Business of Software Workshop details, Monday 24th October

Details of the Business of Software Workshops for 24th October: to register, go to your e-confirmation and set the agenda or book here. As one person was kind enough to point out, sitting in on these workshops would be enough to come to Business of Software. Sadly, some hard choices need to be made – quickly!

Using Customer Analytics to Increase Revenues of SaaS Businesses. Guy Nirpaz.

If you work at an SaaS company, it’s likely your revenue is driven by free trials and the rate at which those trials convert to paying customers. Analyzing user actions on web applications is the ‘secret sauce’ behind successful SaaS companies who maintain low customer acquisitions costs and high customer life time values. Further, being able to correctly analyze the signals and reduce noise, enables customer facing teams to quickly address customer needs. In this workshop, Guy Nirpaz, Founder and CEO of Totango, will share patterns and signals with attendees to improve customer experience within SaaS applications.

Writing Game Changing Copy for Websites and Landing Pages. Rob Walling.

The best copywriters understand their prospect’s mindset and craft an engaging story that doesn’t feel like marketing garbage. People hate being sold, but they love to buy. This session will focus on how you can make buying the obvious decision for your prospect.

In this workshop you’ll learn the fundamentals of engaging copy, apply several copywriting techniques to your product or service, and emerge with a proven framework for improving your bottom line through game changing copy.

Workshop moderator – Rob Walling is a serial entrepreneur and author of Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup. He blogs at about building self-funded startups and runs the Micropreneur Academy, an online learning community of like-minded founders designed to get a startup from zero to launch in six months. Walling runs 11 one-man technology businesses and has been building web applications professionally for 11 years.

The Future of Brands. Erik Pelton.

The proliferation of social media, mobile applications, websites, blogs and keyword advertising mean that the interaction between customer and brands continues to grow and multiply. Each day it becomes is easier and cheaper to create or to destroy a brand. This workshop will discuss ideas for building strong brands today that feature input and output from reviewers, marketers, users, fans and more on a variety of platforms. We will discuss the power of brands to create emotions, passions,and user contributions and will review several examples including Apple, The Gap (a failed logo redesign last year) and Old Spice. Anyone with a brand; anyone marketing via website, blog, or social media, should attend this workshop.

Workshop moderator – Erik M. Pelton. Attorney with 10 years experience working with brands and trademarks; blogger; creator of Apptorney® iPhone app for intellectual property professionals.

40 releases a year? No sweat. Peldi.

Peldi will share some tips and tricks on how Balsamiq release updates to their software almost every week, with a big smile on their face. Topics include the obvious continuous integration, unit and integration testing topics, but also the more elusive “premature design is the source of all evil” mantra, which helps us split the work in little chunks and build community in the process.

Workshop moderator – Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni is the founder and CEO of Balsamiq, makers of Balsamiq Mockups, a fun little wire framing tool for programmers, UX experts and yes, even business types.

Balsamiq has been a bit of a poster child for anew wave of tiny but ambitious bootstrapped tech startups, netting over $1.6Min sales in the first 18 months of operation and gathering rave reviews.

Peldi is a champion of the “radical transparency” trend that’s sweeping the Internet, through his posts on the popular Balsamiq Blog.

Applying Business Model Thinking. Alex Osterwalder.

Practical application of some of the issues discussed in Alex’s Business of Software talk.

Workshop moderator – Swiss based Alex Osterwalder is a gifted communicator and the author of ‘Business Model Generation’, a book about business models that has sold over 120,000 copies.

In the words of Fast Company Magazine in naming Alex’s book one of the Best Books for Business Owners in 2010, “In Business Model Generation, Osterwalder encourages owners to plot out their business model using something he developed called the “business model canvas.” It forces entrepreneurs to communicate their business model visually, which Osterwalder says sharpens their thinking and allows them to get what’s in their head onto a canvas for others to see and contribute to. Once your vision has been exported from your head onto a canvas your employees helped to create, you’ll have a business that can grow without you calling all the shots — which is the essence of a sellable company. This is by far the most innovative book on how to think about putting together a business.”

Underground tactics to grow your newsletter subscribers to over 100,000. Noah Kagan.

Practice your pitch. Jason Cohen, Judy Gonzalez Ricardo Sanchez.

We will invite 4 screened startups that will be given 5 minutes to ‘pitch their idea’, followed by 10 minutes of open & honest feedback from entrepreneurs who have been there before. We will select the startups to pitch before the date of the event and are currently seeking experienced entrepreneurs who can offer their time and experience to all the workshop attendees.

Dealing with investors or outs (it’s a similar process), especially for geeks and boostrappers.

Workshop moderator – Jason is the founder of WPEngine, the WordPress hosting company that makes websites fast, scalable, and secure, with tech support who live, breathe, and even debug WordPress.

Previously he founded and sold Smart Bear Software (software quality tools, mainly peer code review) and co-founded and sold ITWatchDogs (server room climate monitoring devices).

He’s known best for the blog and podcast about startups, marketing, and geekery.

Planning for scale. Patrick Foley and Drew Colthorp.

After you’ve proven your business model, you want to know that your technology can grow as quickly as your business grows. While you don’t want an over-engineered solution, you do need to think about scalability early or else your technology will be an obstacle at the most inconvenient times – when you are experiencing your greatest successes. How do you plan for scale? And what about The Cloud, doesn’t that fix everything? This interactive session will discuss scalability strategies at a level that every business person needs to understand in order to have meaningful conversations with their technology experts.

Drew Colthorp builds custom software for clients of all sizes at Patrick Foley is an ISV Architect Evangelist for and has worked with numerous companies building scalable applications.

How to Crowdsource Customer Support with Q&A Sites. Nemo Chu.

Our Software powers over 3000 Q&A sites, some of which belong to software companies. They think, “Golly gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if our users helped solve each other’s problems without us getting involved?” I’ve seen how companies pull this off (and don’t pull this off), and I’ll provide a blueprint for companies looking to go down this path.

Workshop moderator – Nemo Chu, Ambassador at Bloomfire

Inventing Purple Cows (or how to create Smart Ideas from nothing). Richard Muscat, Red Gate Software.

Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki have done a great job convincing us that we need “purple cows” that “make meaning”. But how? And how can we be certain our big idea will work?

This workshop ambitiously claims to do just that: build you your very own pet Purple Cow.

This is *not* your regular old brainstorming session. It’s a fun, motivating journey that takes you from a user to a product. You will go away with a process that you can easily repeat back home; one that is focused on building certainty in ideas rather than on running away from risk.

Workshop moderator – Richard Muscat, Red Gate Software

SEO and Online Marketing. Patrick McKenzie, (@patio11)

Patrick McKenzie helps Fog Creek and others with their SEO and online marketing. He is the winner of last year’s Lightning Talk.

Rewarding and Motivating Sales People. Paul Kenny.

Internationalization & Localization – Expanding software markets. Ernani Ferrari.

These are details of the Business of Software Workshops for 24th October: to register, go to your e-confirmation and set the agenda or book here.