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Quiet Light x BoS 2023

Late in 2006 Mark Daoust, received a call from a good friend and fellow entrepreneur who was considering selling his 8-year-old web hosting website. Just 10 months prior Mark had sold his own profitable website and was looking for a new direction. Quiet Light was founded with this phone call.

Fast forward a few years and Quiet Light is now a leading player in the business of selling and buying profitable online businesses and have sold over 600 online businesses with over $300,000,000 in total transaction value. In 2022 they sold over 100 companies.

Even though they’re recognized as one of the most successful M&A advisors in the marketplace, Quiet Light still take an attitude of continual improvement to their processes. This is where BoS and Quiet Light make magic.

David and Christopher from Quiet Light enjoying some conversations at BoS Europe 2022

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Alex Ostwerwalder – Apprentice CEO

Alex Osterwalder is probably best known as the creator of the Business Model Canvas and is undoubtably one of the world’s leading thinkers, experts and practitioners on business strategy and innovation. You might not think of him as an apprentice CEO.

One of the defining characteristics of the most successful entrepreneurs is their commitment to learning and growth and Alex is no exception.

In this online session, Alex spoke about his journey from well known author and speaker to what he describes as being a ‘real’ entrepreneur over the past 10 years.

He discussed what he feels are the most important aspects of his leadership journey and the five things he consider most important in his path to becoming the leader of a self-funded, fully remote, software company employing over 50 people. He discussed:

  • Coaching
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Three Books That Shaped Alex Osterwalder’s Approach to Leadership
  • Organisation Structure
  • Explore and Exploit – OKRs vs AKIs

We’re sharing some notes below but if you want to watch the talk when it is published, you need to get on the BoS newsletter and you will be the first to know.

Meanwhile, you can watch Alex Osterwalder’s talks from previous BoS Conferences.

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Mystic Mark’s 2023 Predictions

Back in 2019 I was asked for a couple of predictions for 2020. Obviously no one seen Covid coming and hitting as hard as it did, but I did have a feeling that remote working would be further embraced and become much more normal.

To Recap:

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Where are we all going?

Since Elon Musk’s (shudders at the mention of his name) $44bn takeover of Twitter, and the abhorrent way he has fired and cleared out the employees and wiped billions of value off the platform, everyone has been looking for the new ship to jump on where we can share cat gifs, sassy comments, important news, views, and find out what other people are up to.

So tell us: What you think the ‘new Twitter’ will be:

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Mark’s look back at 2022

At the beginning of 2022, having come out of a difficult 2021. We were really excited about 2022 and we’d also found that the online conferences that we’ve been running had really struck a chord with people. Many people who attended the online conferences found that they were getting better networking and better conversations than they were in the in person events.

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BoS Conf Scholarships 2023

Business of Software Europe 27-28 March, Cambridge UK

Business of Software USA (Dates and location TBC)

The brightest software entrepreneurs from across the world will be meeting at BoS events throughout 2023 to interact with their peers, discuss the big issues around running a software business, and participate in interactive sessions led by experts.

Every year at Business of Software Conference, the generosity of our supporters allows us to offer full conference tickets to deserving entrepreneurs and leaders who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the event.

This is a brilliant way to get a leg up in the industry and meet some extraordinary people who want to help you succeed.

You will leave with ideas that will make a difference and an amazing network of people who can help you make it happen.

This year is no different.

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BoS Podcast : Mergers and Acquisitions

What is happening in M&A in 2022 and beyond?

Interesting conversation with Christopher Moore at Quiet Light Advisors on the state of the economy and how it has affected acquisition activity for SaaS and software companies.

2021/22 has been a frantic time for exits with a huge amount of capital deployed in rollups and acquisitions. However, many aggregators have found it harder than they expected to find the deals that work for them and the cost of capital has risen so while there is still an active market, many are being more choosy about the deals they do.

Christopher discusses what buyers are looking for, the outlook for the market and how entrepreneurs can best prepare for their sale. You might be surprised to hear an M&A guy say that many entrepreneurs should not sell. He explains why he thinks that is the case and why entrepreneurs should run their business as if they will never sell but be in a position to sell tomorrow if they had to.

Podcast

Preparing for Exit

If you are considering an exit for your business, you will have plenty of questions.

BoS may be able to help.

Starting January 2023, we’re running a programme where you’ll join a small group of others in a similar situation and together we’ll define your goals and timelines and thrive through this exciting and challenging time. For more information…

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Quality baked in

I was an avid traveler, lived on the road and full time RV’d with my family – building our business, schooling kids, & living as cheaply as possible. Full stop March 2020.

I’ve admittedly been afraid to leave the house since. I’ve been working up the courage recently, but found many excuses not to travel – even to nearby cities. I’ve attended BoS online conferences since 2020 and they have forever changed the way we work and run our business; the talks are welcoming, intimate, and – most importantly – the people and organizers of BoS are always there to help with anything. The BoS community is unlike anything I’ve come across.

I missed the first “post Covid” in-person spring European conference this year out of fear. I regretted it, and committed to the conference in the fall.

I decided a 9 – 12 hour drive from Ontario to Boston might be a better first step than a flight. So, that’s what I did!

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How BoS Sparked Inspiration

This was my second time attending the BoS conference in-person, and I learned that’s a common denominator of the event. Bob Moesta told me, “you don’t ask ‘have you ever been to BoS’. You ask ‘how many times have you been?

This event draws people in again and again, and for good reason. The content is of the highest quality, the people are friendly and approachable, and – as a woman traveling alone – I always feel safe at this event (and I can’t say that for other events). This time, I walked away with an explosion of inspiration, and I couldn’t wait until I got home to put things together.

©️Ian Clifford

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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:

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Jed’s first BoS Conf USA

There’s something about in-person events that are just different. Although I can rattle off a list of awesome things that happened ‘over the pond’, some of the most exciting moments for me certainly lay with seeing people connect with other like-minded people over coffee, dinner, and – most importantly – happy hour.

The magic may have happened in these moments but what really lifted the event were the world class speakers who nailed their sessions throughout the week.

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“Take me out to the ball game” ⚾️

©Ian Clifford

After BoS Conf USA 2022, the BoS Team decided to head out to Fenway Park to watch the Boston Red Sox play against the Baltimore Orioles. Did we know anything about baseball? Did we know the names of the players? Did we realise it was going to be three+ hours and very little scoring? Did it matter?

In baseball you’ve got to not only hit the ball (which is very hard) but then make it to the first base before your opponent can get the ball to the first base ahead of you. You’ve then got to make a call of can you go further or will you wait for you team mate to also hit their ball and both of you can progress in hope of scoring points. 

We face the same issues in work life and in personal life. We might strike out a few times, but when we do hit the ball, we have to make quick decisions and trust our team mates can help us get round the diamond of life and help us make a difference.

Some of us are pitchers. Some of us are catchers. We all take our turn batting. We all need to be able to trust our team to have our backs.

“What’s this got to do with BoS USA 2022, Kirk?” I hear you ask. Well,

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Are You Recession Ready?

Jason Cohen of WP Engine fame introduced me to Jonathan Slain at Recession.com earlier this year. He and the WP Engine team work with Jonathan and he is a pretty interesting guy. We invited him on the podcast to discuss how SaaS and software companies can prepare for, and take advantage of, a recession.

We discuss:

  • How you define a ‘recession’, beyond the standard economist’s answer about GDP. Have you ever considered your company’s GDP?
  • The things that you should do to be prepared for a recession when they inevitably hit.
  • The opportunities that a recession can offer for those that are prepared properly and how to take advantage of them.
  • The common mistakes companies make when faced with a downturn.

You can take Jonathan’s recession readiness assessment here and see how you compare to over 1,500 other companies when it comes to being prepared for the next recession.

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BoSton Dinner recommendations

We’ve hunted down a selection of top local places to eat in the Seaport district for you to enjoy whilst at BoS Conf USA.

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Why BoS Conference is Different

We can’t wait to be back in person for BoS Conference USA. IT’S NEXT WEEK…!

Business of Software Conference USA, Boston MA is coming up next week, 26-28 September.

As we prepare for our first in-person US conference for three whole years, we were looking back at some of the things that we think make BoS a special place for all who attend, as speakers, supporters and most important, attendees.

You can read some of the thoughts of previous attendees including Dharmesh, Des Traynor, Tobi Lutke and many more here.

I ended up spending more time than I meant to watching some of the old BoS summary videos that try to take some of the lessons learned at each conference, talk to the speakers and participants about what they learned and took away.

A real trip down memory lane but it did strike me that while many things have changed over the years in the world of software, the core values and spirit of BoS have kept consistent.

BoS is about providing a place for entrepreneurs and software folk to spend time with kindred spirits talking and thinking about how you can build great products and great companies.

Here are a few of my favorites, featuring some very young looking people, some of whom now look a little older…

How many people can you name?

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BoS USA 2022: Sunday Duck Tour

Although BoS Conf USA doesn’t officially start till Monday 26 September we do also provide Sunday afternoon activities and this year Quiet Light have generously put on a Duck Boat Tour of Boston for attendees!

Join Quiet Light and the BoS team as you venture off on a tour of the city by road and water. You’ll cruise by all the places that make Boston the birthplace of freedom and a city of firsts, from the golden domed state House to the Boston Common, the historic North End to fashionable Newbury Street, Quincy Market to the Prudential Tower, and more. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, it’s time for a big splash as your ConDUCKtor drives right into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines.

The tour sets sail from the Seaport Main Entrance on Seaport Lane and will drop you back off at the same place. BoS Legend (and scholarship supporter) John Knox will be on hand to provide more Boston factoids and information the onboard ConDucktors driving the boats may have missed.

We’d really appreciate if you could indicate if you’d like to go on the tour in advance by letting Kirk know and confirming we can look forward to seeing you about 4:45pm on Sunday 25 Sept.

If you’ve not got your tickets for BoS USA 2022 yet there is still time!

Learn how great SaaS & software companies are run

We produce exceptional conferences & content that will help you build better products & companies.

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