The Business of Software conference – and the community of attendees that stays engaged year-round beyond the event – provided a long list of takeaways for everyone fortunate enough to attend. Here are some of the high-level themes I took away from my three days in Boston earlier this month.
“10 percent slower and 10 percent lower quality is hard to detect, but it will kill the company in two years.” That was just one of my favorite quotes from the 2018 Business of Software conference. Read on for 7 more quick takeaways.
Software was still being shrink wrapped when Kenneth Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles published Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Success in 1993. Fast forward 15 years later, and I’d still rate the time-tested theories in this book as a 10 out of 10. Here's why.
I recently interviewed the co-founder/CEO of a software company whose headcount scaled from 16 to 140 people, expanded internationally, and reached profitability – all since 2014. He told me much of this success can be attributed to a talk he heard at the Business of Software (BoS) conference. In fact, he called this talk “life changing” for him and his company. That “life changing” speaker will be back at BoS in 2018: Michael “Mikey” Trafton will be presenting, “How to Manage Your Badass Team.” It’s an appropriate follow up to his 2012 talk, “How to Build a World Class Culture in 3 Easy Steps,” and to his 2012 encore, “Recruiting a Bad Ass Team.”
Before Isa Watson launched a software company, she earned a Master’s in Pharmacology from Cornell and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Then she spent time as a chemist and data scientist at Pfizer, followed by a job on Wall Street as the VP of Digital Product & Strategy for JPMorgan Chase. Her background alone is fascinating enough to make you read what she has to say about running a tech startup. Watson’s talk, “Making Workplaces Work For Humans,” will be a highlight of the Business of Software conference on October 1-3 in Boston. She sat down with Software Executive magazine and SoftwareBusinessGrowth.com before the conference to share a preview of her talk.
As the company’s one and only employee, Chris Muench admits it can be tough to go from coding to support calls, and then back to coding. Interruptions for customer support are a fact of life for solo entrepreneurs, and Muench offers some sound advice for his peers at other small software companies.
If you work at a software company, chances are you’ve heard someone ask, “Wouldn’t it be cool if...?” Carl Ryden, co-founder and CEO of PrecisionLender, used to ask himself the same thing. So he developed a test for himself, using these four questions.
It’s important to keep close tabs on your support operation. Don’t take my word for it – ProfitWell’s Support Benchmarks show 15 percent better retention rates for companies perceived to have good customer support. Here are three software CEOs explaining why they care about customer support, why it matters to their customers, and how they measure its effectiveness.
We’ve all been there: angrily on hold with some service provider wondering why it’s so complicated to get answers to our seemingly simple questions. For me, this most recently happened after calling Marriott Rewards to troubleshoot a glitch that was preventing me from booking a hotel room with my points. Anyone who has tried to call their cable company or insurance company can likely relate. While I was wasting time on the phone I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of customer service metrics they use to track that kind of interaction. Surely the excessive amount of time I was spending on that call wouldn’t meet the standard.
One of my favorite quotes from the legendary business book “Built To Last” by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras is: “All products, services, and great ideas, no matter how visionary, eventually become obsolete. But a visionary company does not necessarily become obsolete, not if it has the organizational ability to continually change and evolve beyond existing product life cycles." If you work in the software space, I’m sure you can relate. That’s why Built To Last is a must-read for anyone serious about building a sustainable, profitable software company.