The Business of Software (BoS) conference, previously based in Boston, has officially landed in Raleigh and has already reclaimed some of that Southern charm.
From playing country music during recess to hearing students from the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics (NCSSM) lead a discussion about AI, the first day of BoS made a big impact step towards consolidating its position as the next big software conference in the Triangle. (We previewed the conference and its trip to the Triangle here.)
BoS kicked off its official three-day event yesterday at the Martin Marietta Center in downtown Raleigh. Unlike other software conferences, BoS events focus on advice and conversations from industry leaders, rather than substantive topics like coding or finance. It provides a more intimate atmosphere for founders and key employees to openly discuss questions and issues related to growing their business.
Here’s a look at what to expect from the conference, based on its first day.
Various speakers and topics
Each day of the conference, speakers from around the world lead discussions focused on tips and ideas aimed at inspiring innovation in the industry. Business and software leaders cover a wide variety of topics that anyone within a company can learn and remember.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin kicked off the conference with a welcoming address to attendees who came either from here in the Triangle or from places as far away as Australia.
Speakers and topics covered during the first day included:
- Jason Cohenon how to build a practical defense strategy for your business. Drawing on his experience building his own successful venture-backed company, Austin-based WP Engine, Cohen led a discussion on the processes for developing a strategy best suited to each company’s needs.
- Randeep Sidhuabout how to be a leader in some of the most difficult times. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Sidhu was asked to lead the production of a Covid-19 app that would help the lives of thousands of people in the UK. He spoke about his struggles and processes while working on a very stressful project during a very stressful time, while giving sound advice on how to balance creating impact and managing a team .
- Suresh Menonon how to do the acquisition dance with the “elephants”, i.e. big companies. Menon imparted powerful insights into how and why mature companies are “addicted” to acquisitions as part of a growth strategy. He explained how an acquirer evaluates their options to complete a deal and how an acquisition can work in the long term, both for the acquirer and the acquired team.
- Ayush Paul and Jacob Van Meter from HMCS SigmaCornson using AI to improve classroom teaching. NCSSM students, with support from fellow SigmaCorns – the NCSSM chapter of the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), a global robotics program for high school students – led a discussion about their journey to discover how AI could have more impact for students and mentors. and teachers.
- Bob Moestaon how the production and maintenance of jobs and goods can be improved. Moesta is a principal architect of Jobs-To-Be-Done, a business framework that companies like Apple and Intercom have used to understand consumer behavior and needs. He led a captivating discussion on business economics and marketing principles.
Discussion groups and discussion tables
Spread throughout the day, and even among speakers, attendees had the opportunity to meet and chat with other industry leaders and each other during personal discussion tables and engaging working groups . During breakfast and lunch, participants can choose between tables set for a specific topic. Whether debating cats or dogs or finding out which SaaS metrics are most important, these themed tables made the event more comfortable and exciting for attendees to network, ask questions, or even staying up.
Divided into different categories, each breakout session hosted various topics of discussion with speakers like Bob Moesta. The scheduled breakout sessions gave attendees the opportunity to meet and chat with some of the speakers and industry experts, something they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do at other conferences.
Networking and Community Building
As well as being a conference on how to grow your business, BoS was a great opportunity for many local and international industry professionals to network and connect on a professional and even personal level.
Not only did attendees have the chance to mingle during the breakout sessions and group discussions over food, but they were also able to end their day with “drinks, snacks and informal conversation.” They had plenty of time to chat with friends – old and new – and were able to change tables between courses. On other days of the conference, attendees will have the chance to eat around Raleigh with their new network.
Throughout the rest of the week, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from other locally and globally renowned speakers, such as the Triangle’s own representative Bill Spruill— the co-founder and former CEO of the Raleigh-based Global Data Consortium and Chairman of the DEC Board of Directors — as well as participate in more intimate and personal discussions and networking opportunities.