MeshU – What Would You Like to Learn?

I had a conversation with “the Mesh guys” (what will they do if they ever get a gal working with them!?) and they have invited me to speak at MeshU on April 6th.  Oh boy, I’m so excited!

MeshU is a 1 day educational event focused on folks in the startup community.  Who should attend?  According to the MeshU web site:

You know who you are. You live and breathe technology – what it can do and what it can mean in people‘s lives. Every new tool, new approach and new technology? You’re there first. As a developer, you were using AJAX when most people thought it was only a cleaning product. As a project manager, you were deploying agile development across your team before the term even existed. As a designer, your passion for designing great user experience is so profound it hurts. And when others catch up, you’ve already moved on. Pushing, innovating, leading. It’s what you do.

Whoa. All that “live and breathe technology” stuff is just a bit too Terminator for me.  Good thing April is “channel your inner Sarah Connor” month so I’ll have no choice but to kick some living, breathing technology butt!

The MeshU schedule has tracks for technology folks, design folks and “management”.  Not only am I in the “management” track but I am also the very last session of the day. Here’s the schedule, and here is my session description:

A great product and user experience can only take a company so far. With no marketing budget and limited people to get things done, taking a focused approach to going after a market is the only way to grow quickly. But talking about market focus is much easier than actually doing it. How do you assess a market when you can’t afford to buy market data? How do you decide which partnerships to chase after and which aren’t worth your time? Are you fishing where the fish are or shark hunting in a fish bowl?

This session will be a practical overview of how to get started building a market strategy without breaking the bank. The session will give specific examples of how startups can gain real market traction and how you can (and can’t) win against the big guys. The session will include an open discussion where the group can share experiences and discuss specific problems and roadblocks.

Help me out a bit here folks.  I am the LAST session of the day.  That means I am the only thing standing between MeshU attendees and beer, er, I mean, networking!  Does that session grab you by your cyborg parts or does it scream “Happy hour starts early, wah-hoo!” to you?

Are you going to MeshU?  What would you like to hear me talk about?  Give me some help in the comments people, I’m counting on you!

11 thoughts on “MeshU – What Would You Like to Learn?”

  1. Sounds like a great session and a really good day.
    A couple of good topics to add might be:
    1. Lead Generation – cost and time effective ways to drive leads for your Sales Team.
    2. Getting Marketing and Sales on the same page – alignment based on the business model, Sales Qualified Lead, the lead pass-off , and how sales are tracking marketing sources in the CRM (so we can report the ROI of all our hard working Marketing Campaigns).

  2. Thanks Nick!
    Those are both great suggestions and things I think smaller companies struggle with.
    If you are at MeshU, you better come to my session because if folks start asking a lot of lead gen questions, I’m going to start lobbing them to you!
    April

  3. From your description, your session sounds pretty good already!
    I’d love to hear specifically about techniques for market research on a tiny budget for people like me,who are bootstrapping their projects.

  4. I think you run the risk of recycling stuff that’s already out there. The MeshU hype seems a little over the top. I’m not attending because I think that leading edge is out here on the Web, not in a conference. I think to be successful you have to present content that doesn’t map to a web page, document, or video.
    MeshU does sound like it’s going to be a great event (even with the hype). If I was going to be there, I think would I would love to see is really short, anecdotal case studies with a lot of audience interaction. It’s one thing to read advice, but quite another to see it in action. I would love to hear about cases where good-intentioned companies used the wrong tool and didn’t get the results they expected, contrasted against those who did it right.
    @FxNxRl

  5. Hi Alan,
    Thanks for the comment! I agree that re-hashing a set of “best practices” or “tips and tricks” would be completely pointless. I’m a bit cynical about certain conferences because I see that happening (I heard last week about a “green” consultant traveling from Europe to California to give a talk that was almost identical to one he’d already posted online – ironic no?). I’m going to do my best to avoid being part of the problem.
    My plan is to pull a set of stories from my experiences of what worked and what didn’t. For example Ken asked above if I was going to talk about market research. I have a couple of examples of semi, sorta, not really legal ways of getting research that I can talk about but would probably not publish on-line.
    April

  6. Maybe you should challenge them to be really innovative and figure out who would do what with their cool technology. Shock, horror, if you are trying to clean the kitchenit doesn’t matter much whether it is AJAX or Mr Muscle. So what does that fab new technology really do for a real user who is prepared to pay real money for that benefit?
    http://effectivus.com/2009/01/what-does-your-product-really-do/
    Then you can let them get to the bar early where they can moan about how you missed the point of what super-fabo-web-3.0 will do…

  7. Great idea and sounds like a perfect session – one that most start-ups would definitely benefit from taking part in.
    How about discussing some promotional ideas after the marketing strategy is researched, vetted, and defined? Of course, the challenge is in getting folks to buy-in on the idea of a segmentation strategy first as opposed to sitting back and selling to “everyone, ever, in the World!”
    🙂

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