This year I was fortunate enough to attend Business of Software (BoS2011) thanks to the kind folks at Stack Exchange. From time to time Stack Exchange sponsors community members to attend community related conferences. As an active participant on OnStartups Answers, I was selected to attend Business of Software this year, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Business of Software is a great conference, and I recommend anyone that can afford to do so, to attend. The speakers are excellent, and so is the networking. It’s an expensive conference, but well worth the cost. This year’s speaker lineup included Professor Clayton Christensen, Patrick McKenzie, Laura Fitton, Jason Cohen, and Alexis Ohanian.

I plan on summarizing a few of the presentations in future posts, but for now here are 48 tweetable quotes from the BoS2011 speakers.

Clayton Christensen

Clay Christensen Business of Software 2011
Image Credit: Betsy Weber

–    “Worry about the bottom when thinking about who can kill you.”
–    “Pick a fight where the giant is more motivated to flee than fight you.”
–    “The market to make something more affordable and simple is often times a bigger market.”
–    “A business unit is not designed to evolve.”
–    “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it is selling him.” ~ Peter Drucker
–    “Help people do what they want to do even better.”
–    “Invest when you don’t need the results of the investment. Innovation is a long term investment.”

Jason Cohen

Jason Cohen Business of Software 2011
Image Credit: Betsy Weber

–    “Most people don’t do things that are difficult to do.”
–    “Honesty has to become a critical policy for every company on earth.” ~ Gary Vaynerchuk
–    “Honesty is big right now. See how we can spin that.” ~ Anderson cartoon
–    “My idea was to be as real and honest as possible.” ~ Howard Stern

Dharmesh Shah

Dharmesh Shah Business of Software 2011
Image Credit: © Software Promotions

–    “The purpose of your business is to create delighted customers.”
–    “High churn rates are scarier than clowns.”
–    “Don’t fall in love with your business model too early.”
–    “Pricing is hard. It’s very, very hard.” ~ Simester (MIT Professor)
–    “The price is always greener in your neighbor’s company.”
–    “Pricing is hard. Raising prices is even harder.”
–    “Assume customers are connected and united.”
–    “You want to get really good at choosing your customers.”
–    “You want the right features in both your product and your customers.”
–    “Strategic is code for we don’t have any data.”
–    “Not every insight needs to be counter-intuitive.”
–    “As code hackers we need to appreciate the value of business hackers.”
–    “Smart people will often get their asses kicked by other smart people that worked harder.”
–    “Generalists are great in the beginning. Specialists are great as you grow.”

Jeff Lawson

Jeff Lawson Business of Software 2011
Image Credit: Betsy Weber

–    “People are your customers.”
–    “Consumers are not rational. Businesses are rational.”
–    “Be proud and put a price on your SaaS.”
–    “Too many pricing options will result in lack of sales.”

Laura Fitton

Laura Fitton Business of Software 2011
Image Credit: © Software Promotions

–    Social media in two words: “Be useful.”
–    Social media in four words: “Listen. Learn. Care. Serve.”
–    “Make the customer the hero of your story.”
–    “Either do something worth writing, or write something worth doing.”
–    “Measure what matters.”
–    “You don’t just want a following. You want screaming, raging fans.”
–    “Use social media to solve a problem you are already spending time on.”
–    “You don’t get a prize for getting the most followers. You get a prize for growing your business.”

Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner Business of Software 2011
Image Credit: © Software Promotions

–    “Your job is to disrupt, or be disrupted.”
–    “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
–    “Being safe is the riskiest move of all.”
–    “From failures we learn. From successes we don’t.”

David Cancel

David Cancel Business of Software 2011
Image Credit: © Dirk Paessler

–    “Talking, reading and dreaming are worthless.”
–    “Data alone is useless.”
–    “Use data to validate your assumptions.”
–    “Optimize your business for learning, not data.”
–    “Always be testing.”
–    “We have a strategic plan. It’s doing things.”
–    “In God we trust. For the rest bring data.”

Also take a look at the top 11 tweetable quotes from last year’s Business of Software conference. And here’s a summary of BoS2010.

Did you attend BoS2011, or watch the live stream? If so, what were your favorite quotes? If not, do you have any other startup related quotes you’d like to share with us?