Tuesday, September 24, 2013

You've Learned from Professors. Now Learn from Entrepreneurs.

Gail Goodman
If you want to get a software company off the ground, you need role models who have built software companies. Although there are tons of technology conferences out there, very few cater to the business side of technology. Even fewer events are tailored for software businesses that aim to make money from customers rather than from investors.

If you want customers you're just wasting your time attending an event that promotes the idea of taking investment funds in order to accumulate non-paying users. Developing customers who value your product so much that they pay requires a different set of tools. Equally, you won't get much out of a conference about selling software if you'd prefer to make money by selling ownership of your business.

One nice place where a room full of folks who make and sell software meet annually is the Business of Software Conference. You'll find an international mix of people who represent businesses from one-man software shops all the way to international operations that take huge sums of investor money in order to make even larger sums of customer revenue.

No matter where you are in your software business, you'll find someone here who has been in the same place. Among friends and off-the-record, you may be shocked by how much information and support your fellow software entrepreneurs are willing to offer you.

As a bonus, the organizers of BOS have thoughtfully arranged to have an array of amazing speakers present to the attendees on entrepreneurial topics. They tend to have a lot of value. I still think back to talks from my first BOS in 2009. How often do you think about a presentation even from last year?

If you're a student and you'd like to sell your software (or perhaps sell more of your software), consider applying to my Business of Software Student Grant. The grant winners get a ticket that is currently offered for $1895.00. If you spend ten minutes writing or recording your application and get in, that's a return of something like $11,370.00 an hour. Except you won't actually get richer unless you take what you learn at BOS and use it to improve your business. Software isn't quite alchemy, even if some of the folks I've met seem to turn everything they touch to gold.

It's really easy to apply, and the benefits of developing friendships among fellow entrepreneurs are unmeasurable. You can find the details here. Hurry, applications are closing soon!