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Business of Software Conference Program 2022 – Online & In-person

Our big news in 2022 – online grows and in-person conferences coming back.

Online conferences are here to stay. In 2022 at Business of Software, we’re building on the success of our online program in 2021 with a series of six one-day online conferences over the year.

We’re also pleased to be launching our in-person conferences – just not quite like old times.

We think the online and in-person BoS Conferences will fit together in perfect harmony.

So what conferences are we launching in 2022? How can you get involved? When are the conferences happening? Read on to find out…

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Online Conferencing in 2022

“I think I might prefer online networking… The conversations get straight to the point.”

Tim Burgess, Founder, SheildGEO

This year, a series of one day online BoS Conferences will run in addition to our in-person events. These will be exclusively online. The in-person ones will be exclusively in-person.

We have yet to find a hybrid solution that actually works well and gives those in the room and those online positive experiences.

So let’s take a quick look into what BoS Conf Online looks like in 2022:

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BoS Conference Europe 2022

Cambridge, UK 4-5 April

It’s been a while since we have run in person conferences. Did you miss them? We think we can run them safely again, albeit with some differences.

We may have made some changes but we think it’s time to experience some real world meetings again.

BoS Conf Europe returns to Churchill College, Cambridge, UK and will run 4-5 April 2022 with an informal welcome reception on the Sunday evening before the conference begins.

Here’s a few things you might want to know before we announce the speakers.

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What we’ve learnt

We asked you our loyal BoS community members what measures we should put in place to make you feel more comfortable about returning to in-person conferencing in 2022.

We had so many replies, offering us some great insights into how you feel about future of BoS events, here’s what you said…

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Marketing at Balsamiq – the Exception the Proves the Rule

Marketing at Balsamiq is different.

Accepted wisdom for SaaS marketing is simple. You identify your North Star Metric and marketing funnel then build a series of experiments incorporating a range of marketing activities that allow you to monitor and measure the success of your investment over time. Monitor, measure, assess and improve ad infinitum. At the heart of this approach is an understanding that measuring key KPIs that allows you to build a marketing funnel and optimize performance of any activity with a reasonable degree of precision. It works.

Balsamiq Wireframes is different.

If you ask Balsamiq’s founder, Peldi, how many visitors the Balsamiq website has, he would not be able to tell you. Balsamiq have a very different approach. It is an approach that has served them and their global customer base extremely well.

In this podcast episode, I spent some time with Leon Barnard, Balsamiq’s education team lead, to discuss how Balsamiq’s approach to marketing was conceived, why the focus of all their efforts has always been to support the growth and development of product design as a discipline. We talk about Balsamiq’s approach, the impact it has had on the design and product community, the potential disadvantages of their thinking and why they are still proud to be different.

Balsamiq is all about education, that’s not not teaching people how to use the product but how to become better designers.

Leon Barnard, Balsamiq

Balsamiq were a supporter for our recent BoS Conf Online Fall and have been an active advocate of our scholarship program to support attendance at the conference for high potential entrepreneurs.

Online Wireframing Workshop in Action

This year, Balsamiq offered one of our scholarship attendees, Varonique Philander, CEO Founder of Chaya Legal, an online wireframing session to help her with the process of designing and building the core elements of their new website. You can view the session here on the Balsamiq YouTube Channel.

Well worth a look if you want an insight into how to approach one of the trickiest parts of turning an idea into a business.

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In-person BoS Conferences in 2022

In-person events! Remember them?

We do. What if we ran them again?

Please share your thoughts with us.

They’re incredibly helpful and every discussion we have had with attendees has given us lots to think about. Three short sections will take less than 2 minutes to complete, but you can share more detailed thoughts if you wish.

Thank you!

While our focus for the past 18 months has been on designing and delivering online events that deliver the best experience for our attendees and many people have found that online beats in person, we know that isn’t the case for everyone.

Our position has always been that we will only run physical events at a point where they are not only ‘possible’ but that it would be ‘responsible’, to do so.

Online is here to stay but we feel that running physical conferences in 2022 will be possible, albeit with some differences. You can bet we are planning for them in 2022 and part of that process is to hear the views, thoughts and feelings of the people we serve – you the community of attendees.

Learn how great companies are run

At BoS we run events and publish content that is highly valued by anyone trying to build, run, and scale a great software company.

Sign up for a regular dose of actionable and useful content:

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Analytics and Data Literacy: The Secret to Modern Business Wins

Historically, businesses were top-down, executive-driven operations. The days of taking an executive’s instincts at face value however are long gone.

Today, successful businesses increasingly make data-driven decisions across the entire organization.

What’s standing in the way?

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The Data Literacy Continuum and the Sandwich Shop

What is the data literacy continuum and why does it matter?

Every organization is made up of users with different levels of data literacy and competence.

Most organizations massively overestimate how data literate their people are. In this survey, 84% of businesses think employees have high, or very high levels of data fluency, while only 10% of those users consider themselves data fluent.

All humans – this includes your users – sit on this continuum. Even simple organizations have different data needs.

The Data Literacy Continuum © Logi Analytics

Understanding where your customers are on the data literacy continuum was the subject of a very lively breakout discussion at BoS Conf Online Fall last month that used a sandwich shop to illustrate what it means and why it matters.

The Data Literacy Continuum and the Sandwich Shop

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Liberating Structures

3 person 3 client session – 26 minutes.

Three People in a Room, each takes it in turns to play the role of ‘client’, while the other two play the role of consultants.

Someone must be in charge of timing the session.

  • Each person introduces themselves briefly. 2 minutes total time.
  • One person spends 1 minute describing a challenge they have.
  • The two consultants spend 2 minutes asking clarifying questions and the client can answer.
  • The two consultants spend 4 minutes discussing possible solutions while the client remains silent.
  • The client shares the most valuable insight with the consultants. 1 minute.
  • Repeat process with a different person playing role of client.
  • Wrap up and return to the main room.

3 person 1 client session – 9 minutes.

Three People in a Room, you decide between you which ONE will play the role of ‘client’, the other two play the role of consultants.

Someone must be in charge of timing the session.

  • Each person introduces themselves briefly. 2 minutes total time.
  • The client spends 1 minute describing a challenge they have.
  • The two consultants spend 2 minutes asking clarifying questions and the client can answer.
  • The two consultants spend 4 minutes discussing possible solutions while the client remains silent.
  • The client shares the most valuable insight with the consultants. 1 minute.
  • Wrap up and return to the main room.

Attribution – Liberating Structures

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BoS Conf Online Fall Supporter: ServiceRocket

Our supporters are awesome.

Not only do they help and support the conference and the community, they also help fund our scholarship program to enable awesome people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend, come, take part and get a leg up into the world of software and SaaS.

Get a scholarship for BoS Conf Online Fall – Quick!

ServiceRocket

A little about ServiceRocket

ServiceRocket helps software companies accelerate their go-to-market strategy by assisting in the creation and growing of scalable ecosystems, including services delivery and implementation, partner channel programs, customer education and support.

You can hear more about what ServiceRocket do in their chat with Mark on the BoSPodcast or when their CEO Rob Castaneda shared some of the mistakes that even top software businesses make at BoS 2016.

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BoS Conf Online Fall Supporter: Software Promotions

Our supporters are awesome.

Not only do they help and support the conference and the community, they also help fund our scholarship program to enable awesome people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend, come, take part and get a leg up into the world of software and SaaS.

Get a scholarship for BoS Conf Online Fall – Quick!

SoftwarePromotions

A little about Software Promotions

Dave Collins and Aaron Weiner have been an almost permanent presence at BoS.

In The Lost Art of Meaningful Content, Dave Collins, founder and CEO of Software Promotions, advocates taking a stand against the banal and pointless pollution the web has become littered with by a huge amount of the algorithm optimization tricks that web marketing, SEO and adword agencies take for granted. They are different and have strong values.

With attention to detail, expertise, and a warm and friendly demeanour, it’s with great pleasure we welcome back Software Promotions as a supporter of BoS Conf Online Fall 27-29 September.

Find our more about Software Promotions and their Google Whispering ways

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BoS Conf Online Fall Supporter: Balsamiq

Our supporters are awesome.

Not only do they help and support the conference and the community, they also help fund our scholarship program to enable awesome people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend, come, take part and get a leg up into the world of software and SaaS. It was Peldi and Balsamiq who first came up with the idea of our scholarship program and Balsamiq have been huge supporters over the years.

Get a scholarship for BoS Conf Online Fall – Quick!

A little about Balsamiq

For many, BoS Conferences and Balsamiq‘s CEO Peldi go together like PB & J (or Spaghetti and meatballs for our Italian friends!) and over the years Peldi has recounted (sometimes with painful honesty) his experience of building a successful SaaS company.

We’re delighted Balsamiq are supporting again at BoS Conf Online Fall 27-29 September. Balsamiq embody our values and what we believe makes software companies great:

  • a unique founder story
  • a successful product
  • and a willingness to share and give back to the community.

Balsamiq’s product — Balsamiq Wireframes — is a simple platform for non-designers to quickly express great product ideas using drag-and-drop pre-made UI elements.

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BoS Conf Online Supporter: PDQ.com

Our supporters are awesome.

Not only do they help and support the conference and the community, they also help fund our scholarship program to enable awesome people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend, come, take part and get a leg up into the world of software and SaaS.

Get a scholarship for BoS Conf Online Fall – Quick!

A little about PDQ

PDQ.com builds software tools that make it easy for Sys Admins to install software and patches throughout their organization and see what’s already installed on company computers.

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BoS Conf Online Fall Supporter: Logi Analytics

Our supporters are awesome.

Not only do they help and support the conference and the community, they also help fund our scholarship program to enable awesome people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend, come, take part and get a leg up into the world of software and SaaS.

Get a scholarship for BoS Conf Online Fall – Quick!

A Little about Logi Analytics

Logi Analytics, an insight software company, empowers the world’s software teams with the most intuitive, developer-grade embedded analytics solutions and a team of dedicated experts invested in your success. 

For over 20 years, Logi Analytics has helped companies embed sophisticated dashboards and reports in their applications. Logi is the only developer grade analytics platform on the market, and is rated the #1 embedded analytics platform by Dresner Advisory Services.

We had Charles Caldwell, VP of Product, Logi Analytics on the BoS podcast recently to talk about what makes a great product manager and the difficult evolution of Business Intelligence and how understanding the data literacy of your customers is key to building awesome applications.

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BoS Conf Online Fall Supporter: Kevel

Our supporters are awesome.

Not only do they help and support the conference and the community, they also help fund our scholarship program to enable awesome people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend, come, take part and get a leg up into the world of software and SaaS.

Get a scholarship for BoS Conf Online Fall – Quick!

A little about Kevel

Kevel offers the infrastructure APIs needed to quickly build custom ad platforms for sponsored listings, internal promotions, native ads, and more – so you can drive new revenue. The vision is that every online retailer and publisher should be able to add user-first ad revenue streams and take back the Internet from Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other digital monopolies.

Kevel have already seen successful ad platforms launched from the likes of Ticketmaster, Yelp, Strava, Mozilla, and many more .

What’s more BoS than a founder with a kick-ass growth story, who wants to give back to their community? It’s just one of the reasons we love that Kevel are back at BoS supporting BoS Conf Online Fall 27-29 September.

Read more about Kevel

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Evolution and Challenge in Business Intelligence

Fascinating and wide-ranging conversation with Charles Caldwell, VP of Product, Logi Analytics

There were some great pithy lines and some super sensible insights.

Listen to the full conversation on the Podcast

We talked about:

Product Management

A career in Product Management

Why did product management became his thing? Turns out he had always been interested in trying to find ways to make things better for people from being a young kid but didn’t know what that was a job.

What is Product Management?

  • Balance between the perfect solution and the doable.

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BoS Conf Fall Reading & Watching List

BoS Conf Online Fall, 27-29 September starts next week.

To get you in the mood, we’re sharing some talks from previous conferences from some of this year’s speakers, as well as a few primers on fundamentals that will help you get the most from the conference. If you cannot make it, they are well worth a watch.

If you are. Yay! They will help you prepare, get excited and think about what’s to come.

We’re also sharing our reviews of two great books that we thoroughly recommend. Both authors are speaking this year. If you’ve read the books, you will understand why – and you can.

Reading List

The Exponential Gap by Azeem Azhar

Radical Product Thinking – Radhika Dutt

And a little BoS Bonus, conference attendees will get a link to download their own eCopy of Radhika’s book before the event begins and the books is even published next week.

Watch List

Hello Ladies Patrick McKenzie
This is not Patrick McKenzie but it’s where his BoS speaking career started – Hello Ladies below.

Patrick McKenzie
Hello Ladies! Marketing to Minorities

BoS USA 2010 | 7 mins

Matt Wensing
1 Startup in 10 years vs 1,000 in 10 minutes

BoS USA 2018 | 8 mins

Radhika Dutt
Radical Product Thinking

BoS USA Online 2020 | 48 mins

Matt Wensing
Predicting you company’s success

BoS USA 2019 | 54 mins

Patrick McKenzie
Building thing to help you sell things you build

BoS USA 2013 | 55 mins

Bob Moesta
Demand-Side Sales 101

BoS USA Online 2020 | 56 mins

Bridget Harris
The buskers guide to running a tech startup

BoS Europe 2016 | 57 mins

Claire Suellentrop
How to use JTBD to perfect your product’s messageing

BoS USA 2018 | 57 mins

Teresa Torres
Shifting from managing by outputs to outcomes

BoS USA 2019 | 60 mins

Alex Osterwalder
Jobs, pains, and gains

BoS Europe 2017 | 61 mins

Bob Moesta
Five Skills of an innovator

BoS USA 2018 | 65 mins

April Dunford
Selling Point of View

BoS USA Online 2020 | 83 mins

Clayton Christensen
The job your product does

BoS USA 2011 | 90 mins

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Book Review – Radical Product Thinking – Radhika Dutt

Book Review – Radical Product Thinking – Radhika Dutt

Radical Product Thinking, the new book by Radhika Dutt, is published 28 September and we are delighted and honored she will by joining us for BoS Conference Online Fall 27-29 September to share some of the key messages that the book shares.

I’m also lucky to have been given a pre-publication copy and am sharing my thoughts on why we believe it is worth your time.

Radhika Dutt Radical Product

Why do we need Radical Product Thinking?

Radical Product Thinking is a clarion call for vision-driven product development over the iterative approach that has, for many, become the orthodox approach to product strategy and management. For Radhika, vision-driven product development embodies the power of long term thinking over short term. She explains why she believes this has come about, why a different approach is needed and most importantly, offers a highly engaging and practical step-by-step approach to adopting the philosophy.

The problem with iterative approaches

Iterative product development – perhaps most visibly in the rise of lean and agile development methodologies, has become widespread over the past couple of decades at a time when resources are relatively plentiful. They are powerful and useful. There is no questions that they are highly effective approaches to help your team get to the destination faster. However, they don’t necessarily get you to where you want to go.

Iterative techniques help you to optimize for local maxima rather than achieving the global maximum. If you want to climb Everest and your approach is to climb higher from where you are now, you’re very unlikely to summit. A different approach and plan is required.

Climbing Everest

Radical Product Thinking describes and explains the challenges that agile and lean techniques have and digs into what Radhika describes as product diseases that they can cause. Diseases because they are contagious, damaging and difficult to cure.

It is filled with examples of different approaches in action – the iteration towards electric vehicles taken by GM vs the vision-driven approach of Tesla – for example.

Radical Product Thinking is not a critique of agile or lean approaches, it recognizes their value, importance and place. It does however argue that if you want to build impactful, meaningful, products in a way that has long term impact on the world and your organization, you need to lead with an approach that accounts for the long term goals.

Where do you start?

Radical Product Thinking is particularly useful as a book as it doesn’t describe a problem in lots of detail and conclude that something has to be done. It has a very clear prescription for change. Not only that, the bulk of the book both describes an approach and offers engaging, practical and helpful thoughts on what you can do to incorporate the philosophy into your own work.

Three Pillars of Radical Product Thinking

  • A product, your product, is a mechanism for creating change. You should be clear what change you want to see in the world.
  • To build a product, you must be able to articulate the vision that you have for your product before you start engineering and building.
  • Your vision must connect to your day-to-day activities.

Five Elements of the Radical Product Thinking Roadmap

Radical Product Thinking offers a roadmap to making this happen and Radhika steps you through five critical elements, offering examples, tools and exercises that will help bring the concepts alive.

  • Vision
  • Strategy
  • Prioritization
  • Execution and Measurement
  • Culture and Change

I thoroughly recommend reading Radical Product Thinking. it’s a thoughtful synthesis of how we have got to where we are today but also a highly practical, interesting and well-structured handbook to changing our approaches.

We’re delighted Radhika will be joining us at BoS Conference Online Fall 27-29 September to tell us more, lead a discussion about how your thinking can change and also leading online masterclass sessions post event that will allow you to put the ideas to work and make a difference in your own businesses.

Learn how great companies are run

At BoS we run events and publish content that is highly valued by anyone trying to build, run, and scale a great software company.

Sign up for a regular dose of actionable and useful content:

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Ben Chestnut at Mailchimp has never spoken at BoS

Congratulations to team and founder on Mailchimp’s acquisition to Intuit.

On Monday the news that Mailchimp has been acquired by Intuit for $12 billion in cash and shares got people talking.

Cue Flurry of VCs Congratulating Themselves.

The usual playbook on Twitter when these deals go down is a flurry of hot takes and congratulations to the founder and team from investors who by law have to include a line that somehow reflects well on the investors foresight, vision or investment thesis – even when they did not invest.

For this deal, there were certainly ‘hot takes’ but VCs were noticeably absent in their rush to congratulate the company and founder on the acquisition incorporating their personal reflected glory.

Mailchimp has been bootstrapped from a web design agency in 2001. It has not taken any professional external funding so there are no investors involved. So congratulations, and of course, some reflected glory…

Ben has declined to speak repeatedly

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