Digital 51 was founded on FOUR key beliefs, principals, or ambitions if you will. All require context and detail, but they underpin everything we have done, and continue to do each day.
- Being Immersed in our markets
- Being community focused
- Content, content, and more content
- Business Development
All FOUR are really important to me, however being immersed in the Product market and trying to create a community within Product was and is something I was really passionate about.
So where do you start when looking join a community and immersing yourself in a market, or industry?
For me, really basic, but I started by searching the web to find a Product community. I was looking for a space I could join, be part of, and contribute to. Most importantly however I wanted to find a community that focused on improving the career journey of people through their Product careers. This was this is something I am passionate about, and would allow me to add the most value.
In short I could not find what I was looking for.
So I decided to create my own!
I wanted to create a space for like-minded individuals in the hope that others would share my beliefs, but most importantly we willing to share their experiences. I did not want a community that I was at the centre of. I believed there was more value in a community which those working within Product were at the centre of the space, and I was helping bring people together.
May 2021, 8 weeks after launching a recruitment business in the throes of a global health pandemic I launched Product 51! The community was launched in a haze of orange, yellow, and white branding, with the tag-line of ‘a community for people what want to create change.’
A pretty big statement, but I honestly believed this, and I was so determined to do it.
As we were all still very much living in a remote, hybrid, and changing world in relation to seeing each other, at the centre of the Product 51 offering was a podcast. Now, creating the brand for Product 51 was fun; the name, logos, assets, all really helped bring things to life, however the day we dropped out podcast launch video. That is when things really started to take off and I knew we were really doing this.
So, I was officially now a podcast host , how cool right?
Seriously I was a ball of excitement and nerves when this first started. I was speaking to more and more people about the concept and idea of Product 51, whilst also telling them about the podcast. My surprise came when they all wanted to take part! These were seriously impressive Product professionals and they wanted to be on my podcast. What, how, no way?!
I can still remember the morning of the first podcast, sitting down with my colleague Simon Brown going through the questions and ideas. Now whilst I should say Simon is always there for support, ideas, and pushing me, he was in a very different place to me that day. I was starting to sweat, and he was like ‘Adi this is amazing! Everything going to be great! How exciting!’
The reality? I did not even have a proper microphone, camera, and my ear pods were having one of those days when they did not want to connect to anything.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I decided to video all the sessions, cut them up and use them as knowledge sharing videos and make that part of the community to. In for a penny, in for a pound right!?
Seriously I wanted the ground to just eat me up that day,, but I was determined to get the first two done.
How did it go? My guests were amazing! They knew I was trying to create something, and they knew this was new to me, as I had been honest about that. They were all total stars, and I will be forever grateful to Omari Rodney and Jenny Foster who were the first two people to go through this process with me. One day I will share the out-takes of these first videos with you all, lots of laughs with the benefit of hindsight.
The series ending up spanning 9 episodes, 27 videos, a book recommendation feature which saw over 50 books recommended, lots of shard learning, and individual stories.
All of this whilst building a community of over 300 people without meeting any of them in person. All of this whilst working, and building a recruitment business with the rest of the team at Digital 51. I think it’s what you might call a side hustle which developed a life of it’s own.
In reality I was now immersed in the Product world, and I was very much living for and with my community, content creation and sharing was my new normal.
In a whirlwind that was my 2021, so what did I want to achieve next in 2022?
It was time to meet everyone. It was time for a meetup, but not just any meetup, it was time to launch Meaningful Meetups.
Next time I will tell you how I came into 2022 with the ambition of a leading FOUR Meaningful Meetups which would see the virtual world of Product 51 burst into living, breathing, face to face life!
For now, why not give us a follow, join the community, or just have a good poke round Product 51 to see this community for yourself? Just click HERE.