Some nice summaries of this year's Business of Software talks by Theo Spears. I have included one from each day and a link to the relevant blog post.
Day 1 - Jeff Lawson
Jeff from Twilio talked about SaaS pricing models. You can base pricing on how much value you add, how much the service costs to provide, or how much your competitors charge. Ideally the combonation of the three should suggest a suitable point. He talked a lot about the benefits of consumerization – treating all your customers as if the are consumers, but equated this with SaaS more than I was comfortable with. Both of these are options a business can take, and are becoming more popular, but neither necessarily implies the other. Read the other summaries from day 1.
Day 2 - Josh Linkner
Josh talked about creativity. He had a model of how modern education was suppressing creativity in kids, although didn't actually demonstrate this meant adults were any less creative than they used to be. Interesting suggestion around RoleStorming = brainstorming whilst pretending to be a particular character, to free you up to suggest ideas without fear of personal criticism. Read the other summaries from day 2.
Day 3 - Paul Kenny
Paul Kenny talked about the importance of closing and how to do so in sales. People often fail to close because they are afraid to hear a no, and it makes for an awkward conversation. It also means you are less likely to make the sale – more sales are lost due to failing to ask the customer if they want to buy, than asking the customer if they want to buy too soon. When the customer does say no, this is a great opportunity to learn about what changes are needed to the product. Read the other summaries from Day 3.
I had a little catch up with Theo yesterday. I was kind of hoping he might be interested in using some of his sabbatical time to do some amazing things with the community aspects of the BoS website but as his blog details, he has got another itch he is focused on scratching. He did make some interesting commments to me, and in his blog about talks and conferences…
"I've thought about the nature of talks I've attended catering to the entrepreneurship world, and my overwhelming conclusion is I will not look back in 10 years time and think "If only I had attended more talks where people recapped their experiences, I would be in a far better place now".
"So no more entrepreneurship talks for me
"However, far more useful than listening to the content is the opportunity to mix and network with other like-minded people. This is one of the things that makes BoS so good, and I'm glad that Mark is really focusing on how to get the most from this aspect of the conference. As I attend more networking opportunities I become increasingly aware it's not just a social occasion to chat – making the most of it requires you to identify and focus on the other people in the room who are most relevant to you, and avoid getting caught up in conversations that are less relevant. I would be interested in hearing any advice on how to do this better.
"So maybe I'll skip the talks and just turn up for the networking sessions. And the free food."
My daughter has something to say on that subject - http://thebln.com/2011/10/the-childs-guide-to-business-of-software-networking-a-quick-tour-of-the-original-cambridge/ I think we might revisit that subject later in the year.