“Don’t count the things you do. Do the things that count.”
Guest Blog Post from startup founder, Angela Hood, This Way Global, who attended Business of Software Conference Europe last year in Cambridge. This year she will return to Ireland for Business of Software Conference Europe, May 16-17th.
Before Stew McTavish, the director of our incubator, ideaSpace – University of Cambridge told me about BoS, I had never heard of it. And when he suggested I attend I was reluctant because I didn’t have time to waste on a typical conference. Fortunately my casual disinterest wasn’t a deterrent and Stew came back to me with his very high opinion of the event and reiterated why it would be worth the time.
There have never been more true words. The two most important days for our startup in 2015 were spent at Business of Software (BoS).
We ended our first year with £135,000 in revenue, before we had a finished product and we are closing a £1 million+ seed round with some of the best investors in the world. I honestly don’t believe this would have been possible without my participating in BoS, less than one year ago.
Here are three big lessons I learned from other participants and guest speakers.
After some garden time with Alex Osterwalder talking about the real costs of feature creep, he spent some one to one time helping me understand how to develop a strategy for easing our customers into the inevitable disruption that we are bringing to the world of hiring. This concept fundamentally changed our sales and product development strategy and Strategyzer is a much more effective way to manage the plan and strategy (you should try it).
After Bill Janeway’s talk about the market timing of raising money (watch or read), Bill sat next to me at lunch and helped me understand why it wasn’t a weakness for me to be a non-technical founder of a tech startup. And he helped me to define what my role would be and what that needed to look like (he couldn’t have been more right).
On a walk to the pub one evening, upcoming speaker Clarke Ching walked me through my startup post mortem because I was on the fence about whether or not we wanted to bootstrap longer. Looking back, if I hadn’t had that conversation I would have missed a critical inflection point in the market.
Startups! If you only have time to go to one conference all year, then go to this one.
If you don’t have time to go to this conference, make time.
Do what counts.
And I will hope to see you there. Please don’t be shy. Come up and say ‘hi’.
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