Sophia Howard Sophia Howard is part of the Marketing, Sales and Website development team at IDRsolutions

Things I’ve learnt from day one at BoS (Business of Software) Europe

3 min read

Cilf5e0WUAA-y5s.jpg largeBoS Europe is an annual conference which is hosted and planned by Mark Littlewood. The event gives you the opportunity to network with various people and learn about lots of interesting ideas which you could incorporate into your own business.

This years speaker list consisted of some incredibly smart and successful business men and women who were willing to talk about the mistakes and positive things which have happened during their careers.

Day one

First things first we needed to register for the conference, this is where we received our welcome packs.

9:00 am – Here I go again. Why my second start up is different – Nick Halstead

Nick founded his first company in 2008 with a website called The website would create RSS feeds which consisted of things you were actually interested it. This website then evolved into which had a similar concept to, it would use an algorithm to show you posts which you would be interested in. The growth of the button when from 100 million in April 2009 to 900 million to August 2010.

Nick predominately discussed the importance of being able to tell the company and product story and the importance of how his new start up is different from his previous start up and the journey he took to get the company where it is today.

10:00 am – Making Trend Spotting Help Your Future Business – Eva Pascoe

In 1994 Eva opened the worlds first Internet cafe called Cyberia. She went on to talk about the importance of being able to spot trends within your business. From her spotting trends of women in the Internet cafe who like to purchase things online led her to contacting the Arcadia group (Topshop in particular) and creating their first e-commerce website. Moving forward from what she previously done she went on to spotting trends in the current day and age. One of the things she is currently working on is how VR (Virtual reality) can help make the experience of shopping easier and more fun.

11:15 Rock, Paper, Scissors – Stuff so easy you wouldn’t believe it worked – Clarke Ching
Clarke Ching is an Agile and Theory of Constraints expert. Clarke spoke about the importance of agile and gave us various examples of things people with in the industry take on. He went on to show us two video clips

The first clip he showed us was from the well known American tv sitcom, I love Lucy. The clip consisted of Lucy and Ethel working in a chocolate factory. They had to make sure that each of the chocolates that passed them on a conveyer belt would be wrapped up. As they felt they we managing the chocolates began to come out faster. They were unable to keep up. They ended up hiding and eating some of the chocolates to show that they were managing. When their boss comes in to see how they are getting on and she sees the chocolates are being wrapped and there are none left over (because they’ve hid them) she asks for the production to be done even quicker. This was a brilliant example of developers agreeing to a lot of work in one go and quickly not being able to keep up. You can watch this clip here

The next clip he showed us was from Dave Allen, it was a clip about learning to tell the time. This clip showed how ambiguous user requirements. You can watch this clip here

1:45 The Psychology of human interaction – How we can use tech to hack the human consciousness – Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland is a British advertising executive. Rory was discussing the way that we can use tech to hack the Human brain. For example he discussed the effect of changing a single button on a website increased the sites annual revenue by $300 million and how Google changing the shade of the blue on their website links helped make them an addition 200 million. All of this is due to how the brain works.

2:45 Proven, Honest, ways to make software sales – Even if your a single developer – Steli Efti

Steli Efti is the the founder of, which is a CRM platform which helps it users make calls, send emails and track activity of events.

Steli Efti talk was mainly discussing the things you already know, the only difference is that although we know these things we don’t put them into action. He gave lots of advice on what we should be doing that we are probably not doing how to make sure we are putting those things into action.

4:15 Why we turned down a million dollar sale – Gym Mucklow

Guy and his co-founder Jamie Turner founded Post Code Anywhere in 2000. Like many self-funded, profitable businesses, they had a steady stream of investors knocking at their doors but never had any interest in taking the money or selling. Last year, they were considering how they should grow a big data startup, Triggar, they had started together. Should they fund the startup with the profits from PCA Predict or sell their profitable business and use the funds to focus on Triggar? Initial conversations with an investment bank about strategic options turned into offers for the business and months later they were a whisker away from selling PCA Predict for close to $100 million. Guy will discuss why they pulled out of a deal costing them a significant amount of money and time, the danger of being sucked into a process, (albeit willingly), and why he feels that keeping the business was the right decision for shareholders, customers and the team.

5:00 Growing a profitable business in the Second Machine age

Stephen Allot is a British technology business executive who is the chairman of pebble{code}. Stephen discuss his experiences working with the UK’s Government Digital Service to be able to help give the governments website a complete over haul. ’

If you attended BoS Europe, what did you think of it?

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Sophia Howard Sophia Howard is part of the Marketing, Sales and Website development team at IDRsolutions

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