I had the pleasure of attending HubSpot’s Inbound conference in Boston and thought to share a brief and whimsical view of select experiences from the conference. In summary: Well produced, entertaining and high value according to the attendees I met with.

Start-up names are getting increasingly ridiculous

Call me old-fashioned, but I like a name to imply the focus of a company, or at least be named after the founders… I get that ‘Apple’ got away with somewhat of an incredible coup, but I grew up in the era of ‘International Business Machines’ (IBM), ‘Electronic Data Systems’ (EDS) and latterly ‘Salesforce.com’. I think that ‘HubSpot’ did a great job – The content hub, the community etc… So when I spied this latest beauty – ‘Belch.io’ I have to admit I was perplexed. First guess was that they have an API that allows developers to incorporate their set of antacid services….

Starting is easy. Scaling is hard!

Bill Reichert and I were discussing this in New Zealand. Dharmesh Shah (co-founder of Hubspot) showed the costs of starting Hubspot when they did, vs what it would cost today – It was in the order of $200K vs $1000! He pointed out that the only line item to increase in cost was coffee… Artisinal, organic, farm to table is expensive 🙂

This observation gives me some confidence – The focus of our consulting business, SalesOps Central and our management training community – SaaSy Sales Managementis 100% about scaling. Hopefully we have timed this one well.

Keeping business human is always a winning formulaAAIA wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAvBAAAAJGY5ZjkzYWNkLWNjMDktNGVkZS04YmNiLWFkY2FhYWJkM2ZiZg

I found myself behaving like a giddy school kid attending a Taylor Swift concert as I lined up 2.5 hours in advance of Michelle Obama giving a keynote speech. We were all enthralled by her openness and honesty as she shared insights regarding life in the white-house and beyond. HubSpot had a fantastic line-up of pop-culture speakers (most of whom I knew nothing of #FuddyDuddy) who connected with and engaged the audience – Well played HubSpot…Well played.

I am still working on entertain vs inform when speakingAAIA wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAzJAAAAJDU0NTI2NmFiLTY1MGItNGE4Yi04NGUyLTAzNGU4MDEwOGU3Nw

2017 has been a big speaking circuit year for me and I have a dilemma – I am having a personal growth moment as I feel that I may be over-optimizing for actionable content delivery vs entertainment.

As an audience member I have had enough of war stories from veterans who don’t get deep enough for me to make a change when I get back to the ranch. I don’t have the data to support it and would be genuinely be interested in feedback, but I want to ensure that my 20-30mins of talk time has the audience writing frantically and left with at least half a dozen action items for Monday. The issue with that is that off the stage I like to tell stories and be the jokester, which I am not sure I am nailing on stage – My challenge is to figure out how to dish out prescriptive processes whilst getting a regular cadence of chuckles. I think I need to get some tips from David Nihill of ‘Do you talk funny’ fame (Great book by the way).