Online Learning Conference


Save $200 off the registration fee:
Use Discount Code TMN2 when registering to save $200

Because you have to deal with reality—your LMS, your legacy software, your IT department… because you need to understand what’s coming in mobile, games, simulations… and because technology alone isn’t the solution… Training magazine is gathering the best and the brightest in Chicago to help you. Join us.

The passion for innovative solutions and ideas at the conference motivates and inspires all learning professionals. Dave Okey, Group Leader: Instructional Media Group, Diebold Inc.

The tips and techniques you can learn from the conference can put your organization on the frontier of developing friendly and fun training.
Shawnice Powell, Content Control Rep, Paychex

Of the conferences I attend and speak at, Training magazine puts on the most practical, relevant and useful events in our industry.
Greg Owen-Boger, Vice President, Turpin Communication

This conference was a great opportunity to get an intimate approach to learning and development and what is changing in the environment.
Gina Brummels, Sr. Trainer, ConAgra Foods

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Discovering Hidden Managerial Talent Pools: Valuable Groups You Could be Overlooking


PRESENTER Dr. Jack Zenger
Dr. Jack Zenger is a world-renowned behavioral scientist, author, and premier authority on leadership development. He has developed multiple award-winning leadership programs, influencing Fortune 500 companies the world over and shaping the training and development industry.

Aspiring women. New managers. Individual contributors.
All three of these groups meet the important criteria of true leaders, but often get overlooked for any leadership development opportunities.

At Zenger Folkman we have spent over 10 years conducting numerous studies looking for what differentiates the highest performing individuals in organizations. Our recent research has led us to three interesting groups. These individuals meet the important criteria of true leaders, but they often get overlooked for any kind of leadership development. Our data shows that developing these often “forgotten leaders” can have HUGE pay offs for organizations.

Join DR. JACK ZENGER to learn:

  1. What revealing DATA shows about each group
  2. Why it is vital to provide them with development opportunities
  3. Our unique and proven development process utilizing Competency Companions and Cross Training
  4. How these forgotten resources could be benefiting your organization in ways you may have completely overlooked!

Jack’s interactive presentation includes facilitated discovery utilizing a real time case-study.

$35—includes continental breakfast and a copy of the best-selling book, How to Be Exceptional, co-authored by Dr. Jack Zenger.

This is the perfect forum to exchange ideas, learn new ways to strengthen your organization, and network. If you play a strategic role in identifying and developing leaders, or if you are interested in your own development, register now to attend.

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Maker Faire Bay Area


Maker Faire, the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, will be back in the Bay Area to celebrate the “Year of the Maker” at the San Mateo Event Center in San Mateo, CA, on Saturday, May 17, from 10am to 8pm and Sunday, May 18, from 10am to 6pm. The maker movement has reached new heights over the last year, impacting the way people are learning, creating, sharing, and collaborating on hobby projects, new inventions, and product enhancements. Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 will showcase this electric enthusiasm for making and bring together the community that exemplifies the maker spirit.

The Bay Area Faire is the where the platform for makers launched just nine years ago and a gauge each year of where the maker movement is headed. This year’s event will celebrate makers and how far the maker movement has come, shining a spotlight on the creative, inventive, and resourceful individuals who personify humans at their very best — the makers.

Advance ticket sales ($17.50 – $32.50 for a full day pass) take place between March 17 and May 16. Tickets can also be purchased on-site at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 on May 17 and 18, 2014 ($25.00 – $40.00 for a full day pass).

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Pipeline Online Conference for Innovative Product Development


The quality and accessibility of the PIPELINE content and platform attracts attendees and speakers from around the globe. PIPELINE conferences provide thought leadership, inspiration, and guidance to product development practitioners interested in leveraging innovation as a corporate objective to achieve growth and profitability. PIPELINE offers the most relevant and timely speakers on innovation as well as sponsors that provide valuable resources and expertise – accessible all from the convenience of a dynamic virtual platform. This combination of online accessibility, compelling speakers, and relevant sponsors has led PIPELINE to be a success year-over-year, connecting thousands of product developers across a variety of industries to each other and to significant thought leaders and experts in innovation.

How is PIPELINE different from other conferences you attend?

Why attend?

  • There’s no cost to attend.
  • It’s cross-industry.
  • It’s all online – no travel, no time away from the office. Choose your sessions: you’re not locked into an all-day event, and can come and go as you please.
  • It’s a global event: the online platform facilitates easy connection with peers around the globe – learn, share insights, and network all from the convenience of your office.
  • Receive actionable strategies that you can apply immediately.
  • Learn about best practices to speed time to market, strengthen brand positioning, and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Connect with peers to share insights and lessons learned.
  • Access industry-leading innovation experts and product development practitioners.

Who should attend PIPELINE?

  • Executives and practitioners in R&D, product development, and innovation

PIPELINE conferences serve as catalysts for networking, learning, and sharing new ideas. Thousands of attendees from around the globe have experienced PIPELINE. With a focus this year on “Change the Game with Innovation that Works,” the 2013 event was aspirational while remaining grounded in practical ways to gain market share. To learn more about the content, view the Agenda andSpeakers.

To be added to the PIPELINE newsletter and alerts mailing list or if you have questions about PIPELINE 2014, please send an email

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FlowCon Night


This is a FREE event hosted by Neo and FlowCon 2014! Space opens for networking at 6:30PM, talks start at 7:15PM.

We will also have 1 FREE ticket to FlowCon 2014 to raffle off at the end of the night. Food and beverages provided by Salesforce UX.


The Virtuous Cycle of Velocity: What I Learned About Going Fast at eBay and Google

eBay and Google operate some of the largest Internet sites on the planet, and each maintains its leadership through continuous innovation in infrastructure and products. While substantially different in their detailed approaches, both organizations sustain their feature velocity through a combination of technology, people, and process. This session will explore how these large-scale sites do it, and will offer some concrete suggestions on how other organizations—both large and small—can do the same.

About the Speaker
Randy Shoup is the Chief Technology Officer at KIXEYE, making awesome games scalabler and reliabler.  Most recently, he was Director of Engineering at Google, leading several teams building Google App Engine, the world’s largest Platform as a Service.  Prior to Google, he spent 6 1/2 years as Chief Engineer at eBay, building several successive generations of eBay’s realtime search engine.

Randy speaks regularly at conferences on distributed computing and large-scale infrastructure, and is particularly interested in how organizations move rapidly at scale.

FlowCon: continuous design, delivery & data
“Growing organizations that thrive in an environment of continual change”

FlowCon brings together technologists and industry leaders passionate about innovation through continuous delivery, continuous design, and lean product development. We’ll be exploring the role of culture, technology and design in growing organisations that thrive in an environment of continual change. We will provide inspiring and actionable information for key decision makers responsible for products and services that depend on software.

FlowCon is designed around the following values:

  • Learning: Our goal is to provide the best possible conference forum for practitioners to learn from each other how to build great products and services.
  • Open Information: We aim to uncover how great products and services are built in real life and make this information freely available to the widest audience possible.
  • Diversity: We believe the technology community – and thus the conference speakers and participants – should reflect the demographics of our customers and the wider world.
  • Spanning boundaries: We believe that the best products are created collaboratively by people with a range of skills and experiences.
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Edison Awards


Save the dates!

The highlight of the year is the annual Edison Awards Ceremony & Gala program presented each spring, which encompasses several events over a two-day period, including the “Meet the Innovators Forum,” as well as the popular “Innovators’ Showcase” and “Awards Gala.” Registration for the spring events will open in early 2014.

Edison Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner

The elegant black-tie evening is focused on recognizing and honoring the best in innovations and innovators. The highlight of the program is the announcement of the Edison Awards’ new product and service innovation winners. In addition, the 2014 Edison Achievement Awards are presented.

VIP Reception – After Party

Those who select VIP registration will enjoy an after-dinner cocktail at this five-star opportunity to network with the 2014 Edison Award winners in an intimate and celebratory setting.

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Theorizing The Web


Theorizing the Web is an inter- and non-disciplinary annual conference that brings together scholars, journalists, artists, activists, and commentators to ask big questions about the interrelationships between the Web and society. We deeply value public engagement, and consider insights from academics, non-academics, and non-“tech theorists” alike to be equally valuable.

The first Theorizing the Web conference was held in 2011 at the University of Maryland, as was the second in 2012. In 2013, the conference moved to New York, where it was hosted by the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan. Theorizing the Web remains in New York for 2014, but is excited to experiment with stepping outside of institutional settings.

By popular demand, Theorizing the Web is now a two-day event. Invited speakers for 2014 include a keynote panel on race and social media featuring Lisa Nakamura (co-editor of Race After the Internet), Latoya Peterson (Owner/Editor of Racialicious), Ayesha Siddiqi (Editor at The New Inquiry), and Jenna Wortham (Staff Reporter for The New York Times). Both days of programming feature competitively-selected paper presentations as well. These papers advance clear theoretical arguments; represent a diverse range of perspectives; embrace accessibility by demystifying jargon rather than using it as a crutch; and, importantly, appeal to concerns of power, social (in)equality, and justice. Submissions are blindly reviewed by a selection committee. (In past years, we have accepted 25% of paper submissions.)

We will announce sponsors of #TtW14 as they come. The New Inquiry joins us again, and we’re grateful that Snapchat has provided us with the conference venue—a gorgeous warehouse space in Brooklyn. We have some plans for how to use this space to help rethink conference norms, and also to have some extra fun. While event sponsors provide support for the conference, editorial decisions are made independently by the planning committee.

Past keynote and plenary speakers have included danah boyd, Andy Carvin, Adrian Chen, David Lyon, Alice Marwick, George Ritzer, Saskia Sassen, and Zeynep Tufekci. We are also grateful to our past sponsors, which include the University Of Maryland Department Of Sociology, the University of Maryland iSchool, theMaryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, the University of Maryland’s Stamp Student Union, and CUNY’s Just Publics 365initiative.



Posted in

SaaStr Spring Soirée


SaaStr Spring Soirée –

Cocktails, BBQ –

& How to Hire a Great VP Marketing

After hosting over 500 SaaS Entrepreneurs, Execs and VCs at the First SaaStr Summer Social last September, it’s time to do it Better and Bigger than Ever.

Once again, we’ll have one of the best informal get-togethers for those who love to chat all things ARR, CLTV, CAC, and LVR.  With Old Fashioneds, Sidecars, and BBQ.

But this time we’re adding 2 teach-in sessions to help you solve one of the biggest challenges as a SaaS founder — How to Hire a Great VP Marketing.

  • At 3pm, I’m getting the band back together, we’ll have a hands-on Demand Gen workshop with Loretta Jones, VP Marketing at Insightly, and previously VP Marketing at EchoSign/Adobe, and Brendon Cassidy, VP Sales at EchoSign/Adobe and previously first Head of Sales at LinkedIn.  We’ll talk about what we learned, how a great VPM and VPS worked together as a team (and where the challenges are), and have lots of time for questions.
  • At 4pm, we’ll bring on Jon Miller, Co-founder and VP of Marketing at Marketo — the largest public marketing SaaS company.  Jon will do a 1-on-1 with Jason Lemkin on How to Hire a Great VP Marketing.  Who better could you get to drive the discussion on a great VPM?  It will be a great, no-script, no-slides discussion on what it really takes to hire a VP Marketing that doesn’t just get you a bunch of blue pens with your logo on them — but real leads.  We’ll save plenty of time for active Q&A.
  • At 5pm, we’ll break for cocktails and BBQ on the beautiful and sunny decks on Sand Hill overlooking the Dish and the rolling Hills of Palo Alto and Menlo Park.
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Office Optional: for successful distributed teams


20% off any Early Bird ticket by using the code alumniloyalty

A new conference exploring tools & techniques for successful distributed teams. We’re seeking speakers with advice to share about leading or working with colleagues who are physically in different places.

Though Yahoo made headlines last year when it recalled its remote workers, the fact is that more and more of us work on distributed teams. Whether we’re employed by companies that have flexible policies allowing us to work from home or by companies that have no office at all, it’s now common to see our coworkers very rarely or to have never met in person. What are the challenges we face managing and collaborating with colleagues far away? How can we address those challenges creatively and effectively?

Office Optional, a new conference for distributed teams, will explore these questions with great speakers, provocative conversations and useful tool demos. Hosted by the team that brings you the popular Lean Startup Conference—ourselves based in home offices and coworking spaces in at least four time zones—the event will take place on April 22 in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Conference Center.

Who Is It For?
HR professionals
in search of the best practices and policies for hiring and helping distributed workers

Team leaders
looking to level up their management approaches to support remote productivity

Partially-distributed teams
with one or more offices and many staff working from home

Traditional offices
that collaborate closely across multiple sites

What will it include?

Top-notch speakers
a diverse, merit-based roster of terrific speakers you won’t likely hear elsewhere

In-person & livestream talks
we’ll livestream the event, along with some other online offerings

Meeting rooms
optionally book meeting space for your team on the day before the conference

Posted in

Follow Up: Measure or Die: Data Informed Product Management: A Yammer Case Study Q&A


Neil McCarthy, Yammer Product Manager and Ken Pascual, Data Analyst, Yammer gave a presentation for the AIPMM webinar series on April 11, 2014.

Neil and Ken refer to these background readings during their presentation:

Here it is if you missed it:

  • There was great participation and many questions asked during the Q&A. Following are Neil’s answers to some additional questions asked.

Q: What do you look for in an ideal entry-level PM candidate? Do you feel that technical competencies are key to being a successful PM?
A: The ideal PM candidate sets a goal, thinks of a minimal feature idea that has a chance of accomplishing the stated goal, and correctly describes how to measure whether the feature was successful.

PMs should know enough about technology to be able to speak confidently with engineers about what’s possible. Under no circumstances should PMs try to overrule engineer’s technical decisions or presuppose the technical solution to proposed problems.

Q: Can you speak to whether or not validation bias plays a role in Yammer’s PM function?
A: We don’t think about validation bias much. PMs at Yammer do predict the outcomes of their feature tests before they ship the tests. This should minimize the likelihood that validation bias will be used to justify failed tests.

Q: How do you handle the interpretation and decision-making step if you’re measuring several things? I would imagine that it’s best to discuss before the test the relative importance of the different metrics (or even concoct a multiple-input objective function).
A: At some point, we have to make the decision that we think is right for the product. Designing an equation to determine whether tests win wouldn’t work for 2 reasons: (1) we’d need to reweight the equation for each test, which is too costly, and (2) the results tell a story and the story is what really helps us make the ship/no ship decision.

Q: It’s more complicated than that because one also has to factor in signup rate.
A: I don’t understand the question.

Q: Are these p-values all vs. the control as opposed to measuring how significantly different the options are from each other?
A: Yes, we measure each variation against control.

Q: What is the correct statistical technique to use if instead of A/B testing, you’re doing A/B/C/D/…/n testing? I assume you somehow generate a half-matrix of p-values…
A: The correct statistical technique is to measure each variation’s performance against control. The variations’ relative performance against each other can be determined by comparing their performance against control.

Q: Do you use any third party tools for your A B testing, for example Optimizely and how did you decide on the best one to use?
A: No. Since we implemented our data-informed processes before most of the existing third-party testing tools existed, we had to build our own. I’ve heard good things about Optimizely, MixPanel, and Mode Analytics.

Q: how do you develop new metrics and indicators?
A: For new feature metrics, we just have the engineers on a related project instrument new events to log. For new core metrics, our data science team will embark on studies to try to find new metrics that are highly correlated with existing metrics that we value.

Q: Wouldn’t they have know about the ‘groups’/'engagement’ linkage any way (from other analysis)?
A: I don’t understand the question.

Q: How do you use qualitative data like feedback comments
A: They are inputs into the top of our ideation funnel. We are very careful not to overreact to the vocal minority. It’s especially dangerous for us, because our vocal minority mostly consists of IT admins and business owners at companies that have paid us. We feel that optimizing for our users is more important than optimizing for IT admins and business owners, which is why we value engagement metrics over other options.

Q: Can you show us the inhouse data tool?
A: Too late, I suppose. It’s nothing too flashy. It has a place to type and save queries and it can show data in tabular and graphical forms.

Q: How do you avoid analysis/ paralysis? Especially when running continuous A/B testing?
A: We picked one analytical goal: long term retention. If you don’t have a clear idea of which metrics are important and which aren’t, you will get paralyzed.

Q: how does PM-ing differ between startups/”building product” companies and more mature/”existing product” companies?
A: Probably many ways. One that comes to mind is that we have to worry about negatively affecting our millions of existing users by shipping a feature that new users positively react to. Startups usually don’t have to worry about existing users very much.

Q: specific question for Neil — does revenue ever come into the picture as a metric for PMs?
A: The only time revenue affects my job is when a salesperson lobbies for a feature or bug fix that will help him/her in their sales cycles.

Q: Are you guys focused on correlation or spend resources on causation by tying data to understanding the market?
A: Multivariate testing uses the scientific method and thus does a pretty good job of proving causation.

Q: In small teams, can I still lead a data backed product manager with basic statistics skills? Sometimes in Big Data, if you don’t dive into data, overall results mask underlying “real” metrics.
A: Start at a high level. Pick the right metric. Make sure that you measure your feature’s affect on that metric. If you can do those things, then you’re off to a good start. The hard part is distilling the goal of your product down to a single metric.

Q: How did you measure retention because someone could use the service very infrequently…so what’s your cut off?
A: We can measure retention over any period of time. We chose 3-month retention, correlated to Days Engaged, as the right core metric for our product.

Q: It seems like the vision is a pretty fundamental concept, though it might sound a little esoteric: how concrete do you need this vision before you even begin with the ideation process?
A: Very concrete.

Q: Did you find any influence of non-organic users? I mean, users that were, for lack of a better term, forced into using the software (their company signed up and the employees have to use it)
A: The change was not relevant to non-organic (i.e. viral) users. Since they enter the signup flow having already verified their email address, there is no need to change the email verification step order for them.

Q: Can you recommend some materials for statistics important to PMs, for further study
A: A better use of your time would be to read more examples and descriptions of data-informed product management. There are some good posts on the Optimizely and Etsy blogs.

Q: Also, does Yammer use any specific analytical tools in order to help it’s decisions (i.e., Google Analytics, etc), or does the in-house analytical team handle that?
A: In-house

Q: Potentially funny question: regarding cover letters from candidates. I’ve heard about what stands out in interviews, but what about in cover letters (if they are read)?
A: I don’t read cover letters or resumes, although I imagine our recruiters do. We give candidates homework to complete, which I always read. After recruiting passes a candidate to us, we make our first go/no go decision based almost exclusively on the homework.

Q: How do you evaluate the total time & cost spent on each feature with regards to LIFT
A: We always build as fast as possible. We think in terms of impact while we’re thinking about features, but not impact per engineering resource or anything like that. Too much of our roadmap is governed by our product vision to be this clinical about our engineering ROI.

Q: Please define “days engaged” again – what are you measuring here? Thanks!
A: The number of days in a given time period during which a group of users engaged at least once, on average.

About Neil McCarthy

Neil joined Yammer as a Solution Engineer and soon after made the switch to Product Management. He immersed himself in Yammer’s data informed approach and has since taken an interest in spreading the word. He enjoys jogging and beer, usually not at the same time.

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