The internet has helped communication flourish, but despite all the new interactions it enables, being the leader or founder of a software company can still be a pretty lonely place to be.
I've spent quite a bit of time talking to various people this week about their experiences of BoS, and it's prompted quite a bit of thought. We see most people come for the first time for the content of our talks, but what people who have been before really like is the sense of community; that it is a safe and supportive space where everyone feels comfortable to speak honestly about challenges they're facing in the knowledge they will get useful advice and information. It's an atmosphere which lots of you tell us you don't find anywhere else. Why?
BoS culture is something which we really value, and was part of the reason we started all those years ago. The kind of event where you could have those honest conversations didn't seem to exist - or at least we couldn't find them. It's been great hearing from people who have come to BoS for a number of years speaking about the great friendships they have made, and how it's really helped them in their business. So if you've ever been to BoS and made the effort to help out a fellow human being who could benefit from your advice, or even just the opportunity to talk things out with someone in a similar position, thank you. It really does make a difference.
Speaking of helping others, we're poised with our finger on the button to launch the BoS USA Scholarships! (If you'd like to sponsor a scholarship and help give someone up-and-coming a leg-up, please drop me a note - we have a number of places made available thanks to Pragmatic Marketing, John Knox, Software Promotions and Balsamiq, but we know there are a lot of talented people out there who would love to come but aren't quite in a position to, yet. We hate turning people down.)
If you, or someone you know is an emerging leading light, do point them in the direction of our application form and encourage them to get their application in before the end of this month (that's July, for anyone who has been head-down in their bunker).
Everyone wants to recruit the best team they possibly can but if everyone only wants the best talent, there is huge competition for it.
Bridget Harris, founder of YouCanBookMe, realized that by reframing the problem, she has developed a set of actionable ideas, that could also help you make better decisions about how, as well as who, to hire next time.
Each conversation with her gives me new perspectives to consider how I can run a better business. I hope she'll challenge and inspire you too. Here's a question for you to ponder, with a follow up question if you scroll to the bottom of the next paragraph. No cheating though - answer this question first: think of 3 rockstars, and who comes to mind?
Our Lightning Talks are still open for applications: you've got until July 21 to get those in. If you've been to BoS before and not applied to do a Lightning Talk, why not give it a whirl? Tim Dobson did his first Lightning Talk at BoS Europe in June and thoroughly enjoyed it:
So, that follow-up question... thought of your 3 rockstars? How many of those that sprang to mind were female? You might surprise us, but given that Kerrang's top 10 rockstars are exclusively male, Rolling Stone's top 100 list include 9 female artists, you'd be bucking the trend. Which is one of the reasons that advertising for "coding rockstars" is unlikely to pull in the diverse range of candidates you might hope for.
Oh my God, they killed Kenny!
When I am asked the same question by five people in a week, it suggests that there might be a pattern emerging. "Why isn't Paul Kenny speaking at BoS this year?"
Paul's been having a very busy year - week long coaching tips to China, Busan, Taiwan, South Korea, Washington, Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona and more clearly mean his children are about to start university. It is with great pleasure that he has been able to confirm he can make the trip to BoS USA in September. We're working on the talk now but we thought we would ask those that know him best too. What are the biggest challenges you face today in growing and motivating your sales activity?
See the other speakers and talks - and to save your slot for BoS USA, have a look at our website
The elephant in the room. People who abuse their power in the tech industry.
A pustulent boil that has been growing in the tech industry finally burst. Some horrific allegations against high profile investors and their systematic abuse of women in positions of less power than them have surfaced in the past week and led to the organizations around those individuals moving to cover up their behaviors before finally having to act.
There is a little more background here but this is an evolving story and there will undoubtedly be more revelations about individuals who abuse their positions of power to come.
it has been sickening to see the squirly non-apologies and mea culpas of the perpetrators, the excuses from other people in the industry that those people have done so much for the industry despite some errors of judgment.
Their behavior, and the behavior of others, has been a central part in excluding huge numbers of brilliant and talented people from the software industry. Enough is enough.
We do not want these people in our community. Ever. No turning back. We are banning from BoS conferences, anyone who has left an organization after allegations of coercive conduct or indeed been convicted in a court of law of the same.
This has to stop. What else can we do to help?