What did you take away from BoS2011?

We asked BoS2011 attendees what their key learnings were from the conference…

  • Greater honesty and transparency with our customers.
  • Having the right team is critical. Focus on internal tools is worthwhile.  Product is only a small part of the customer experience
  • Formalizing our plan to pay down our code debt. 
  • Pricing for the Lizard Brains of enterprise customers. Measuring A/B tests from the top to the bottom of the funnel.
  • To focus on the job our software is doing
  • Holy crap is social media ever important! Your presence is almost a product in itself.
  • Social media participation
  • Use more metrics in our customer acquisition process. Dedicate more time to marketing. Become closer to our top customers.
  • A/B testing, motivation to release soon and a new pricing page. Networking!
  • 1. Be more honest. 2. Change the copy on most of our web site. :)  3. Measure more.  A/B testing.
  • Too many to tell, top 3 are:  1. how important honesty and transparency is with customers  2. testing, testing, more testing and understanding the metrics  3. how to draw an owl, #JFDI
  • *Improve website copy  *Split testing  *(Continued) Passion for what we do  *Validated our 'basement-based' claim (Thanks Jason Cohen)
  • Flip the equation and put customers ahead of other stuff in decision-making.
  • There was so much, it's hard to pinpont a single thing. Communicate with your customers.
  • As a Dev Evangelist, the business plan modeling for working with customers and the sales/closing presentation for my own stuff.
  • To do a better job of managing the creative resources of my team.
  • The value of A/B Testing
  • Business Model canvassing
  • I took a lot away. Creativity, A/B testing, The Funnel, I need to do talks again, Sort out twitter, read a LOT more.
  • Start looking for problems that I have a passion to solve. That will be the SaaS application I will try to start this year (currently only do desktop apps)
  • Working on creative thinking towards software problems. The importance of A/B testing.
  • The social media approach. My next challenge is awareness, and I like the concepts presented. Not easy, but something I want to work through.
  • The biggest action point is the idea of being honest 'internally'. By which I mean being more transparent with management processes – eg. sharing of employee survey results – and that being honest about existing problems challenges with employees can lead to greater motivation and involvement. Immediate action will be sharing results of functional heads' work/surveys with the function we're surveying!
  • Look at all of our processes with a fresh eye.
  • Many things. Here are my first couple to focus on:  1_ Show our expertise via a book  2_ Use blogs/webinars around customer topics, not about us or about a specific customer (due to security/confidentiality)  3_ Change Corp Overview to ONLY tell stories to customers presentation
  • Measure more and report, in a timely way, more.
  • A much better understanding of SaaS based business models and the ease with which a new s/w business can be setup online.  Also I was unaware of the industry behind this (B2B companies like hubspot).
  • Too many to list. I've already started using the business model canvas to facilitate strategy discussions with our management team. I've also begun building hooks into our product to help with A/B testing and customer success measurement. Less concretely, but most profoundly, the conference has led me to make a commitment to start my own business in the next 2-3 years.
  • Capture better metrics around our Inbound Leads and application feature usage.
  • I will reach out to more people in my industry for customer discovery purposes.
  • Make an effort to perform more robust A/B testing. And think bigger. πŸ™‚
  • Applying metrics (and perhaps some variant of A/B testing) to our desktop application.
  • Need more metrics in my SaaS app; going to change a marketing approach and try complete honesty to the point of pointing out flaws in my product.
  • Combining Clay's talk about focusing on the job + many of the talks about tracking folks religiously internally to make sure that its "mission accomplished"
  • 1. weekly sales meetings (Paul Kenny)  2. reposition our product in the marketplace (Clay Christensen)  3. Make sure everyone else does as much creative stuff as me (Josh Linkner)  4. Draw the rest of the fucking owl (Jeff Lawson)
  • Think disruptive! Be honest and transparent – it's the only way.
  • 1. more tightly focus our inbound marketing content  2. do more cohort analysis  3. start tracking user engagement by feature usage  4. do a better job in doing user-specific messaging  5. process for improving our website copy
  • I have 3 pages of to-dos. I will be focusing even more on customer interaction, on using metrics to make decisions, and thinking bigger.
  • Work on exercising our "creative muscle".
  • Too many to list here.
  • Do A/B Testing – possibly hire Patrick McKenzie. Tons of tips from Laura about blogging effectively. Tip from attendee on a good tradeshow to go to.  NPS surveys.  Might do rolestorming at next staff meeting
  • o A todo list 80 items long.  o I'm too soft charging for my software and maintenance.  o I should be more proactive (hate that word) about selling.  o I should be more proactive (hate that word) about ux research.  o When someone is ruining a speaker's talk by talking I should shut them up more quickly than I did.  o I should get out more. My socialising is not with tech people at all.
  • Loved Clayton's arguement about "What job is someone hiring your product for".
  • SAAS is the way to go, so we will create a Windows application, and we will add a/b-test to the application, and start with a tutorial.  We will add the middle alternative to buy.
  • To focus on the job rather than on the customer once people are using the product. Oddly enough it's the opposite (people's first) when trying to funnel them through the demo page.
  • Many things. I will summarize by saying we need to spend MUCH more time on our "pipe line" at every level.
  • How our web page can work harder for our business.
  • Trying to be more creative, finding out new ways to engage with customers. Being honest as well with customers. And maybe most important is that we do work with humans and not companies and we should work with that in mind.
  • For disruption, start small. JDI. Good enough is good enough. AB testing is important. Do something Social.  It Is OK To FAIL!!
  • Rolestorming. Finding our Purple Cow – from workshop. Sales Techniques – Asking for the sale.
  • Figure out what "job" our customers "hire" our software to do.
  • Come up with more metrics on the business. My gut feeling may have brought us where we are, but we must base more decisions on our data.
  • Business Modeling, Christensen's ideas on Innovation, RoleStorming, contacts made.  There is more, lots of good nuggets
  • A/B testing
  • I will re-visit company strategy having learned from Clay Christensen's talk
  • Only focus on the aspects of inbound marketing that you will excel at. Make our webpage simple. Find a way to get into the cloud (not easy for my niche).
  • We need to do a better job of measuring and testing
  • Testing Testing Testing. Loved the focus on it and David's discussion regarding data.
  • Lots of A/B testing!  πŸ˜‰
  • ABD – Always Be Doing. Keep working/ Get Started Now
  • Metrics… Track everything.  And don't quit being creative.  Its the most important thing.
  • More focus on "Making the World Suck Less"
  • Seriously consider a SaaS model. Put more emphasis on non-feature improvements,
  • We'd just started doing usability testing on our software. We're going to ratchet that up and spend more time on the new-user experience.
  • Become a data driven company. Encourage creativity
  • Perseverance is key to building a business.
  • HR practices. some process improvements
  • Several things -   * need to be more intentional about defining our business model  * priority of investing in UI/UX  * paying attention to disruptors in our market and developing strategies to compete with them directly while still sustaining our current business  * practical tips on making our business data-driven  * solid recommendations from fellow attendees on better issue-tracking tools
  • Being brutally honest/transparent with the customers will help, not hurt the business.
  • My BoS commitment was to free myself up so I could dedicate as much time and energy to building my company and getting v1.0 of my flagship product ready for launch.    Realising this was going to be near impossible while working a fulltime job, I made a commitment at BoS to quit my job at FlexiGroup (who graciously helped me get to BoS, knowing my ambitions) as soon as I got home. It was very tough but after an incredible 7 year run working with some of the most talented people I've ever met, my tenure will come to an end next week.    What BoS has helped me with is to give me the courage to take this step, by introducing me to an incredibly supportive community of brilliant entrepreneurs. People who have been on a similar journey to me and are able to offer support or a friendly ear for the challenges I am facing. And it's very heartening, hearing about how others have similar challenges and being able to offer my own thoughts. Outside the walls of this conference there are very few other venues that offer this kind of experience.    Plus the fact that the delegates are just so friggin smart! I have been endlessly namedropping to the guys on my team all the great people I met but the highlight would have to be meeting Peldi from balsamiq. I love his style and how he built his fantastic company on his own mettle is truly inspiring.     Jason's talk was the highlight for me, and also his critique of my product pitch (which I already rabbited on about in my other survey response so I'll leave it at that :)).    My only regret from the conference was not saying hello to Mark! But I could see he had his hands extremely full. Oh and that I forgot to collect that bottle of champagne πŸ˜‰
  • Work on operational metrics. Build internal tools.
  • 1. Measure my business in more and different ways than I'm currently do.   2. JFDI.