BoS social network digest – issue 1

A bit over a week ago I launched the Business of Software social network, aimed at people interested in building long-term, profitable, sustainable software businesses. It’s got some 185 members now, which is a cracking start. I’m going to send out a semi-regular digest of activity on the forum (probably once a week) to members, e-mail it to members and cross-post it to my blog. This is the first issue.

In the eleventh century BC, after a battle with the Gileadites, the Ephraimites tried to retreat back to their homeland across the river Jordan. But the Gileadites had already taken the ford. The Gileadites needed a way to separate the two tribes, who were physically indistinguishable. However, the Ephraimites were unable to pronounce the sound ‘sh’, so the Gileadites asked each man crossing to say ‘shibboleth’ and slaughtered those who couldn’t.

The success of the Business of Software social network will be determined not only by who we let in, but also by who we keep out. We need a Shibboleth – a statement that keeps the web 2.0, eyeballs-are-more-important-than-profits, let’s-flip-to-Google, impostors out. Got any ideas? Post them here.

Dan Nunan posted up a question asking ‘How many questions before it gets too personal?’. Dan asked how much information you should ask potential downloaders. The consensus was none. Don’t even ask for their e-mail addresses. I think the consensus is wrong. Post your opinion on the forum.

In ‘On being paid in trousers‘, Phil Factor asks if the current financial crisis could return the software industry to the barter economy.

Got a non-traditional business model? Jay Grieves would like to hear from you.

There’s a London BoS dinner being held on November 12th. If you’re in the area and want to eat pizza, drink beer and discuss building profitable, long term, sustainable software businesses, then sign up.

See you on the site, and please encourage other people to sign up. Assuming they pass the Shibboleth, of course.