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BoS Bytes

BoS Bytes: 3 Things to Make You Smarter

There’s a ton of terrible content out there. Three golden nuggets I guarantee are worth your time.

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BoS Bytes

BoS Bytes: 3 Things to Make You Smarter

There’s a ton of terrible content out there. Three golden nuggets I guarantee are worth your time.

Read more

Want more of these insightful talks?

At BoS we run events and publish highly-valued content for anyone building, running, or scaling a SaaS or software business.

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BoS Bytes

BoS Bytes: 3 Things to Make You Smarter

There’s a ton of terrible content out there. Three golden nuggets I guarantee are worth your time.

Read more

Want more of these insightful talks?

At BoS we run events and publish highly-valued content for anyone building, running, or scaling a SaaS or software business.

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BoS Bytes

BoS Bytes: 3 Things to Make You Smarter

There’s a ton of terrible content out there. Three golden nuggets I guarantee are worth your time.

Read more

Want more of these insightful talks?

At BoS we run events and publish highly-valued content for anyone building, running, or scaling a SaaS or software business.

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Want more of these insightful talks?

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Revealing the Success: BoS Europe 2024

On the grounds of Churchill College, the Business of Software Conference Europe once again unfolded last 25-26 March 2024.

BoSEU24 Class Photo

Sunday – Pre-conference activities

Prior to the official start of the BoS Conference Europe 2024, a group of attendees and speakers gathered to embark on an open-bus tour, led and supported by Christopher Moore of Quiet Light.

After the tour, everyone got together for drinks, where everyone met new folks and caught up with old friends from previous BoS conferences. It was a fun way to kick off the conference, setting a friendly and welcoming vibe for the days ahead.

Monday – Conference Day 1

Day 1 of BoS Europe kicked off in full swing, setting the tone for an enlightening and engaging event filled with valuable insights and meaningful connections. From thought-provoking keynote speeches to interactive discussions over lunch, the day was brimming with opportunities for learning and networking.

Morning Sessions

The day commenced with an insightful session by Joe Leech, who delved into the seven essential traits of a modern CEO. Following Joe’s insightful talk, attendees were treated to a 2-hour session by the renowned Bob Moesta, who did an improv centered around Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory. Bob’s engaging improv showcased real-world problems and solutions, and how understanding customer needs and motivations can drive innovation and success in software businesses.

Lunch and Birds of a Feather discussion tables

At BoS, lunch isn’t just about refueling – it’s an opportunity to connect with fellow attendees on a deeper level. From discussing the intricacies of software development to sharing personal preferences like whether one prefers cats or dogs, lunchtime conversations sparked new friendships and fostered a sense of community among attendees.

Afternoon Sessions

The afternoon sessions kicked off with Imogen Wethered sharing her expertise in starting and selling a business, offering valuable advice and practical tips for aspiring entrepreneurs. As the day drew to a close, Dr. Eleanor Gunn led an interactive session aimed at connecting attendees with their core values. Through thought-provoking exercises and discussions, Dr. Gunn encouraged participants to reflect on their personal and professional values, fostering a deeper sense of purpose and alignment.

Breakout Sessions

What makes BoS unique is the dedicated breakout sessions, where attendees engage directly with experts in smaller, interactive settings. These sessions foster deeper discussions, personalised advice, and valuable networking opportunities, ensuring attendees gain tailored insights and forge meaningful connections.

The day concluded with a lively dinner at the dining hall, where attendees had the opportunity to unwind and socialise in a relaxed setting. Amidst delicious food and lively conversation, attendees reflected on the day’s learnings and eagerly anticipated what lay ahead in the days to come.

Tuesday – Conference Day 2

Morning Sessions

Growth Levers and How to Find Them by Matt Lerner

The morning began with an announcement that Matt Lerner was unable to attend due to personal reasons. However, attendees were pleasantly surprised when they received copies of his new book, “Growth Levers and How to Find Them”, as a token of his presence in spirit.

In his place, Bill Thompson stepped in and read a captivating letter from 2107, offering a glimpse into the future of software and technology.

Following this unexpected start, Oyinda Bagbose took the stage to discuss how technology can still save the world and support the work of NGOs. Then, Ninnu Campbell, self-proclaimed Chief Failure Officer, took attendees on a journey of embracing failure as a pathway to becoming a more effective leader.

Afternoon Inspiration

The afternoon sessions kicked off with Duane Jackson, who shared his inspirational story of going from behind bars to successfully starting and selling a business. His resilience and determination served as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of entrepreneurship.

Next up, Claire Suellentrop offered insights into operationalising Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory, providing attendees with practical strategies for implementing this framework within their organisations. The day concluded with a session led by Bruce McCarthy on how to align executive teams for success.

As we bid farewell to the Business of Software Conference Europe 2024, we do so with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the future. The knowledge gained, connections forged, and inspiration gleaned from this conference will serve as fuel for the journey ahead. Armed with new insights and a renewed sense of purpose, attendees are poised to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead in the ever-evolving world of software business.

Next Events

BoS USA 2024 🇺🇸

23-25 Sept 2024 at Raleigh, NC

Learn how great software companies are built to help you build long-term, profitable, sustainable businesses.

The Road to Exit 🌐

Starts June 2024
A BoS Mastermind Group
facilitated by Mr Joe Leech

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Stop Saying Nothing: How to Write Copy for Your Software Company

Software, to the average person, is pretty boring.

‘Words are actually free. Now, getting them wrong is expensive. But if we can get them right and get some attention on our copy, we can actually stand out – even if we’re no different from our competitors – because everybody saying the same meaningless things,’ Joanna Wiebe, founder of Copyhackers says in her 2015 BoS USA talk.

Read on to learn why your words aren’t getting through and how to write copy that converts.

For a full version of this talk, including a video recording and transcript, click here

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5 Business ‘Rules’ Worth Breaking

We all know there are no shortcuts to success, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to find a magic bullet that will slingshot us to the front of the line. As Gail Goodman said in her 2012 BoS talk, ‘The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Death’, these are all just mirages along the pathway to software company profitability

In his 2010 talk, Smart Bear and WP Engine founder Jason Cohen talks about the proverbial ‘rules of business’ and many varying pieces of advice founders get – often from well-meaning mentors and experts. However, even good-intentioned advice isn’t always the right advice.

Cohen shares some entertaining and illustrative stories as well as some excellent arguments for when (and when not) to take advice from others in his talk, ‘Working Out When to Break the Rules & Ignore Advice’. The biggest takeaway: You should write your own business rules.

Jason Cohen gives a talk at Business of Software USA 2010 about when to break 'business rules' to achieve success

For a full version of this talk, including a video recording and transcript, click here

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Business Lessons from the Founder of HubSpot

Starting any business is hard. There’s no perfect playbook laying out all the right turns to take and potholes to avoid. Unfortunately, we’re all prone to make mistakes. But those mistakes are often what lead to the most important, eye-opening lessons on how to get things right in business. 

One of the best ways to sidestep later trouble is to learn from leaders who have already experienced it. In his 2022 BoS USA talk, Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot, lays out some of the biggest mistakes he’s made (and lessons he’s learnt) as a founder. Here are some of the main takeaways from his presentation.

Dharmesh Shah, Business of Software USA 2022, talks about mistakes and lessons learnt building HubSpot

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How to Sell Software to the Masses: Use Sales

When you think about trying to scale your software business and sell your product – especially in today’s world, where AI now seems to be the automatic default – you may be stressing over how to do it well. 

Current logic suggests the best option is to cut out as much human interaction as possible. After all, the more humans you have working, the more expensive it is to run your company. And while advances in technology like ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools can now mimic humanity and sound more like humans and less robotic, they’re still imperfect tools. Customers know they’re not speaking to an actual human.

Here’s some food for thought: 

Humans like to deal with humans. And humans like to buy from other human beings. 

If you want to sell something – be it software or handbags or cars or bananas – it pays to consider that. 

Steli Efti, co-founder of Close, one of the most widely-used SaaS CRM tools on the market, shared his views on how software companies – even ones with particularly lean teams (Close.io has only 9 members itself) – should make more of an effort to push sales in their organisations in his BoS USA 2015 talk, ‘How to Sell Software Using Sales’. 

For a full version of this talk, including a video recording and transcript, click here

5 Ways to Sell Software Using Sales

No matter your product or what you’re trying to peddle to your customers, being successful requires one major thing: sales.

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Mirages and Broken Funnels: What’s Holding Your Businesses Back from Scaling and Reaching Profitability

Too often, startup founders spend time hoping for a miracle. We want some kind of free, viral, network effect – a silver bullet, so to speak – to suddenly ‘flip the switch’ and skyrocket our software company to profitability. 

But that’s not the reality for most software entrepreneurs. That kind of success takes work; there are no silver bullets.

This creeping progression is what Gail Goodman, former CEO of Constant Contact, refers to as ‘the long, slow SaaS ramp of death’.

scale software company to profitability: The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Death – Gail Goodman

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BoS USA 2023 – The Sigmacorn Notes

Notes from the Sigmacorns at BoS USA 2023.

As usual, you really had to be there but here are the Sigmacorn notes…

9:00 Mark Littlewood: Opening remarks

  • Welcome to BoS!
  • Attendee hub can be accessed via QR code on your nametag
  • Code of conduct is available here
  • Members of the team are wearing gray shirts
  • Mayor Baldwin is unfortunately stuck in traffic, but Mark is more excited to meet her
  • Mayor Baldwin will be presenting after the first speaker
  • BoS is in Raleigh to stay: easier trip through immigration, bluegrass festivals, and football!

9:15 Jason Cohen: Building your Permanent Defensible Strategy

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Kathy Sierra & Business of Software Conference

Kathy Sierra is one of the heroes of Business of Software Conference. She’s an extraordinary thinker and speaker. Thoughtful, kind, generous and one of the smartest people on the planet. I think of her often, particularly when I’m talking with speakers who want to give the best talk they possibly can. She is not a natural extrovert and found speaking in public incredibly hard, yet she is always brilliant.

I wanted to send one of this year’s speakers a link to her blog post, Presentation Skills Considered Harmful recently and sadly, her blog is no longer live. (This links to the post recovered from the WayBackMachine). If you speak in public, it is worth your time.

Kathy is a genius and we have been incredibly lucky over the years to have welcomed her to the BoS community where she has shared her incredible insights. You can watch all her talks, Web 2.00 business models, Building the minimum Badass user, Building the minimum bad ass user. Part II. Unfinished business…, Motivation matters and lots more here.

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GrepBeat show their support for BoS USA 2023

GrepBeat covers tech news and views for Raleigh-Durham and the surrounding area. Think of it as TechCrunch for the Triangle, with a splash of BuzzFeed for seasoning.

Renowned Software Conference BoS Officially Relocates to Raleigh Oct. 2-4

September 21, 2023 Kaitlyn Dang Events

Bill Spruill, the Co-Founder and former CEO of Raleigh-based Global Data Consortium, at the Business of Software (BoS) conference in Boston last year. Spruill was instrumental in getting BoS to move to Raleigh.

The potentially next big software conference is officially relocating to Raleigh.

The Business of Software (BoS) Conference is a multi-day, single-track event for founders, entrepreneurs and emerging professionals in software companies from around the world. Originally based in Boston—with pit stops on the West Coast—this conference will bring more of an intimate atmosphere where guests are encouraged to learn from and help one another through their challenges of running a business. 

Unlike some software conferences, the focus of the topics and events will not be on in-the-weeds subjects like coding or finances, but rather on advice and conversations from industry leaders about everything from marketing and leadership to mental health, plus everything in between. 

BoS will take place from Oct. 2-4 at the Martin Marietta Center in downtown Raleigh. Thanks to BoS’ partnership with the Triangle-based entrepreneurial support organization CED, GrepBeat readers can apply the CED partnership code ced2023 to get a $300 discount on tickets. Register for the event here.

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What’s the buzz around BoS USA 2023?

The wonderful people over at WRAL TechWire recently ran this piece about BoS coming to Raleigh:

Business of Software Conference is in the Triangle

Business of Software Conference is in the Triangle to stay

by Jen McFarland — September 21, 2023

RALEIGH — The Triangle is getting a big boost this fall with the arrival of the Business of Software (BoS) Conference.

The event will take place in downtown Raleigh for the first time this October 2-4 at the Martin Marietta Center. Beginning with a welcome from Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, the conference promises three days full of sessions and insights. Tickets are still available.

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Kathy Sierra Your App Makes Me Fat

Your app makes me fat, Kathy Sierra, July 24, 2013

Kathy Sierra’s blog is sadly no longer live but this is one of a number of posts that underlines why she is THE BEST. It’s been recovered from the WayBackMachine for posterity.

Your app makes me fat

The Experiment Kathy Sierra Your App Makes Me Fat

In 1999, Professor Baba Shiv (currently at Stanford) and his co-author Alex Fedorikhin did a simple experiment on 165 grad students.They asked half to memorize a seven-digit number and the other half to memorize a two-digit number. After completing the memorization task, participants were told the experiment was over, and then offered a snack choice of either chocolate cake or a fruit bowl.

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Kathy Sierra Presentation Skills Considered Harmful

Presentation Skills Considered Harmful, Kathy Sierra, October 4, 2013

Kathy Sierra’s blog is sadly no longer live but this is one of a number of posts that underlines why she is THE BEST. It’s been recovered from the WayBackMachine for posterity.

Presentation Skills Considered Harmful

There is no cure for presentation stage fright. You can reduce the symptoms with beta blockers, but when the drugs wear off, you’re still… you. You’re still up there with a cracking voice, runaway heart rate, and nauseating dread.

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The Importance of Honesty vs Niceness

Might our apprehension about becoming the dreaded “worst boss” unwittingly steer us in that direction? Gallup’s research reveals that businesses make the wrong managerial choices a staggering 82% of the time, leaving just one out of every ten managers genuinely effective in their role. Hence, the pivotal query that every team or company leader should pose is: How can I guarantee that I don’t find myself enshrined in my team’s roster of “worst bosses”?

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BoS USA made easy

We know you sometimes have so much on your plate you just don’t get around to things – especially with so many aspects to factor in.

So we’re making your life one little bit easier with a limited number of tickets which INCLUDE either a 3 night or 4 night stay at the Marriott City Center Hotel just across the square from the conference venue in Raleigh this fall.

Yup – thats right you can choose to add on a 3 night stay (on 1st/2nd/3rd October) or a 4 night stay (on 1st/2nd/3rd/4th October) when booking your BoS USA ticket and we will do all the work to get your room sorted for you. We’re just super nice like that.

However, we only have a handful of these available on a first come first served basis so do not hurple or dawdle*!

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