7 Reasons for Product People to Attend Industry 2015


7 Reasons for Product People to Attend Industry 2015

Ever since my partner, Paul, and I made the commitment to re-introduce what is now known as Industry as an event specifically for product people, we’ve heard a couple of very common questions from friends and associates:

  • What is Industry?
  • What do you mean “product person“?
  • What value should I expect to get out of attending Industry?

Well, the first question can be easily answered.  Industry is a 2-day event for people that build, launch, and scale world-class products.  It’s a combination of inspiring talks and non-stop learning from product leaders hailing from San Francisco, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Washington DC, and elsewhere.  It’s an offshoot of an event last year, which the Cleveland Plain Dealer called undeniably powerful.

The second question is a bit more complicated.  To us, a “product person” is somebody who cares about developing and bringing to market products that people care about.  This includes software or hardware products.  Although, Industry isn’t about either, necessarily.  It’s about the process and framework of developing products people care about — no matter what kind of product that might be.  As a result, the attendees registering are already tending to be product managers, UX professionals, designers, developers, and often executives at product-driven companies.

But the third question is perhaps the most important.  After all, a ticket price of up to $600 means that attending Industry is indeed an investment.  And it’s our intent to make sure that you get an immediate and exponential return on that investment.  So rather than give you one answer to this question, we’ll give you seven reasons why attending Industry might be the best investment you could make this year as a product person:

1.  Go “behind the book” with bestselling product authors like Nir Eyal and Trevor Owens.

Two of the most exciting product-focused authors in recent years will be on hand to present Master Classes to the community attending Industry.  Nir Eyal, author of Hooked, and Trevor Owens, author of The Lean Enterprise, will be representing both coasts as they come to Cleveland to talk product.  Between the two of them, they’ve appeared in TechCrunch, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and elsewhere.  Their work has been studied and practiced by both startups and large enterprises alike.  It’s not often that you find them both in one place, so those attending Industry will be in for a treat.

2.  You’ll be able to take much of what you learn, and apply it right away once you get back to the office.

Let’s face it — if you’re attempting to sell the concept internally so that your company can foot the bill for Industry (or even more importantly, if you’re paying out of your own pocket), you better be able to show how it will positively impact your business.  The talks you’ll hear won’t be about theoretical concepts.  They’ll be actionable, and you’ll walk away with ideas that you can immediately begin implementing.  One example of this is a talk you’ll hear from Michael Bamberger, President of the NYC-based Alpha UX.  Michael’s firm works with Fortune 500 companies on assisting in user research and insights.  At Industry, you’ll hear about specific user experience experiments that you could run — whether as a startup or larger enterprise.

3.  Prepare yourself to be inspired.

Yes, Industry will be educational.  If you bring a moleskin, expect to walk away with it filled with useful notes.  But Industry is more than just education.  After all, as product leaders, we’re all looking for more than just knowledge.  It’s the “aha moments” that fuel some of our best work.  And there will be plenty of those, too.  Whether it’s Josh Pigford sharing his experiences as a serial “builder” — or Jay Yoo, a Cleveland-based product developer and evangelist who caught lightning in a bottle with a six-figure crowdfunding campaign — Industry will bring you just as much inspiration as it does insights.

4.  Build your network from coast to coast.

Let’s face it, sometimes it can be lonely as a “product person.”  After all, not everybody shares our affection for agile sprints, prototyping, or customer development interviews.  It’s not necessarily easy to build a network of other like-minded product people — especially outside of your local area.  With attendees already registering from places like Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania — and even as far west as California — the value you get from other attendees may be just as much (if not more!) than the product leaders you’ll hear speak.  So coming to Industry may just help you make a few new friends.

5.  Take in some new perspectives.

Are you a startup founder about to launch a brand new product or platform.  Or are you a larger enterprise considering how to help your team adopt lean principles?  In either case, there’s something for you at Industry.  Our lineup of speakers includes those who have launched startups, consulted for Fortune 500 companies, and have taken shaky products and helped them reach scale.  An example of the latter includes Mina Radhakrishnan, who joined Uber when it was just a team of 30 as its Head of Product.  Now, the global company is valued at over $50 Billion and has over 1,000 employees and 160,000+ drivers.  Mina will speak from her experiences at Uber, as well as in advising other product-driven companies.

6.  Be surprised with some “bonuses” and extras.

Don’t think you’re going to walk away without some surprises.  We believe that Industry is just as much a product as it is an event about products.  And we want people to be delighted with our product.  So expect some unexpected gifts.

OK, spoiler alert:  Some of our sponsors, including Keen and Balsamiq, have already offered each attendee several months of their products, which are valued at over $100.  But we can’t tell you about everything you’ll receive.  Because then you won’t be surprised!

7.  Enjoy everything that Cleveland has to offer.

Yes, I admit it — I love Cleveland, Ohio.  Even after spending time living in other places, including New York, Cleveland is a special place to me.  Maybe it’s our amazing food.  Or perhaps its an entire neighborhood that’s dedicated to craft beer.  But hey, maybe I’m not so crazy.  After all, LeBron James loves Cleveland, and isn’t afraid to tell Bill Hader.

But don’t just take my word for it (or LeBron’s, for that matter).  A few small publications like Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s and the LA Times have all called Cleveland the place to visit in 2015.

So there you have it.  Not one, not two, but seven reasons to attend Industry this year.  Still not convinced?  Drop me a line at mike [at] productcollective.com with any questions, and I’ll do my best to take care of any hesitation you have.

Mike Belsito
Mike Belsito

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, a conference in the midwest for people that build, launch, and scale world class products. Mike also wrote the book Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us, which debuted on the top of Product Hunt. Mike’s products and businesses created by Mike have been featured in national media outlets like The Atlantic, Inc Magazine, CNN, PBS and the New York Times.

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