Business of Software Conference Europe 2018 Speakers’ Reading List

Want to know what the smart people are reading?

Of course you do. it is one of the things that makes them smart! We asked the speakers from Business of Software Conference Europe 2018, (May 21-22nd, London), what book has had the biggest influence on their career and what they’re reading now.

Here’s what they said…

Wade Foster, CEO/Founder, Zapier

Wade Foster

Hi Mark,

1. Book that’s changed my approach to business: Four Steps to the Epiphany. I read this book just as I was getting into entrepreneurship. It demystified a lot of what product building and company building is for me.
2. Book I’m reading now: Work Rules. This book has been super helpful guidance for thinking about building out the people side of an org.

Looking forward to the event!

Wade is talking at BoS Europe about building a high-growth, profitable, business with a remote workforce.

Laura Roeder, CEO/Founder, MeetEdgar & RoPig

Laura Roeder

“‘The road less stupid‘, by Keith J. Cunningham.

“And the biggest influence on my business life is: ‘Scaling Up by Verne Harnish”

Tendayi Viki, Founder, Benelli Jacobs

Tendayi Viki Corporate Startup Author

Getting Things Done by David Allen. It put a lot of edges to knowledge work for me that were not there before. I love to geek out on process so that was cool too. I still use it today.

“My most favourite recent read is Deep Work by Cal Newport.”

Tendayi will show why clever ideas are not enough to innovate at Business of Software Conference Europe 2018.

Carl Ryden, CEO/Founder, Precision Lender

Carl Ryden PrecisionLender

“The the book that has had the most influence on my thinking is The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt. I first read it 20 years ago.

“It was required reading for the graduate program that I attended at MIT. It is a fascinating book in that it is written as a novel as a means to explain Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints. It is required reading for all Amazon Execs.

“Right now, I am reading Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths.

“It is a fun and easy read that highlight algorithms that can be easily applied to everyday decisions/problems.”

At Business of Software Conference Europe 2018 Carl will discuss why PrecisionLender’s product-focused approach to AI favours Intelligence Augmentation rather than Artificial Intelligence 

Alison Coward, Founder, Bracket

Alison Coward

“I’m currently reading: Fusion: The Psychology of Teams, by Dave Winsborough. I’m only a few pages in, but this paragraph really resonated:

“‘Although teams are the natural unit for humans to get tasks done, Western post-industrial society makes teamwork harder than it needs to be. In my view, the West spent the two hundred years or so since the start of the Industrial Revolution engineering teamwork out of work life. Industrialization and large-scale manufacturing corroded our basic human instincts, and instead taught managers and workers to avoid using teams. But nature wins in the end, and with good reason teams are now making a comeback.’

“Book that had a big influence on me: isn’t a book but a research paper – How to Kill Creativity, by Teresa Amabile.

“The premise of the paper is that organisations, by their nature and bias towards efficiency, kill creativity. Amabile explores the conditions that foster creativity and sets out six factors for doing so. Even though the paper was published in 1998, I don’t think the principles in it have dated. It could have been written yesterday. It really helped me to understand what makes creative people and teams tick (‘creative’ being anyone that has to develop and deliver ideas in their work).”

It won’t therefore come as a huge surprise that Alison will be discussing how to build high performance teams at Business of Software Conference Europe 21-22 May 2018.

Bill Janeway, Warburg Pincus and Cambridge University

Bill Janeway


“Book recommendations:
“Tim O’Reilly, WTF? What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us Wisdom from the leading guru of the digital age.
“Bernard Harcourt, The Illusion of Free Markets Why markets and the state are inevitably interwoven.
Andrew Lo, Adaptive Markets A deep analysis of the history and limits and neoclassical economics and the need to develop an alternative approach, based on evolutionary principles. Andy Lo is a senior financial economist at MIT.”
Bill will talk about the Fall and Rise of Enterprise Software at Business of Software Conference Europe 2018.

Stephen Allott, Chairman, NED

Stephen Allott
Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong”

At Business of Software Conference Europe 2018 Stephen considers the new rules and new must-have tools for software and SaaS sales teams.

Tom Adeyoola, CEO/Founder, Metail

Tom Adeyoola Metail

“The biggest influence… The Hard thing about hard things.

“The book I’m reading now… The Greatest: The quest for sporting perfection’ by Matthew Syed”

Tom is speaking about why your brilliant technology fails to make an impact.

Jane Austin, Director of Design & UX, Moo

Jane Austin Moo

Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules.

Captain David Marquet was used to giving orders. In the high-stress environment of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, it was crucial his men did their job well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet.

One day, Marquet unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. He realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things.

Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Before long, his crew became fully engaged and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst t first in the fleet.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet’s approach to create a workplace where everyone takes responsibility for their actions, people are healthier and happier – and everyone is a leader.


Business of Software Conference Europe is held 21-22nd May 2018 at the Barbican, London.

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