Friday, November 27, 2009

Business of Software 2009 Roundup

If you're interested in building a long-term, sustainable and profitable software business you'd probably be interested in the the Business of Software Conference 2009 which was held in San Francisco on 09-11 November.
Here's a list of the speakers along with the one thing I took away from each of their presentations.

Geoffrey Moore (Dealing with Darwin): Excel at the features that amplify your differentiation from the competition (your core) while just being good enough at everything else (context).

Paul Graham ( From a VC's standpoint, companies that provide super good company service are good bets.

Heidi Roizen ( More than half of a VC's investments lose money while the top 3% of deals return 50% of their profits.

Dharmesh Shah (, @dharmesh): Use social media tools to create user pull rather than the traditional marketing push - Inbound Marketing.

Mat Clayton (, @matclayton): Be social, be relevant, and disintermediate.

Don Norman ( Good design is all about the complete experience so build (or partner) to create an A-Z system.

Ryan Carson (, @RyanCarson): Make your company remarkable by being passionate, loving your customers, treating them like royalty, giving back to your community, making kick ass products, investing in good design, being more creative than you need to be, and begin good at publicity. (He says you must do all 8 to succeed which is why I listed all of them.)

Paul Kenny (Ocean Learning's Forum): Discover your sales story by starting with the customer's need behind the need.

Chris Capossela: Geographic based pricing (setting lower prices in certain countries) works as a hedge against piracy.

Neil Davidson (, @NeilDavidson): When setting price consider your product's value relative to the customer's needs and then discourage comparisons that work against value.

Kathy Sierra (Creating Passionate Users, @KathySierra): Understand what the user does and help them, teach them to be awesome at it.

Jennifer Aaker (@Aaker): The pillars of happiness are autonomy, competence, relatedness, self esteem, and being part of something bigger.

Michael Lopp (, @Rands): Learn how to make little decisions better and faster by developing improvisational skills, delegating, and knowing what you want.

Luke Hohmann (, @LukeHohmann): True innovation comes from the things we don't know we don't know.

Joel Spolsky (, @Spolsky): Design is the act of making decisions for the user so they don't have to.

And here are the notes, summaries, and commentaries by other attendees (I'm certain there are more out there).
Mark your calendar: BoS2010 will be held 04-06 October 2010 in Boston.

UPDATE [20 Mar 2010]: Video of Geoffrey Moore's talk on innovation from BoS2009.

UPDATE [27 Mar 2010]: Video of Mark Stephens' winning Pecha Kucha from BoS2009.

UPDATE [08 May 2010]: Video of Kathy Sierra's talk on social media from BoS2009.

UPDATE [05 Jun 2010]: Video of Paul Kenny's talk about sales from BoS2009.

UPDATE [26 Jun 2010]: Video of Don Norman's talk about design from BoS2009.

UPDATE [24 Aug 2010]: Video of Darmesh Shah's talk about building better software businesses from BoS2009.

UPDATE [24 Aug 2010]: Video of Joel Spolsky's talk about simplicity versus choice from BoS2009.

UPDATE [31 Aug 2010]: Video of Paul Graham's talk on trends for the future from BoS2009.

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