Last week's ProductCamp Berlin'14 was my third ProductCamp overall, and but the first one in Berlin.
The impressions of ProductCamp are always positive. About 100 product folk at one place, all keen to share, all keen to learn. Hard to go wrong, really...
Where are the F-people?
A week later, one thing still stands out - evident lack of founders attending the event.
Granted, the audience was smart,savvy and engaged. However, it was mainly made up of curious engineers, PMs (mostly fairly junior or 'lifers'), consultants, trainers and coaches.
Out of about 50 sessions, there was only one lead by a founder / CEO - seeking advice how to hire product people. Among the participants I've spotted a single co-founder, of a reputable but not quite A-list startup.
No founders. So what?
It's not like we can all be founders, right? True. The absence highlights two potential problems with product management in Berlin:
- Too few product-focused founders and company leaders;
- Product management profiled as a bureaucratic,mid-management discipline.
Product much too important ingredient of sustained startup success for both of these trends to continue.
Next time, we ought to make sure to engage founders more closely in product community. If nothing else by getting more product managers to become startup founders.