BoS FAQ: What is the best BoS talk ever given and why?

Hi Mark, What do you regard as the best BoS talk ever given and why? I would be very interested in your response.

Question from a newsletter subscriber.

Interesting question and we get asked it a lot. We’ve just been talking about this again recently and there aren’t easy answers. Here’s a few that stand out in different ways but this is by no means a ranked list…

Product, marketing, strategy, operations and company growth

Lessons in entrepreneurship

  • Peldi, Balsamiq: What I learned in 10 years building my business. Lessons for entrepreneurs from Balsamiq and an incredibly open account of almost selling to Atlassian…
  • Jason Cohen, WPEngine: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. Insights from an astonishingly successful entrepreneur working through the issues of founding a successful company. Imposter syndrome is real.
Seth Godin Jason Cohen Mark Littlewood Business of Software Conference USA
You know you’ve done a great talk if Seth Godin comes up to you afterwards and says it is the best thing he has seen in years…

Then there are ones like this…

  • Patrick McKenzie, Stripe: Hello Ladies! A Lightning Talk about marketing to minorities.
  • Greg Baugues, Twilio: Developers and Depression Without being dramatic, a talk that has literally saved lives.

Common Characteristics

The best BoS talks tend to be:

  • Technically brilliant talks (a basic hygiene factor)
  • Come from personal experiences and hard won lessons/expertise
  • Inspire different thinking but also offer immediately actionable ideas
  • From trusted and engaged members of the community it’s full of super smart people and entrepreneurs who really ‘get’ what the conference is about.

There’s some evergreen but very valid information about how we choose speakers here.

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