Bos Insights | Business of Software - Part 5

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This completely goes against the spirit of Business of Software.

Thanks to Alexis Ohanian for pointing this one out. In his words, 'Penguins can be dicks too'.  Come next week and share stuff. The funny thing about knowledge is, the more you give it away, the more you get back. Bad penguins.

Unless you are awesome, you will be outsourced.

A great thought from Auren Hoffman, CEO of Rapleaf in his blog, Summation. Go and read the full post, the table is just a taster. "Here are some things that will be less valued in the future and some things that will be more valued: Less-valued More-valued Why? General knowledge Judgment Search engines will be […]

BoS2011 – where are people coming from?

Seems that Cambridge England is sending more people to BoS this year than are coming from Boston. That might just be something to do with the fact that Red Gate and the BLN, who run the event, are Cambridge based. By the way Toronto, you rock! Thanks for makeing the effort! Fantastic to see Moscow, […]

Don’t make my eyes bleed: a rant about business plans

The folk at Cambridge University Entrepreneurs asked me to jot a few words down about what I expect from a business plan I decided to draw some pictures too. You can download my rant from (warning – it containts mild nudity and violence)    

From $0-100million with no sales people. The Atlassian 10 commandments for startups.

Scott Farquhar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Atlassian, an innovative, award-winning enterprise software company. Atlassian produces tools that help technical and business teams collaborate, plan projects and build software. Based in Australia, Atlassian currently has over 17,000 enterprise customers around the globe and has been named one of the “Fastest Growing Companies” by both […]

Want to build a successful software business? Can you answer these 8 questions?

Today's guest blog post if from Alex Osterwalder, author of the Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Drop us a line if you want to run a guest blog. we would love to hear from awesome people with great things to share! Alex will be speaking and running a workshop at the Business […]

Eric Ries at Business of Software 2010: The science of lean startups. Video & transcript of talk.

Eric Ries had a busy weekend as he launches his book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. If you are reading this blog and you haven’t bought it already something is very, very wrong. This is Eric’s talk at the Business of Software 2010. This video is not […]

How BoS2010 changed my life and helped make allinspections an amazing product!

A guest blog from Mike Hapner, President, Izon Analytics, LLC @mikehapner. Mike attended Business of Software in 2010 and was inspired to write about what he learned. Thanks Mike. Mike Hapner. First, a big thank you to @MarkLittlewood for letting me share this story. For several years I had heard about this conference that a lot of my online […]

Strangers, passion, money, knowledge…

A guest blog from Shawn Anderson, 4 time Business of Software attendee, all round gentleman and president and co-founder of Admin Arsenal, maker of tools for IT administrators, a.k.a. smart people. Shawn shares seven top tips for getting the most out of the Business of Software conference. Shawn is:, @ShawnAnderson,   Would you give a total stranger […]

Guest blog: A love letter to Business of Software

A guest blog from Patrick Foley who produced last week's entertaining, 'All hail the Wannapreneur!' video. Patrick is an ISV Architect Evangelist at Microsoft and co-founder of the Startup Success Podcast. We would be very interested in hearing from you if you wanted to write a post about how you can get the most from the […]

The top 25 management books of all time according to Time Magazine

Time Magazine just released their list of the 25 most important management books of all time. Congratulations to Business of Software 2011 speaker Professor Clayton Christensen who makes the list with, The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail I noticed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is on the list too. I […]

Why do people fail?

When other people fail, we tend to think there’s something wrong with them. We say they’re lazy, stupid or feckless (of course, we don’t think that when *we* fail). In reality, people’s behaviour is a product of their ability and the circumstances. Take the superb developer who manages her first project and crashes it burning […]

Why entrepreneurs beat incumbents at disruptive innovation

By only pursuing “sustaining innovations” that perpetuate what has historically helped them succeed, companies unwittingly open the door to “disruptive innovations

The problem with advice

About a year or two after starting Red Gate (this must be about 10 years ago now), Simon and I were chatting to a couple of venture capitalists. We explained what we were doing – building software that we hoped people would buy; software that addressed the pains of SQL Server developers; software that people […]

Marketing is hard, but it’s not as hard as C++

That’s something I once heard Bill Gates say. It struck a chord, and I thought it was kind of clever at the time. Learning C++ takes raw intelligence, a lot of commitment, and a brain that’s wired a certain way*. Marketing, well, doesn’t. I see things a little differently now. Sure, C++ is hard. But […]

Business model brain food for Business of Software

I have listened to three great talks on business models recently that have really made me think about how important they are in building a sustainable and successful business. In fact, some of the most successful, disruptive and admired businesses – Xerox, ARM, Google for example, have all been so successful because of the highly […]

The six greatest business books of all time – according to The Economist. What is yours?

The Economist has just published its list of the top 6 business books of all time. Huge and deserved congratulations to Business of Software 2011 speaker Professor Clayton Christensen who makes the list for his seminal, 'Innovator's Dilemma'. "Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997) introduced one of the most influential modern business ideas—disruptive innovation—and proved that high […]

How will you measure your life?

One of the people we really wanted to get to speak at Business of Software is Professor Clayton Christensen, author of, 'The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail'. The Innovator's Dilemma considers how successful companies with established products can stay ahead of those with newer, better, cheaper products. Needless to say this is […]

Smartphone designers & Young Me Moon in action.

Back in October, when I was listening to Young Me Moon at Business of Software, she talked about her book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd which is about how to be, DIFFERENT. This really resonated when I read this funny post by Sami Paihonen, ex Director of User Design at Samsung. From my notes at the […]

Different: escaping the competitive herd (a book review)

One of the speakers pulled out of BoS2010 a couple of weeks ago, leaving a gap in the schedule that I’ve been trying to fill since. For me, the best speakers at previous years have been those who’ve left my brain throbbing gently by the end of their talk. People like Geoffrey Moore, Don Norman, […]

How to get a job where you actually get to make mistakes and do something

Last week, Seth Godin wrote this in reply to Harvard Business School students seeking advice on how to find a job: “Go to a small company, work for the CEO, get a job where you actually get to make mistakes and do something” Brilliant advice. But what’s the next step? Well, I’m one of the […]

How much is that little piccie in the window? Why product doesn’t determine price

In 1989 this tiny oil painting of the Virgin Mary was valued at some $9000. On November 29th 1991 it was worth $180,000. A day later, on November 30th, it was valued at between $36 million and $54 million. The valuation proved accurate. In 2004, the UK’s National Gallery bought it for some $50m. What […]

Inbound marketing by @dharmesh and @bhalligan – a book review

Inbound marketing – get found using Google, social media and blogs is a great book. It’s not the book I expected, but it’s a great book nonetheless. Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan and their company, Hubspot, are creating the digital wave. They’re throwing giant twitter and facebook rocks into the sea of traditional marketing. This book […]

How to take advantage of your time at Business of Software 2009 – tips from @asmartbear (#bos2009)

This is a guest post by Jason Cohen, founder of Smart Bear Software and blogger about startups, marketing, and geekery. Jason gave a Pecha Kecha speach at BoS 2008 and has this advice for 2009 attendees. So you’re going to Business of Software 2009! It’s going to be awesome. There’s a 100% chance you’ll get […]

Don’t just roll the dice – a usefully short guide to software pricing

In 1938, two young engineers were ready to launch their first product. They'd struggled with what to build. After considering amplifiers, radio equipment, air controllers, harmonicas and even muscle-building electrodes for housewives, they'd finally decided to create an oscilloscope. Not wanting customers to be put off by a version one product, they sensibly called it […]

Why there’s nothing special about the business of software

Software businesses should be infinitely scalable, right? You've done the hard work. You've built your product, your money making machine. All that's left is to turn its frictionless handle and churn out uncountable quantities of dollar bills. After all, the cost of shipping your creation's sweat-filled bits and bytes to your next customer, and the […]

BoS digest: video of Steve Krug on the least you can do about usability

Tim Lister, the author of Peopleware, spent a couple of days at Red Gate last week. I was slightly nervous – Tim’s last visit culminated in my group haranguing by thirty developers, testers, designers and technical authors following Tim’s excellent, concise and witty summary of all Red Gate’s – and, implicitly, my – failings. It […]

The power of boring

Dharmesh Shah has written a great post about the power of polarization over on I find the "be remarkable" message tremendously inspiring and exciting. It makes me think. And yet … … is it actually true that curve-jumping companies selling remarkable products to a small but polarised audience are more successful than boring companies […]

Ten Questions with CmdrTaco: Slashdot, Digg and Conspiracy Theories

Rob Malda, aka CmdrTaco and founder of Slashdot, kindly agreed to be interviewed as part of my series on influential and interesting people in the software industry. We talked about Slashdot, Digg and conspiracy theories. Davidson: Social bookmarking sites are very fashionable at the moment. How much of a threat are they to Slashdot? CmdrTaco: […]