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Why Kawasaki at the Nasscom Product Conclave ?

Bangalore played host to the Nasscom Product Conclave over the last couple of days, and it was a brilliantly organized event. The best part of it, imo, was the cross section of participants the event was able to pull in. Such major industry events usually get a little intimidating for the smaller, just starting out guys – but this conclave easily avoided that.
The sessions were useful, deeper than usual, and because of these reasons, packed. The networking was very very active, and I pretty much caught up with everyone I’ve met and come across over the last four years!Amidst the relevance, interactivity and focus of the event, Guy Kawasaki – as a keynote speaker and twitter specialist – added the superstar touch for many folks. Guy’s a great speaker with ready wit and humour, and very, very approachable. He’s also a persistent marketer.

However, I do think he wasn’t the best choice for the keynote. Also, the session he conducted was as much a distraction from the theme of the event as it was an attraction for many. Why do I think so?

  • The keynote presentation above was not the most relevant to the ground reality in India. At all.
  • We do NOT get people for free here – not that much of a resession after all.
  • We also are awesome “value” creators and it often makes sense for a large chunk of startups (especially as they learn about business) to start in the lower right quadrant – a small chunk of startups can shoot for uniqueness, and especially building a business around it. Execution, value hold they key to getting a shot at stage 2.
  • Twitter as a marketing tool in India ? Hmmm. I’d almost say a large chunk of active Tweeters were actually in that room 🙂 I exaggerate, but you get the idea.
  • We need a couple of home-grown superstars who, like Guy, are great speakers and approachable, and are less jargon-laden than anyone who gets to some level of success has a tendency to become. Entrepreneurs building products need stellar examples they can relate to, as well as understand!
  • The Twitter 101 was a little too basic for a lot of the crowd. Some of the ideas shared both in the keynote as well as the sessions would be very very useful in a college, or what-do-I-need-to-know before I start out crowd, but a lot many attendees have progressed beyond that. We needed Marketing 102, or Sales 102, etc. more than this.
  • I’m completely guessing – but it must’ve been expensive 🙂
  • The Indian product space needs a little more grunt and grassroots and less superstardom-aspirations – and getting a major star like Guy can reinforce the wrong message. Too many folks already confuse the superstar dreams for passion.

Apart from this, though, I had a terrific time at the event. Made connections, and started out on my journey to understand the fascinating world of real world marketing and sales (I’m still in Kindergarten wrt those, especially sales). The CIO session was very useful (wow, people who really spend money on software :D) though one always would love more direct, straightforward and precise ideas about how the real world operates (no discussions on size difference related issues, kickback-demand handling, etc)

Nasscom has taken a very conscious step towards supporting product creation out of India. And from the evidence at hand, its at most an iteration or two before the geeks really connect with the biz folks, and magic happens.

[ From the original post here. ]

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