This years U.S.A BoS (business of software) conference has sadly come to a close. Mark Littlewood along side his wife and the rest of his team held two fantastic conference in Europe and the U.S.A this year. Last time IDR Solutions went to the European conference and I previously wrote a blog article on my key take a ways from the business of software conference on Ireland. You can find that day one here and day two here.
Business of software is a brilliant opportunity for people to share any ideas on things or to talk about things come up against, knowing that they are likely to get a honest answer of some one who may have gone through the same situation. Here are my key takeaways from Business of Software 2016
Gail Goodman – Lessons Learned in 17 years Building and Exiting a $ Billion SaaS Business.
Gail recently completed a 16 year run as CEO of Constant Contact, the trusted provider of online marketing tools for small businesses and nonprofits. She took the leadership of Constant Contact in 1999 (pre-product, pre-revenue and pre-funding) and led the company to a successful IPO (NASDAQ: CTCT) in 2007 and through its acquisition by Endurance in 2016 for $1.1b. At the time of the acquisition, more than 650,000 small businesses and nonprofits use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to engage their customers and grow their businesses.
Micheal Pryor & Paul Kenny – How we Almost Messed up Trello
Paul Kenny gave Micheal Pryor a brilliant interview discussing how Trello came about and how they almost messed it up. Trello currently has 16 million users and at least 1 million people use it on a daily basis. Trello has 10 million USD in annual recurring revenue.
Micheal and Paul discussed the importance of being able to name your product well and went on to discuss where the name Trello came from and how they arrived at it. Trello as we know it could have been named Planatee a combination of planning and manatee it could have even been called Cardvark. It was all down to a company vote. They went on to discuss that Micheal was on a a instant domain search site and an add from a domain broker popped app for “Trello”. Paul and Michael went on to discuss the costs of Trello and discussing Trello’s mission.
Promise Phelon – Perks vs Culture – The Ping Pong Table Fallacy
Promise Phelon is the CEO of TapInfluence, a high-growth technology company that specializes in influencer marketing. The company is defining the category as it goes through a dramatic shift from manual to technology-enabled. Promise discussed the importance of building a 100 year company. She has built the concept called iceberg. The iceberg was designed to show people within the company the things that they would need to get right before being able to achieve all of the company perks and that there is a lot more that meets the eye when comparing the company perks to other companies.
- Financial resources: This is the foundation of everything Precious went on to mention that she fund raised in front of everyone… sharing my learning and engaging a lot of the company.
- Ownership culture:
Precious has shared the details of what happens and what matters to each piece of the companies and employees wanted to know how it applied to them and how they could be a part of this.
- Transparency: Precious discussed how a new linked study shows that people leave organizations if they don’t see their career path and if they work hard and they don’t know where their going to go. Therefore she makes transparency key so people know where they’re heading.
- Winning as habit: Precious mentioned that she has built an aggressive learning culture and that sales and customer success aren’t the same things.
- Reward system: In order for the company to get a nice new office she has waited until the company has hit targets she done this as she wanted the team to take advantage of the companies capital.
- Individual learning and growth:The company has a performance system which is more career focused. Every quarter she runs through 50-25-25 where she asks individuals where they are spending 50% 25% and 25% related to the business and your career.
- Perks: Precious mentioned that the company is now moving into the perks phases, and how this was a process about building the team and aligning one another. Culture is sustainable and grows people.
Dharmesh Shah – What I learned in a Decade at HubSpot
Dharmesh is co-founder and CTO of HubSpot, now a public company, that provides inbound marketing software to help engage customers on the web.
During Dharmesh presentation he spoke about all the things which he had learned while working at HubSpot. He discussed things such as how they underestimated how difficult it was to create a category and how they came up with inbound marketing and how they decided to price HubSpot and how it still remains at $250.
During the Q&A Dharmesh was asked what had changed since the the Dan Lyons book Disrupted. He went on to say that as a team we made a collective decisions to disparage the people and that it was galvanizing for the team. He also added that he was disappointed that they couldn’t deliver Dan a good experience while working for HubSpot.
Dave Collins – The Lost Art of Meaningful Content and Clean Marketing
Dave is the founder of Software Promotions, and has been helping businesses to get more visitors from Google since 1997. In that time Dave has worked with over 500 clients in 47 different countries, many of who rely entirely on web traffic for their revenues.
Dave discussed how the web is being filled with pointless content that barrages our senses, overwhelms and distracts us and reinforces the new norms of sub-mediocrity. This is content-less content is amplified and regurgitated through social media, email marketing, streamed webinars and sometimes even conferences.
It’s time to take a stand against the banal and pointless pollution. We can do so much better.