BPMA - Leveraging Social Networks in Product Innovation

When: Thu February 21, 2013 6:00 pm

Organization: Boston Product Management Association

Location: Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Road, Reservoir Place, Waltham, MA

Website: http://www.bostonproducts.org/events/event_details.asp

Leveraging Social Media in Product Innovation

 DATE:  Thursday, February 21, 2013

6:15 PM

Constant Contact, 1610 Trapelo Rd, Wathlam, MA

Presenter:  Rachel Happe

Social media isn't a buzzword or a fad, it's a critical tool that turns the traditional corporate model on its head.  Organizational optimizing has seen people as liabilities to be managed, not assets to be invested in, causing technology development to outpace human capabilities.  Dell's Ideastorm, IBM's InnovationJam, and Staples's Velocity Lab are big company stabs at crowd-sourced innovation, but SMBs can take it beyond mere idea generation.Social networks, or more accurately communities, are breaking human capital free of the "weakest link" label by enabling continuous engagement, from idea generation to product iteration.  

Leveraging these networks takes time, work, and a plan, however.  Rachel Happe has followed her own plan to accelerate development of products, a formula that she will share and help you repeat.  You'll understand purpose of large unstructured networks, small, focused peer groups, a tiny functional groups, as well as when to use them to achieve maximum benefit to your product management process.


  • Strong understanding of the problems communities can solve
  • Broad overview of types of social networks and their application
  • Methodology for leveraging communities for product ideation, development, demand creation, and iteration
  • Numerous use cases from Rachel Happe's professional experience 






About the Speaker:

Rachel Happe

Principal and Co-Founder at Community Roundtable

Rachel is the Principal & Co-Founder of The Community Roundtable, a peer network for community managers and social media practitioners. You can connect her at rachel@community-roundtable.com.

Until recently, Rachel was Mzinga’s Sr. Director of Social Media Products and is responsible for the product management, marketing, design, and documentation of Mzinga’s Social Media Application Suite and Mzinga’s Social Enterprise solutions.

Rachel has over fifteen years of experience working with emerging technologies including eCommerce and enterprise software applications. She has been both a product manager and a management analyst, and brings multiple perspectives on technology development and use to her research. Rachel covered the enterprise social media market for IDC prior to joining Mzinga.

Prior to IDC, Rachel was the Director of Product Management at Bitpass where she worked with media and publishing companies such as Disney, MSN, United Media, CanWest, and Ziff Davis to monetize their digital assets. While at Bitpass, Rachel was instrumental in developing Mperia, an internet music site. Her experience is chronicled in the book, The Future of the Music Business, in an interview that discusses changes in the music business brought about by internet technologies. Prior to Bitpass, Rachel was the Product Marketing Manager for IDe, an enterprise software company that developed applications to manage the new product development process. Rachel started her business career at PRTM as a Business Analyst focused on helping technology companies understand and improve their product development operations.

She has presented and written about trends in product development management, both at industry conferences and as a visiting speaker at the Wharton and Kellogg schools of business.