, why should you take time away from such critical problems to develop a long term strategy?

Monday, April 12, 2010

PrivacyCamp - a barcamp in S.F, May 7

Privacy Camp - a free "unconference", will be held in San Francisco on Friday, May 7.

More data at their web page, here.

Here is a descriptive quote from their web page:

The San Francisco camp, held May 7 after the Web 2.0 Expo, aims to examine privacy and social networks.

Barcamps are user generated conferences. The agenda is typically decided in the first few hours by the participants. If you have a session you would like to moderate, propose it, and if there is enough interest it will happen. You don't need to be an expert to moderate a session, just willing to stand up in front of a small group and manage the process.

Privacy camp is a three part event this year. The San Francisco event is part 2. The first part already happened on April 17 in Washington D.C., with a focus on the government policy and privacy. Part three is scheduled for Toronto, in June (exact date not yet decided).

Barcamps are a great way to learn and network.


Mark Helfen


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Strategy development doesn’t naturally live in any organization. So where should it live?

By Mark Helfen

Where should strategy live in your company?

The job of strategy development for your company “doesn’t naturally live in any organization,” says Rich Mironov. So where should it go?

Mironov will be speaking at the April 12 SDForum Marketing SIG meeting on the topic “Where does/should strategy live in your company.” He is a principal at Mironov Consulting, and the author of the book The Art of Product Management.

Mironov clearly has a soft spot for people with the title “Product Manager,” who should own the process of developing company and product strategies, describing them as “the concentration point”, “the rallying point,” and “the organizing principle” for the development of a company’s strategy.

But where should a product manager live in the organization?

In his experience, they actually live all over. In companies he has examined, one-third live in marketing, one-third in engineering, and one-third in “other” – somewhere else in the organization. Product strategy development doesn’t seem to have a natural home.

Whichever organization its part of, the resulting strategy can appear to have a bias based on its place in the organization. If the strategy is owned by one department, “it will fail.”

So while there is no natural home, it has to live somewhere. Larger organizations can have separate strategy groups, but for small startups and mid-sized companies this isn’t affordable.

It’s critical that even for startups that haven’t shipped their first product, a corporate and product strategy is developed.

If a startup doesn’t have a good strategy, “every sales call with every prospect disrupts the strategy,” putting companies in “thrash mode.” A good strategy helps small companies from being buffeted by “pseudo market input,” which is my candidate for the phrase of the month. Each piece of new data can be considered, instead of forcing the company to react instantly.

Ultimately, strategy development is a process, not a deliverable.

Monday night’s presentation will help you bridge the divide between the reality that strategy development has to live somewhere, and the ideal that it’s a company wide process responding to the requirements of every business function.


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant. He can be reached at:



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