Guest Blog: Gregory Menvielle, Pyramedium – Why I'm attending BoS 2012.

A guest blog from Gregory Menvielle, CEO and Founder of Pyramediumand one of the smaller ISVs that come to Business of Software on a regular basis. We were happy to see Gregory when he came up to Cambridge recently to look at a Mummy (he is an Egyptologist in another life…).

We love hearing stories about people like this – so much of the value of something like Business of Software comes from the people you get to know, not the stuff you learn so thank you Gregory for some nice words and look forward to seeing you in Boston.

A few days ago I met with Mark and Marcin in Cambridge (UK) as they were kind enough to spend some time talking about a major business dilemma that my company is faced with. I will not describe what our (major!) issue is because this is a post about Mark and attending Business of Software. If you are curious, ask me, I don’t mind sharing.

As we were bouncing ideas and comments, I often referred back to BOS 2011 and how the conference’s benefits reached beyond merely attending the talks. Mark asked me to share these comments and I am happy to oblige (besides the curry was really good).

The human connections you will make at BOS are the true benefits and the reason you should attend in person.

  • Let me cut to the chase. Business of Software is an expensive proposition for most people and making the trip to Boston can be a hard decision, even more so now that the sessions are streamed.
  • Then again, I am old-school and treasure the opportunity to sit down and talk to people to learn more about who they are (rather than what they do). I will proudly admit to being part of the (most likely minority) who feels that social media is making us asocial and find it quite sad that now-a-days, most of the excitement revolves around measuring, tracking, and analyzing behaviors rather than making a difference in people’s lives.

Yes, people talk about metrics, testing, and analysis at BOS. Some entire companies are even built around this principle. Though there is something a lot more amazing happening there once the PowerPoint presentation goes dark: People meet, and talk. And I’m not just referring to the attendees: what made BOS standout from other conferences is you can interact with the speakers since most of them attend the whole conference. This tells you about the quality of the show: These people are thought of as experts in their fields, run companies –some of them quite large- yet take 3 days out of their schedule to attend this conference.

And as you meet, chat, and interact with all everyone group, you will learn a lot more than what was just presented. Let me give you 4 examples of how interacting with the speakers can lead you down some interesting roads:

  • Patrick Foley works for the evil empire Microsoft, and since we use their technology, we talked a lot about Azure. As our chats continued post BOS, we also found that we had some other common interest that led to a great conversation about potential start-up ideas and avenues; not to mention a future bike ride to Alpe d’Huez (Paul Kenny, you are required to join as well!)
  • Mark. Rumor has it that people keep in touch with Mark to find out who his shirt-maker is. All joking aside, Mark and the BLN group have an incredible, unique, perspective on the pulse of the software industry as they bring together people from all sides. Talking to him and his group will give you some great outlook on what the trends are and some ways to tackle some thorny problems.
  • John Nese: I will bet that if you attended BOS last year, you now have a smile on your face thinking about John. I went to his store in LA a few months ago and while he was not there on that day, the whole store was like him. How many of us would have known about him otherwise and really, how many people like John would you ever meet at a software conference?
  • Jeff Lawson and Twilio. I left Jeff for last because it really highlights the ramifications of BOS. Before BOS I had never heard about Twilio. I have no shame admitting it.
  • Since his presentation was good (and taught the non-native speakers a few new expletives) I checked out what Twilio did and realized it would be quite interesting for one of my customers who is trying to make the world a better place. (Quick aside, Thanks Peldi for supporting TravelinWheels!)
  • So rather than reading reviews online, and contacting customer service, I did the only thing imaginable: Talk to the Twilio team at the conference to see the type of people they were. Turns out they were the type of people you’d feel comfortable working with so we started using Twilio in some of our demos + platform.
  • But doing so accelerated some things for us and lead to us being in the “interesting” situation I mentioned above which may lead us to apply for the Twilio fund. A lot can happen when you interact with others!

I have already booked my ticket for 2012. The speakers’ lineup is already quite impressive and the talks will definitely make anyone in the industry think harder.

Though let me leave you with the 4 things I am looking forward to, outside of the presentation (hint: you won’t experience it via streaming!)

  • Meeting new and past attendees to learn about them (Stephen, looking forward to chatting some more about software verify over some food)
  • The Band
  • Rory Sutherland’s French Bashing (Come back Rory, I’ll bring you an Yqem)
  • Being surrounded by a group of people who realize that software is more than just 0 & 1

See you in October!

Note to the reader: My only compensation for writing this entry was a dish of lamb curry which proves that I either need to seriously review my pricing scheme or that I am smarter than most of the contributors of the Huffington Post.

See you there Gregory. Thank you.

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