6 BoS Europe Talks That Blew My Mind

The talks at Business of Software Europe this year were some of the best I’ve ever seen. Every single speaker excelled in both content and delivery, but these six really blew my mind.

Derek Sivers: Software is Changing the World, but is it for Good?

Derek Sivers: Software is Changing the World, but is it for the good? by @AnneMarieDoodle / @carbon_orange

Derek is a wonderfully engaging speaker and a perfect choice to open the conference. His idea of overcompensating for the harm of Dark Patterns through Mensch Patterns was both refreshing and inspiring. He finished not with a Q&A session, but with an A&Q session, posing a series of thought-provoking yet entertaining questions eg: “If you were the last person on earth, would you still run your business?”.

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH: New Ways of Working: 50 Years Ahead of their Time

Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley CH: New Ways of Working: 50 Years Ahead of Our Time by @AnneMarieDoodle / @carbon_orange

Dame Shirley was one of the most effortlessly charming speakers I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Her keen insights, together with a conversational style which managed to be approachable, funny and no-nonsense at the same time, had us all mesmerised. I hope I’ll be half as switched-on when I’m 85!

Ruth Everard: The Effort:Experience Ratio

Ruth Everard: The Effort Experience Ratio by @AnneMarieDoodle / @carbon_orange

We each have a finite amount of energy, and Ruth’s disability forced her to become a master of gaining maximum leverage for energy spent. Ruth’s talk eloquently and hilariously highlighted the importance of spending your energy where it matters most.

Rich Mironov: Software Pricing Demystified

Rich Mironov: Software Pricing Demystified by @AnneMarieDoodle / @carbon_orange

Pricing is often either an afterthought or utterly unfathomable. Rich quickly explains how and why we should price based on the value we create, rather than the effort we expend.

Gareth Marlow: Why You Should Care About Cultivating Trust

Gareth Marlow: Cultivating Trust by @AnneMarieDoodle / @carbon_orange

Trust matters, especially in teams. Gareth explains how a lack of trust affects psychological safety, clouds judgement, and sabotages team productivity. Baseline trust levels vary widely between individuals, as do the factors which increase or decrease it. Gareth details some proven techniques to foster greater trust in teams.

Paul Kenny: Building and On-boarding Effective Sales Teams

Paul Kenny: Building and Onboarding Effective Sales Teams by @AnneMarieDoodle / @carbon_orange

Paul’s talk got me excited about sales. Seriously. I was on the edge of my seat, lapping up every word. As an entrepreneur, I’ve had to work hard to overcome the disdain of sales that comes with being a computer scientist. Paul helped me shed my last hangups by showing that sales can be disciplined, principled and respectable.


Not a talk, but every bit as impressive: the sketch-notes in this post were all created in real-time, in front of the audience by Anne-Marie Miller from Carbon Orange. Over the course of two jam-packed days she sketched notes for 15 talks in a feat of creativity, stamina and professionalism..

Posted in 2019, Business Of Software, Conferences, Europe

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