Joel Spolsky doesn’t really need any introduction does he? No.
A long time and partner and supporter of the Business of Software Conference, he used to partner with us on putting the conference together until he realised, very smartly, that software is his future and running conferences is for schmucks… He is always a welcome guest at the event and we thought this talk was super interesting, not just for people who are building community elements into their software offerings, but to anyone that is thinking about how to market and sell their own software – people like you.
Cultural Anthropology was the most boring class Joel took in college, but the long run, the most useful. Building a website with 22 million users (Stack Exchange’s user numbers at the time though it keeps on growing) is an exercise in cultural anthropology.
Joel talks about the evolution of online communities, from Usenet, through online discussion fora and beyond into Stack Exchange. The whole idea of Stack Exchange was to disrupt the accidental design choices resulting from the Usenet era, and make a culturally distinct site.
“If we know we’re going to build a culture, and what we want that culture to be, we can design for it. We designed Stack Exchange for the culture we wanted from our users.” J0el Spolsky.
This talk is valuable if you want to understand the psychology and anthropology behind a site like Stack Exchange that has extraordinary engagement with its very loyal users. There are a huge amount of ideas about making your web site work for the product you are building and the importance of keeping a focus on making something super useful and relevant to the people you want to engage with rather than making your web site super popular. Watch it if you want some insights into why people do things, why they want to be part of a tribe and want some tips about how you can engage with your users and customers.
Some key points:
BUSINESS OF SOFTWARE – FOR PEOPLE BUILDING GREAT SOFTWARE BUSINESSES.
This year will be the 7th Business of Software Conference – 15-17th September 2014, Boston.
A three day conference for founders who want to build sustainable, profitable software businesses. BoS has always been a special conference for our delegates and we want to keep it special. Attendance is restricted to just 400 attendees in 2014. Registration is open now at the lowest rate ever – $1,500 – until the first speakers are announced for next year’s event.
Join our mailing list to be the first to know when this year’s talks go live and to hear the latest news from the conference.