Bethan Palmer Bethan is a Java developer and a Java Champion. She has spoken at conferences including JavaOne/Code One, DevFest and NetBeans days. She has a degree in English Literature.

Business of Software days 2 and 3 – key takeaways

2 min read

We were so impressed by the speakers at the first day of the Business of Software conference that we wrote up an overview. The next 2 days easily matched the high standard. The talks covered a broad range of topics that somehow all felt relevant to us in some way and I learned a huge amount. I thought it would be useful to write a quick note on one thing I took away from each of the talks – these takeaways in no way give an accurate summary or overview of the talks as they all included a huge amount of enormously helpful information. But in case you missed the conference, I have written something which I found particularly useful or interesting from each speaker on days 2 and 3.

Scott Berkun
Scott Berkun shows initial negative reactions to the Eiffel Tower

Scott Berkun: The Dance of the Possible 

Key Takeaway: Good creative ideas can be difficult to spot when you first hear them, precisely because they are different to other good things you have seen before. The Eiffel Tower was once described as a ‘truly tragic street lamp’.



David Barrett – Product Driven Growth

Key Takeaway: Try getting rid of titles at your company. Your employees should not necessarily being aiming just to progress within the company, but to grow as individuals within it and do something cool with their lives.



Paul Kenny
Paul Kenny with a warning on sales experts



Paul Kenny: Turning Software Into Money

Key Takeaway: Beware of sales experts and think for yourself. Every sales problem is different and requires you to think deeply about it. Start by working out your performance markers.


Bridget Harris – Hiring the Best Talent

Key Takeaway: Know what your company’s values are and document them. Hire and fire based on these values.



Mike McDerment
Mike McDerment’s talk

Mike McDerment: Fear of Competition Saved the Company

Key Takeaway: It is often the small incremental changes to the code base, which you hardly notice adding at the time, that make all the difference to the product. Re-writing a code base can make this obvious.

Josh Seiden: Sense and Respond

Key Takeaway: If you are stuck in ‘analysis paralysis’ and finding it difficult to take the leap and make a major change, make the cost of being wrong as low as possible.


Joanna Wiebe
Joanna Wiebe’s talk

Joanna Wiebe: Copywriting for New School Bizzes

Key Takeaway: It is often said that people do not read online any more, but this is not true. Although people do often read the headline more often than the paragraph, people who are interested in your product will read your copy.

Anil Dash: On Evolving a Mature Software Company

Key Takeaway: Ethics in software is not something that has always been taught but is very important. Good companies make good software and there is a responsibility to stick to a set of values.

Rita Gunther McGrath and Mike Sikorsky: Inflection Points

Inflection points
Rita Gunther McGrath and Mike Sikorsky’s talk on inflection points

Key Takeaway: Make sure you have an organisation where people who know important things that can affect the business are able to communicate those things to the people who need to know them, and can do something about them.






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Bethan Palmer Bethan is a Java developer and a Java Champion. She has spoken at conferences including JavaOne/Code One, DevFest and NetBeans days. She has a degree in English Literature.

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