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Business of Software conference news

Evolving a Mature Software Company | Anil Dash, Fog Creek | BoS USA 2017

Evolving a Mature Software Company | Anil Dash, Fog Creek | BoS USA 2017

Anil Dash, CEO, Fog Creek

Anil discusses the challenges of stepping into a leadership role in what is perhaps one of the best-known software companies the public probably haven’t heard of. FogBugz, Stack Overflow and Trello are all products that have come out of the Fog Creek stable. This year, they unleashed Glitch to the world. Anil is committed to putting impact and sustainability, both of business model and company culture, at the heart of their vision for the future. What does that mean in practice and what can you learn about your own vision?

“The Startup Thing” – Recent worrying trends in software

  • In the post-web 2.0 era, startups came as a response to the pop culture idea of what tech was
  • There was very little discussion on how to build strong core values and much more on how to secure funding from important investors
  • A pattern of speaking but not acting on values began to emerge
  • The tech industry was on a path to being the next Wall Street (and not in a good way)

Software Matters

  • It is more than just a piece of technology; it is a set of values and sociopolitical statements that are created into something real
  • All the choices you make about design, UX, UI, etc will trickle out into society – see the “It’s complicated” feature
  • Bugs are more than just a broken piece of code. The big bugs are often problematic at a societal level even when the software works as designed
  • Sentencing software recreates the socioeconomic and racial biases that people have reinforced through years of judicial discrimination
  • What if creating technology is a way to reckon with the changes of the world?

Video, Slides, & Transcript below

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Innovation: Catching The Next Wave | Hangout Replay with Rita Gunther McGrath & Michael Sikorsky

Innovation: Catching The Next Wave | Hangout Replay with Rita Gunther McGrath & Michael Sikorsky

What is an Inflection Point? And how can Software Companies take advantage of them?

Yesterday’s hangout demonstrated that Rita Gunther McGrath and Michael Sikorsky are two of the smartest minds we’ve had at BoS. We had a fascinating discussion about Inflection points, and how software companies can take advantage of them to innovate and take the lead in new fields, both in terms of product and org dynamics.

Read on to find the replay and more about Michael and Rita.

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Sense & Respond | Hangout with Josh Seiden

Sense & Respond | Hangout with Josh Seiden

Josh Seiden is the co-author of Lean UX and Sense & Respond.

Last Tuesday we sat down to discuss ‘Sense & Respond’, and how it can help product teams to produce better results. We had some great questions to discuss including: How Sense & Respond can be used in small companies (and why it’s different to Lean); How to hold employees accountable for performance when outcomes are less well defined; How to communicate LeanUX benefits to client/product stakeholders; and many more.

Josh is now running Sense & Respond Press – they publish short, practical business books. One of their authors will be speaking at BoS Conference Europe next month. Check them out – great stuff.

Video below

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Software Driven Inflection Points: How Emerging Business Models Drive Growth | Rita Gunther McGrath & Michael Sikorsky | BoS USA 2017

Software Driven Inflection Points: How Emerging Business Models Drive Growth | Rita Gunther McGrath & Michael Sikorsky | BoS USA 2017

Rita Gunther McGrath, Professor, Columbia Business School & Michael Sikorsky, CEO & co-founder, Robots & Pencils

Rita introduces her new research on how strategic inflection points offer an opportunity to disrupt existing players using examples like Dollar Shave Club vs. Gillette to show how changes in technology can destabilise existing competitive advantages. Michael Sikorsky shows how companies create entirely new business models to solve perennial problems and drive growth – how can banks use mobile to appeal to millennials and machine learning talk to talk to your mobile?

Video, Slides, & Transcript below

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Leading FreshBooks Through a Re-Platforming | Hangout with Mike McDerment

Leading FreshBooks Through a Re-Platforming | Hangout with Mike McDerment

In 2011 Mike McDerment spoke at Business of Software Conference about the ‘litany’ of product management errors that defined FreshBooks up to that point.

Turns out he wasn’t joking. To eliminate the level of technical debt they had accrued, something drastic had to be done. In 2014, secret plans started to take shape in the FreshBooks offices – they were going to re-platform. And not just that – they were going to build their own competitor, BillSpring.

Now, thanks to the re-platform, FreshBooks is stronger than ever. We chatted to CEO and Founder Mike McDerment about the process of leading the company, the board, and eventually the customer through the transition.

Video

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Sense & Respond | Josh Seiden | BoS USA 2017

Sense & Respond | Josh Seiden | BoS USA 2017

Josh Seiden, Author, Sense & Respond

Software has fundamentally changed the way business works. It’s not simply that software has given us new ways to reach our customers, or new capabilities to achieve our goals. Software has enabled—in fact it demands—a new way of working. Organisations that seek to thrive in the digital age must examine their core management practices. So much of our management practice was created in the industrial age and not all of it remains useful in the face of software. Managers and leaders inside and outside of the software world need a new set of principles for the next century of work.

Video, Hangout, Slides & Transcript below

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The Startup Way | Eric Ries | CEO Tales

The Startup Way | Eric Ries | CEO Tales

Eric Ries, Author, the Lean Startup and The Startup Way

Lean Startup is not just for StartupsThat’s the message of Eric Ries’ latest book, ‘The Startup Way’. Through his experience working alongside some of the world’s biggest companies (GE, for example), Eric has seen how adapting Lean Startup can have a massive effect on innovation in a corporate setting.

Last November we hosted Eric for an evening of discussion and Q&A in London. He presented his ‘Startup Way’ for how how larger corporations can innovate and move quickly like a startup.

Video and Slides Below

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How Freshbooks’ Fear Of Competition Saved The Company | Mike McDerment | BoS USA 2017

How Freshbooks’ Fear Of Competition Saved The Company | Mike McDerment | BoS USA 2017

Mike McDerment, Founder/CEO, Freshbooks

In 2012, the year after Mike spoke at BoS about the Litany of Product mistakes that had created Freshbooks, the company was growing faster than ever but those mistakes were coming back to haunt him. He knew he needed to rebuild the platform. Two years and $$$$$ later, still nothing had changed. Mike was seriously concerned a competitor would come onto the market that would be 10x nimbler and easier to use. In 2015, that startup Mike feared, launched but in fact it saved the long-term future of Freshbooks. How?

Video, Hangout, Slides, & Transcript below

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