Making a difference

Making a Difference

Ziad Wakim is a long time Business of Software Conference attendee who isn’t able to come this year for good reasons (see below), but he sent a lovely email that captured some of the reasons that Business of Software Conference has made a difference to him.

Ziad is the founder and CEO of Kumbu, where he leads a distributed team helping people to  preserve their digital memories. Check it out.

Shared with permission.

Thanks for the nudge – and the lineup this year looks amazing. The dates won’t work for me, and that’s too bad (My wife is defending her tenure on the 18th, and I really want to be with her until she gets through the process). I’ll make plan for next year though.

I thought I’d share with you some of the value I got from past editions – I’m not sure about the dates:

  • In 2011 Alex Osterwalder did a Business Model Canvas talk that was part presentation/part workshop. I’ve re-used that knowledge extensively, for at least half a dozen projects. I feel it’s now part of my toolbelt. [Here]
  • Not sure of the year, but a workshop with Peldi taught me how to value simplicity in the software build/delivery process. I’ve since strived at simplifying this process in the companies I’ve worked with, and now that I’ve launched my own company, implemented a lot of these principles in our operation. [Those workshops really can make a difference!]
  • Kathy Sierra blew my mind, and changed forever how I envisioned training and learning. [Web 2.0 Business Models – 2009, Building the Minimum Badass User – 2012, Building  the minimum Badass user part 2 – 2013, Motivation Matters – 2014]
  • Patrick McKenzie, besides his talks, in an offhand remark in the hallways gave me the key to understanding Japanese Business Culture that I’m sure was instrumental in winning a deal with a large Japanese company. The revenue from that deal allowed me to launch my own company. [Marketing to Minorities, Lightning Talk]
  • The Founder from Atlassian who put “failure” and “being hacked” in context, and helped me overcome some of my paranoia about this. [Leadership in Crisis – 2013]
  • And there are many others, such as Brianna Wu [9 Ways We Can Stop Hurting and Start Helping Women in Tech], Joanna Wiebe [Writing non-sucky copy], and more that I’m sure I’ll think of right after I hit send.

All that to say – I wish you an amazing BoS this year. I’ll make sure to make plans to attend next year

All the best,


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