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Wednesday
Nov022011

software for good!

Attended a conference last week in Boston called Business as Software that was engaging, inspiring, and aspirational. Frankly it’s a conference that’s helpful for anyone who does business, even though much of the topical examples are in the technology or startup context. The sheer amount of intelligence, talent, and creativity present was simply stunning. From VCs to internationally renowned high-tech entrepreneurs to old school brick and mortar entrepreneurs, each keynote speaker was clearly hand picked and sequenced day by day with great discernment and care.

Topics included disruption, people management, hiring, social media, social change, UI/UX design, culture, psychological influence in marketing and many more. Like drinking water from a firehose, I eagerly wrote as much down as I could in hopes that I could digest everything afterwards.

Josh Linkner’s encouragement of creativity within organizations resonated with me as he spoke to choosing the road less traveled, “playing it safe has become the riskiest move of all.” With technology, the speed of disruption has increased and companies that resist innovation perish.

Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy provided excellent insight into the human psyche, “attitudes are a post rationalization of our behavior,” alluding to the fact that we change our path of thinking as a justification of our decisions - good and bad.

Aside from the awesome keynotes (which on a sidenote - I never saw anyone doze off in simply because they were so engaging and interesting), this conference was a great opportunity to meet other minds and leaders in the industry. Bouncing off ideas, brainstorming, and getting feedback on product philosophy, market sizing, development strategy, and building company culture was invaluable. As the adage goes, “A smart man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from others mistakes.” I suspect most folks fall somewhere between the two, but I think it’s how we move forward from the mistakes and the learned mistakes of others that makes all the difference.

Through technology, business and software, we all play a part in making the world a better place. At the end of the day, this is not only a noble motivation, but a critical necessity to the improvement of humanity, revitalization of our economy and provides each individual with the realization and fulfillment of visibly contributing to the greater good.


Thought this photograph had a metaphorical parallel in its linear display of code juxtaposed by unique fingerprint of each individual software application's impact on the world - some fuzzily obscure, others sharply present, but each part of a rich tapestry.

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