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Business of Software Europe by the Numbers [Infographic]

Business of Software Europe was great (it’s not just us that say it, our attendees rated it with an NPS of 93). One said attendee, Mike from CurationWall, put together this excellent infographic summarising the event. He’s also brought together his thoughts on the top three talks from the event from his perspective in a well written, long form blog post – seen here.

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Customer support that (actually) delights

In a world where customer support is increasingly the difference between buy or no buy, stay or no stay, just about everyone loves to market themselves as ‘customer centric/driven/motivated/leading/delightors/dinosaurs/satisfyers/ninjas/hillbillies’.

A phrase I regularly hear is ‘we love to delight the customer’. But what does that mean? From a corporate point of view, it’s usually sales based – ‘we love to delight the customer’ = ‘we make people happy enough that they keep buying from us’. This counteracts the selfless act of delighting another human being – or, to remove the buzzword – unselfishly making another human happy for the sake of happiness.

With everyone apparently looking to ‘delight’ the customer, the companies that really mean it with true intentions still stand out from the pack. Amazon, Apple, and John Lewis (UK) are all examples of companies famed and loved for their customer service, a by product of which is customers come back again and again, or in the SaaS world… keep on subscribing.

I had a great experience that made me happy today. I wanted to share it quickly, because credit where it’s due and all that.

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Scaling a Technology Business is About Unscaling Technical Debt | Jeff Szczepanski, Stack Exchange | BoS USA 2015

Jeff Szczepanski, COO, Stack Exchange

In every successful technology businesses Jeff has worked in, the key challenge has been understanding how to scale technology and when to tackle the technical debt that inevitably accrues as a company runs ever faster and faster in pursuit of its business objectives. Jeff draws on his experience to help you understand what challenges emerge as a company moves from a Developer Centric environment to become more business focused.

How can you get the business people to have influence on a developer centric environment? How can you manage the challenges that marketing will present?! What principles can you apply to be aware of problems early? How do you trade Agile Practioners vs Architectural Astronauts in a fast growing business? What are the technical debt trade-offs, what problems can you buy yourself out of? What problems will kill you if you don’t move now?

Slides, Video, AMA & Transcript below

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The Long Slow SaaS Ramp of Death AMA Video | Gail Goodman AMA, Building a SaaS Business

Gail delivered a talk for the ages at BoS USA 2012 with the “Long, Slow, SaaS Ramp of Death”.

At the tenth Business of Software USA, she returns to reflect on her time at Constant Contact with the talk “Lessons Learned in 17 years Building and Exiting a SaaS Business”. As someone who has been through growing a software company before – her experience is invaluable.

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Business of Software Europe 2016 Speaker Slide Decks

Last week we took over the Powerscourt Hotel, Ireland for the third BoS Europe Conference Europe. As ever, the speakers produced a great show for those in attendance, delivering thought provoking presentations with software businesses in mind.

The slides from most of the presentations are here – with thanks to the speakers for permission to share the slides with the wider BoS Community.

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Gail Goodman – Ask Me Anything | Wednesday June 1st – 1215 EST

gail goodman

One of Gail Goodman’s legacies to the software industry has been proving you can build a profitable business in the SMB space. Today, SME/SMBs are a recognised and attractive market segment for software companies and significant amounts of venture funding is available to go after it.

Beyond this, Gail delivered a talk for the ages at BoS USA 2012 with the “Long, Slow, SaaS Ramp of Death”. At the tenth Business of Software USA, she returns to reflect on her time at Constant Contact with the talk “Lessons Learned in 17 years Building and Exiting a SaaS Business”.

Before the conference, you have the opportunity to ask Gail anything on growing great businesses. As someone who has been through growing a software company before – her experience is invaluable and available to you during the one hour hangout.

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I Have a Face for Radio and a Voice for Silent Movies

It is a good job someone in the family has communication skills…

This is Violet being interviewed last week at Business of Software Conference Europe in Ireland by the rather wonderful Bill Thompson and Gareth Mitchell from the BBC’s Click programme. The producer, Ania Lichtarowicz is holding the mic and set everything up.

You can listen to her here and the final programme here. It features some people that are well known to regular BoS Conference attendees – Betsy Weber (Techsmith), Clarke Ching (Royal London), Iris Lapinski (Apps for Good), Joan Mulvihill (Irish Internet Association) and John McEvoy (Irish Men’s Sheds Association).

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Sharpening the Saw

This is a guest blog post by Gareth Marlow, BoS speaker and attendee.

In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey speaks of Sharpening the Saw.

As he tells it:-

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
“What are you doing?” you ask.
“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down this tree.”
“You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?”
“Over five hours,” he returns, “and I’m beat! This is hard work.”
“Well why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” you inquire. “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”

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The Clean Startup | BoS Europe 2015 | Alex Depledge, Hassle.com

Alex Depledge, CEO & Co-founder, Hassle.com

Alex Depledge is noted as a ‘Trailblazing Woman’ by the Huffington Post, and is a force of nature. Alongside her Co-Founder Jules, she built Hassle.com up to a sale in 2015 with an innovative solution to finding cleaners. At BoS 2015, she gave an honest account of what it is like to build a people orientated startup from the ground. Set aside some time and start taking notes – leave with the knowledge of what it’s like to grow a software business around its culture.

Video & Transcript below

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3 Reasons I’m looking forward to Business of Software 2016

This is a guest blog post by BoS Europe 2016 Attendee Sophia Matarazzo of IDR Solutions, reposted with permission, with the original post found here

At IDR Solutions I have been waiting for this weekend. Why you may ask? Well this weekend welcomes the return of the Business of Software conference. Throughout the year there will be two conferences being held:

This will be my first time attending Business of Software and I am really looking forward to it.

As a taster of what the conference is going to be like, Mark Littlewood has been hosting various Q&A sessions on Google hang uts with some of the speakers who will be attending the conference.

The three reasons why I am most looking forward to attending this year’s conference are:

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Different areas of the brain respond to different words.

What areas of the brain respond to different words?

Amazing.

This study maps brain activity amongst subjects listening to stories. The electrical activity in the brain is mapped and shows that different locations in the brain are stimulated by different words. Perhaps not surprisingly, some words that relate to, for example, colour, map to areas of the brain near the parts of the brain that process vision.

Single words, can activate multiple regions. ‘Top’, for example, stimulates parts of the brain associated with – appearances, numbers and measurements, buildings and places.

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Offering People Choices When They Have No Choices

Offering people choices when they have no choices

I was talking to the always entertaining and insightful Rory Sutherland today about his forthcoming talk at Business of Software Europe. He’s talking about how we can use technology to hack the human consciousness and he came up with this brilliant insight about offering people choices even when there are no choices.

He was talking about scheduled operations in the NHS, the UK’s National Health Service, free at the point of delivery but not always the slickest when it comes to keeping ‘customers’ happy. (Though having taken one of our team members to A&E last week when she tripped over on the way to work, cut her head open, broke her wrist and elbow, I was reminded that they are an amazing organisation).

When you are scheduled to have, for example, a hip replacement, you will wait some time before getting a call to say something along the lines of,

“Your operation is scheduled for 10.30 am on 21st May.”

You have no choice, you  have to be there or get rescheduled to a later date.

Here’s another approach…

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High Performance Teams: Neuroscience and Agile | BoS Europe 2015 | Jenni Jepsen, goAgile

Jenni Jepsen, Partner, goAgile

The key to building high performance teams is understanding how our brains work.

What motivates us as individuals?

Jenni explains how we can make it easier to harvest all the benefits of Agile working by understanding why neuroscience, how people’s individual brains work, is key to creating and motivating a high performing team.

Jenni’s work focuses is on helping people deliver the right product faster whilst creating lasting changes.

Slides, Video & Transcript below

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Four Laws Of Software Economics (Part 4) | Rich Mironov Guest Post

We’ve laid out three fundamental facts about commercial software: your development team will never be big enough; all of the profits are in the nth copy or nth subscriber; and the software bits we release are not the product. These led to three laws for software businesses (the Law of Ruthless Prioritization; the Law of Build Once, Sell Many; and the Law of Whole Product).

One last market observation is that you can’t outsource your strategy.  Not to your customer base, not to your sales force, not to a strategy template, and not entirely to a prioritization algorithm. Product strategy is a prediction about how your future actions will move the market, and therefore needs a range of inputs and scenarios. Plus some strong beliefs about where things are going. So let’s stand up a few of the most popular strategy outsourcing approaches, and then knock each one down.

Can’t Customers Decide For Us?

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