One of the highlights of Bos2010 for me was the chance to meet Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni, the founder of Balsamiq. He gave a really personal and passionate talk about how he had started out at Adobe and decided that he wanted to setup a business. And what a success it has been – Mockups is a fantastic product and really good example of listening to your customers enough, but also having the courage to refuse them sometimes.
Joel Spolsky introduced his talk and did a little homily about Mockups and how he had moaned about the limit of only one font. But limiting the user to just one font was a brilliant design decision because the users then focussed on using the tool to design great mockups and not get sidetracked into ‘font wars’….
Peldi told us about how Balsamiq had grown and Mockups had developed as a product. When occasionally things did not quite work out right first time, he fixed them and moved on learning from the experience. It is great to have an example of such refreshing honesty.
I can’t hope to recapture Peldi’s talk for you (hopefully it will appear in due course on Neil Davisdon’s Business of Software blog). But I can point you to his candid, personal and honest blog. If you want someone with real creative and business insite and a pretty amazing story to tell, it is well worth exploring his blog.