The BLN is now Business of Software

Mark Stephens @ Business of Software. The Digital Entrepreneurs’ Guide to the Galaxy.

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(Don’t) Panic

Something is wrong. Maybe you are just not checking your emails enough? Actually, it’s not you. The software universe really has gone mad and you need to step back and re-evaluate big time. This is your chance. The talk aims to take a long, cynical look at both the past and the future, give you some new ideas, and pose lots of those awkward, searching questions you try to avoid. All in 42 slides. And with kittens.

Bio – Mark Stephens is the founder of a small UK based software company (which co-incidentally shares his daughters initials). IDRsolutions started in Newspaper publishing at News International in 1999 but now produces a Java PDF library which they are particularly proud to have licensed to Adobe. He enjoys speaking at conferences and was a Lightning Talk speaker at Business of Software 2009 as well as previous performances at Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humour and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

Don't Panic Mark Stephens, your only doing 42 slides, 42 seconds each

Don't Panic Mark Stephens, your only doing 42 slides, 42 seconds each

Mark Stephens won the BOS Lightning Software talk last year. His punishment was a 30 minute speaking slot at this year’s event. Mark is running 42 slides with 42 seconds per slide which gives him a 30 minute presentation. This is nice as he worships Douglas Adams and was 42 on Friday.

In the 16th Century, India and China were the most important countries in the world but the small European countries were starting to come into their own.

War has been used as a metaphor for business since the ancient times.

Now wars are being fought over technology – Android wars. And technology is the main weapon of choice in industries that are rapidly changing – the future of publishing for example. Data fuels the arms race.

Custer Fxcked

Custer Fxcked

Technology and data though runs the risk of taking the creativity out of though and humanity. Douglas Adams didn’t worry that computers will become more like humans, he worried that humans would become more like computers. He might have a point.

Computers make it easy for mediocrity to look good.

Computers, where mediocrity can shine

Computers, where mediocrity can shine

Computers will make people’s brains floppy, flacid, compliant, drugged monkeys. Mark doesn’t think this is a good idea. Read some good books.

“In a world of infinite abundance only creativity can ever be in short supply.”

You can’t have a proper software conference without a Star Trek slide.

Need more Star Trek

Need more Star Trek

Some thoughts on being a bit different:

  • Change the location of your work. It will make you think differently.
  • Where do you feel inspired?
  • Hire an intern.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Eat well and take exercise.
  • Sleep is good for memory retention and the creation of good ideas.


  • Work on your creativity here
  • When you get home, lie about the conference

So long and thanks for all the fish.Digital