PDMA Conference, Innovation and Beer

A week of sun, fun, innovation and networking in Phoenix Arizona ended for me last week. The 35th Annual Product Innovation Management conference was a huge success this year – and not just because I was part of the conference planning committee.



One of the best stories I heard was from David Robertson PhD about LEGO and their innovation saga. It’s a classic example of too much is a bad thing. I also learned how to be more empathetic from Steven Farenholtz, PhD of General Mills.


Lastly, Neale Martin, PhD explained how habits and the subconscious drive consumer behavior over rational behavior. I learned how important it is to understand what the habits of consumers are in a given market if I’m looking to break in and more importantly, how to build habits in a new market to defend my position.


In hind site it turns out that we were surrounded by a bunch of PhD’s which might turn many folks off but for this career product man, they were actionable and approachable. PDMA provided a wonderful forum for professionals to network and learn.


Oh yes – let’s not forget the beer – I tried a new local brew in Tempe called Four Peaks. I only had their Kilt Lifter (which was AWESOME) but they have a wide range of brews that I’m looking forward to tasting. If you’re a connoisseur of beer – PLEASE try this brewery, you won’t be disappointed!


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