Takeaways from being a newbie to a Business of Software conference 🥡

Flying nearly 6000 miles to Boston and back in two and a half days to see some of the world’s most talented product, marketing, and startup leaders? Count me in!

You know when you go to a conference with all the intention of applying what you learn? You turn up, you get a good seat, and then you listen to the presenter sharing their take on a subject. You nod away in agreement to what they’re saying, and you take what seems like 100+ photos of their slides, all with the best intentions of applying the learnings when you get back to the office.

And then you don’t do a single thing with anything you’ve learned. Not a single thing.

For me, this is what made BoS a completely different conference to what I had attended previously.

That’s because it was the first conference I attended where I *actually* came home, applied what I learned, and have started to see results.

As a newbie, I was pleasantly surprised by the tight-knit feel and authenticity of the whole thing. And the questions from the audience were just… *chef’s kiss*.

But, what made it really worth it was when I got home I instantly put into practice a lot of my learnings, for both my own business and for my clients.

©️ Ian Clifford

Over the course of the conference, I watched a number of speakers present, including Elizabeth O’Neill, April Dunford, Bob Moesta, Katherine Thompson, Bill Spruill, Asia Orangio, and Bruce McCarthy.  Some I had seen speak previously, others were new to me.

These are the three main takeaways for me:

  1. We need to work harder to create better buying experiences for customers.

40-60% of b2b sales purchase processes end in no decision. In April Dunford’s talk on Crafting a Product Story, she shared this stat from Challenger and asked the audience to really think about how to build better sales calls and better sales scripts by really considering the context and causation behind why a prospect buys. Of course, a toilet or two made an appearance.

  1. Founders, ask yourself: How do you want to show up?

Elizabeth O’Neill’s talk on founder and team energy was another level. It could have been a fluffy, theoretical approach to this subject. Instead, we were provided scenarios and asked to discuss how different people react to real-life events in growing and scaling a company.

  1. Understanding product market fit when it comes to careers

Bob Moesta and Katherine Thompson of The Re-Wired Group’s talk considered applying Jobs to Be Done to career changes. It was an interesting take on using a framework we’ve always associated with building products, but applying it to how to engage and retain employees. (You know it’s always a good talk when the audience asks a lot of questions.)

Of course, there are many other things that I will always remember:

The food!; meeting someone who grew up in the village next to mine in deepest darkest Devon (hi, Ian); but, overall, it was the feeling that this was put together by a lovely bunch of humans who want to create something great to support product and software folk.

Lucy Heskins, Director, Oh Blimey https://www.ohblimey.com/
The Re-Wired Group https://therewiredgroup.com/