Business of Software 2012
Image credit: Mark Littlewood

Beau and I attended the Business of Software 2012 conference. Business of Software is the best conference I have ever attended. It’s 2.5 days of awesome, intense talks given by the best of the best in the startup scene. This year the speakers included Kathy Sierra, Bob Dorf, Jason Cohen, Noah Kagan, Peldi and Dharmesh Shah.

The attendee list is also impressive. I’ve learned just as much talking to the attendees as I have listening to the speakers. I highly recommend the conference to anyone in the software business.

These are the 37 best quotes from the conference.

Kathy Sierra

  • Build something so desirable that people just have to have it. [tweet this]
  • Gamification is rarely helpful in building a sustainable business. [tweet this]
  • Gamification is a form of bribery, not loyalty. [tweet this]
  • Don’t confuse buying from gamification with loyalty. [tweet this]
  • Your product needs to be sustainably desirable without bribery or coercion. [tweet this]
  • Quality doesn’t drive desirability. [tweet this]
  • Word of mouth drives desirability. [tweet this]
  • Strive for user awesomeness, not app awesomeness. [tweet this]
  • The key attributes of a successful app don’t live in the app, they live in the user. [tweet this]
  • It’s all about making your users badass. [tweet this]

Paul Kenny

  • There’s more to learn from a qualified no than an unqualified yes. [tweet this]
  • If you win the argument, you lose the sale. [tweet this]

Dharmesh Shah

  • Before you gamify your product, decrapify it. [tweet this]
  • Work on a problem you care enough about that you’d be happy even if someone else solved it. [tweet this]
  • Build the kind of company you want to work in. [tweet this]
  • You don’t just want customers. You want crazy, loyal fans. [tweet this]
  • Technical switching costs should be low, and emotional switching costs should be high. [tweet this]

Adii Pienaar

  • Invest in branding, because it’s free. [tweet this]
  • Customer service is cheap marketing. [tweet this]
  • Diving into the deep end is the best way to learn. [tweet this]
  • Instead of being put into a box, create your own box. [tweet this]

Bob Dorf

  • If you sell band-aids, find bleeding people on the street. They won’t care about the branding. [tweet this]
  • There are no facts inside your office building. You have to get out and talk to your customers! [tweet this]
  • Without rampant enthusiasm from your customers, the odds are overwhelming you are going to fail. [tweet this]
  • Business plans belong in the creative writing department, not the business development department. [tweet this]
  • Always be innovating. [tweet this]

Michael Trafton

  • Culture is the personality of your company. Most companies have a split personality. [tweet this]
  • If you don’t design your culture, your employees will do it for you. [tweet this]

Jason Cohen

  • When what you are testing for is rare, the results are overwhelmingly wrong. [tweet this]
  • Crowds are useful in objectivity, and destructive in creativity. [tweet this]
  • Test theories, not headlines. [tweet this]

Peldi Guilizzoni

  • Surround yourself with excellence. Make yourself the dumbest person in the room. [tweet this]
  • Be a good citizen. If you don’t want people to screw with you, don’t screw with them. [tweet this]
  • Laws are like features – easy to add, hard to take away. [tweet this]

Noah Kagan

  • Marketing is only good if your product doesn’t suck. [tweet this]
  • You’ll make the most money when you don’t focus on money. [tweet this]
  • It doesn’t take a lot to be exceptional, because the bar is so low. [tweet this]

Do you have a favorite startup quote? Share it with us in the comments.