The Program

Business of Software 2015 will run from 9:00 AM Monday 21st September to 1:00 PM Wednesday 23rd September.

There will be a pre-event reception and registrations from 7:00 PM on Sunday 20th September.

Schedule

The Business of Software Conference USA Program

Pre-Conference | Registration and Reception – Sunday 20th September 2015

7:00 pm

Registration and reception

Welcome to BoS! Avoid the rush to register on Monday morning by collecting your details and having a drink with us on Sunday evening. We’re looking forward to seeing you.

Day One – Monday 21st September 2015

7:30

Breakfast and Registration

Welcome to Business of Software Conference USA. Register, pick up your bag and take on fuel.

9:00

REWRITE!

Among the cardinal sins of software, few rank as highly as rewriting your application from scratch. Basecamp has sinned not once, but twice. In this talk David will give you the courage to hit the reboot button too.

Speaker

10:00

Morning Break

Coffee, conversation and reflection.

10:30

Don’t Be The Last to Know

Have you ever been the last to know something in your company? You were caught off guard when a few employees didn’t agree with your company’s direction, or you had no idea that a senior employee had put in her two weeks notice.

As a business owner, CEO or manager, you never want to be the last to know something in your company. In this talk, Claire will discuss how to avoid “being the last to know” as much as possible. You’ll learn a repeatable framework so you can get honest feedback from your employees. This way, you won’t be blind sided by unexpected problems, you can retain you best employees, and you can foster a healthy company culture to help your business win in the long-run.

Speaker

11:30

Connecting the Dots: Product Strategy and Software Economics

There are a few fundamental laws of software economics that should drive executive-level decisions about business and product strategies. It’s easy to forget them, or decide they don’t apply to our special situation.  Rich lays out the three laws of software economics, and sketch the kinds of strategic trouble we can avoid by keeping them in mind.

The Three Laws of Sofware Economics:

  1. All money in software is made on the 2nd (and 3rd and Xth) unit if we sell exactly the same bits.
  2. Your development team will never be big enough to build everything you want.
  3. There is no white space in the roadmap. There are no AND requests, only EXCLUSIVE OR decisions.

Speaker

  • Rich Mironov – CEO/Product Management Guru, Mironov Consulting

12:30

Lunch and Networking

Meet your fellow attendees and speakers for a relaxed lunch.

14:00

Looking Good for Fun and Profit: When Does Your Company’s Identity Matter?

How do you create a visual identity for your business when a sense of style isn’t in your DNA? This was the challenge faced by the founders of RJMetrics, who set out to disrupt an industry where appearance is everything. CEO and co-founder Bob Moore will step through the evolution of the RJMetrics brand from attic startup to SaaS powerhouse. The lessons learned along the way go far deeper than just pixels on a screen.

Speaker

15:00

Afternoon Break Day One

New ideas are thirsty work. Break time.

15:30

Monday Afternoon Hands On Workshops

A chance to get practical, tactical and meet some other people with the same interests as you. Informal group workshops led by speakers and experts – past and present – who will lead practical group discussions around subjects including: Accelerating Sales, Website Optimization, Creating Effective Video Content, Agile Product Management and plenty more. No need to sign up for a specific workshop now, you choose when you arrive and pick up your goodie bag.

17:00

Goodbye to the Golf Course – How to Build a Model Sales Organization for Your Business

Your company values are supposed to be your foundation, your bedrock. When an activity or opportunity comes in conflict with your values, values are supposed to trump. Values exist to keep your company living up to its highest ideals. But when real money is on the line, values get tested. And as you build your sales team from zero to one to one hundred, the opportunities for undermining your values multiply.

Everything about building a great sales team has changed in the last decade. Hierarchies have become webs. Silos have become matrixes. Information asymmetries have switched. Sales competitions have become sales collaborations. Outside has come inside. Art has become science. The good news. Undermined by technological advances and eroded by more diversity in the workforce, the ‘Old Boys’ Club’ approach to sales has crumbled. Not a moment too soon.

In this talk, Matthew Bellows, CEO of Yesware, will offer several compelling perspectives on how values work in modern sales organizations. Drawing on interviews with other sales leaders, as well as his own experience at Yesware, this talk will offer both tactical and strategic models for building value-driven sales organizations for the 21st century. He will also consider how he has approached some of the tensions that come from wanting to build a company where he wants employees to say, ‘that was the best job of my career’, with the interests of external investors.

Speaker

18:30

Monday Night Party at Harpoon Brewery

We’re at the best bar in town for great food, great conversation and great entertainment.

Day Two – Tuesday 22nd September 2015

8:00

Tuesday Breakfast

Welcome back. Day two starts with a good breakfast and a chance to catch up with anyone you missed last night.

9:00

Patrick McKenzie

 

Speaker

10:00

Morning Break

Coffee, conversation and reflection.

10:30

Scaling a Technology Business is About Unscaling Technical Debt

In every successful technology businesses Jeff has worked in, the key challenge has been understanding how to scale technology and when to tackle the technical debt that inevitably accrues as a company runs ever faster and faster in pursuit of its business objectives. Jeff draws on his experience to help you understand what challenges emerge as a company moves from a Developer Centric environment to become more business focused. How can you get the business people to have influence on a developer centric environment? How can you manage the challenges that marketing will present?! What principles can you apply to be aware of problems early? How do you trade Agile Practioners vs Architectural Astronauts in a fast growing business? What are the technical debt trade-offs, what problems can you buy yourself out of? What problems will kill you if you don’t move now?

Speaker

11:30

What’s Your Software Saying to Customers Behind Your Back?

Even data warehousing software has a personality – even if you might not want to spend your leisure time with it. Whether you are aware of it or not, everything you ship will reflect the values and culture of your business. Organisations spend a lot of time reflecting on and thinking about their internal values but these are not necessarily embedded in the software you ship. All software has a personality – it can be passive-aggressive, boring, dominating, supportive, helpful, even fun. What does your software say to your customers? Can you build software people love, even if it’s doing the kind of things people hate to do? Sarah draws on her experience delivering projects at every scale to show how you can build software that delights customers, no matter what it’s doing.

Speaker

12:30

Lunch and Networking

Meet your fellow attendees and speakers for a relaxed lunch.

14:00

Difficult Conversations

As businesses mature, the nature of their problems change. Gone are the days when the founders have to do everything. Teams deliver on everything from Engineering, Sales, Marketing, HR, Finance, Investor Relations, New Product Development so no one has a true picture of the organization. Running a growth business requires different people and skills to make it work. By the time a company is large, mature, profitable, cash and profit rich, the problems change again – how do you find the ‘next thing’ or stop the inevitable decline of the empire? Paul considers how you manage the conflicts that inevitably rise as businesses grow and become successful. How can you manage conflicting incentives and priorities across departments? What happens if you fall out with your founders? How can you nurture a new generation of leaders within a business that will be capable of taking the business to the next level? How can you re-energise an organisation that is running efficiently in order that you don’t miss out on the next wave of growth? Paul will share practical insights into how you manage the often difficult conversations that such change requires.

Speaker

14:30

Lightning Talks

Just a person, a platform and a point of view. The best Lightning Talks are funny and make you think about something new.

15:45

Afternoon Coffee Day Two

Relax, enjoy the day, talk to some nice people. There are plenty here.

16:00

Rock Solid Software Without Hiring an Army

You’re already selling ahead of your roadmap and your dev team is getting pretty big. Trish Khoo outlines two approaches to keeping pace and quality high without hiring an army, drawing on a decade of software testing at Campaign Monitor, Google and Microsoft.

Speaker

17:00

The Art of Selling Software | Hacks to Help You Hustle in Your Business

If ‘hustle’ and ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ are synonymous to you, you might think this talk won’t be that relevant. You’d be wrong.

It’s fashionable to think that sales are the result of Inbound marketing in some circles – perhaps every sale you make comes to you magically through the Internet with no human touch. Does that mean you can’t do better? Steli has accelerated sales in some of the fastest growing Silicon Valley startups as well as growing his own SaaS business, Close.io. He will offer some proven techniques to grow your sales revenue and improve your sales processes. You can apply many of the same ideas to get things done in your own organization, regardless of your role. As Dan Pink said, ‘To Sell Is Human‘.

Speaker

18:00

Summary, close, self propelled networking dinners

Summary and close of day two.

Self propelled attendee dinners.

Speaker

Day Three – Wednesday 23rd September 2015

8:00

Wednesday Breakfast

Last lap, and you’ll need to refuel.

9:00

Growth and Arrogance vs. The Power of a Customer Centric Culture

Every fast-growing organization experiences growing pains. The most difficult and complex challenge for leadership is maintaining an excellent experience as the business scales. Customer centricity is easy for a small startup; the company’s founders are often intimately involved in every key customer engagement.  However, when meeting sales quotas, achieving profit margins, and running your business by the metrics becomes more important than delighting your customers, you stop hearing about customer complaints simply because you don’t see them anymore, and your entire business is at risk. Your customers become easy targets for the competition and your positive momentum in the market slows.

 

In this session, Art Papas shares his journey as founder and CEO of Bullhorn—a company that has grown extremely rapidly to more than 500 employees and nearly $100 million in revenue. He’ll discuss how he refocused his company’s culture back on customer service after facing a similar struggle, and how leaders of organizations can leverage his hard-earned lessons to position their businesses for long-term growth. This session will offer actionable takeaways to help attendees create an incredible customer experience within their own organizations.

Speaker

10:00

Morning Break

Coffee, conversation and reflection.

10:30

How to Design Organizational Culture

In this talk entrepreneur and best selling author Alex Osterwalder will introduce the Culture Map, a hands-on concept to systematically assess & design organizational culture. Participants will learn about and apply this tools developed by Dave Gray and Strategyzer to assess their own culture and improve it. Join this talk if you want to design and build an outstanding culture at your company.

 

Speaker

11:30

Rookie CEO Grows Up. Reluctantly.

This year Peldi returns to talk about the most painful moments he experienced during Balsamiq’s growth. It will NOT be fun. ;)

Speaker

12:30

Lunch and Networking

Meet your fellow attendees and speakers for a relaxed lunch.

13:00

Wednesday Afternoon Workshops

You’ve heard the talks, now apply your new way of thinking in practical workshops.