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Peldi Guilizzoni (CEO/Founder, Balsamiq) - 10 Years Of Balsamiq: What I've Learned

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This video for this talk from Business of Software Conference USA 2018 will be published here soon: http://businessofsoftware.org/2016/07/all-talks-from-business-of-software-conferences-in-one-place-saas-software-talks/

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Peldi Guilizzoni (CEO/Founder, Balsamiq) - 10 Years Of Balsamiq: What I've Learned

  1. 1. 10 Years of Balsamiq: What I’ve Learned Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018
  2. 2. Ready for Another Group Therapy Session? Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018
  3. 3. Previously, on this show…
  4. 4. Oh, Boy. Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018
  5. 5. Peldi’s Law of Learning f(t) = t/2 + sin (4t) − 0.6
  6. 6. 2018 2010 2017 20152012 2011
  7. 7. Mr. Pitiful Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018
  8. 8. Let’s Set the Stage
  9. 9. 10
  10. 10. You’ve Made It. Now What? Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018
  11. 11. We’ve lasted a decade. Now what?
  12. 12. Whose company is it?
  13. 13. It still all revolves too much around me
  14. 14. What am I really needed for?
  15. 15. Injected Turbulence!
  16. 16. What I did: 1. I delegated product design 2. I delegated engineering management 3. I stopped watching the whole wiki 4. I turned off Pivotal Tracker / Trello / Github notifications 5. I left a bunch of Slack channels
  17. 17. Two weeks later…
  18. 18. Eyes shut, ears WIDE open
  19. 19. 10% slower, 10% lower quality Hard to detect, kills you in 2 years
  20. 20. Twitter and Slack Rehab
  21. 21. I have NO IDEA about what people are doing, or if they’re working at all!
  22. 22. We’re not hierarchical,
 but we’re not flat either 
 Wait a minute: who flies the plane?
  23. 23. There’s A LOT I need to coach!
  24. 24. Ehm…what do I do all day?
  25. 25. I fell off the wagon a couple of times
  26. 26. One month later…
  27. 27. Delegated tasks are going well
  28. 28. Not knowing what people are doing is fine!
  29. 29. “I can do this for you”
  30. 30. “I can do this for you” “I’ll help you get it done with coaching, resources, tools and time”
  31. 31. Some people start stepping up
  32. 32. Clear schedule? Yeah, right!
  33. 33. Most of my meetings are 1-1s
  34. 34. I still set all the salaries
  35. 35. Communication between teams starts to break down
  36. 36. We need a Product Manager!
  37. 37. Nothing major broke
  38. 38. Two months later…
  39. 39. Something major broke
  40. 40. As the weeks went by…
  41. 41. Frustration
  42. 42. Loneliness
  43. 43. Boredom
  44. 44. Guilt
  45. 45. Curious side-effects…
  46. 46. Itchy feet
  47. 47. More guilt and self-doubt
  48. 48. Infighting
  49. 49. Getting stuff done is my trusty source of endorphins!
  50. 50. Sleepless nights
  51. 51. Burnout
  52. 52. Tenderized!
  53. 53. I don’t know what I’m doing
  54. 54. I don’t know what I’m doing I KNOW that I’m BAD at what I’m doing!
  55. 55. Too much learning, not enough teaching
  56. 56. Too much doing, not enough teaching
  57. 57. Building a product
  58. 58. Building a product Building a business
  59. 59. Being a CEO is not that great. And it was never my dream!
  60. 60. Thank you? Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018
  61. 61. Six months later…
  62. 62. The team got the message!
  63. 63. Start succession planning???
  64. 64. Nothing is forever
  65. 65. What’s my new 10-year plan?
  66. 66. Hire a PM and someone for HR?
  67. 67. Hire or promote a new CEO, and head Product?
  68. 68. What are my options if I have to leave some day?
  69. 69. What will be my new identity after I leave?
  70. 70. Reaching Out
  71. 71. Neil Davidson “Some times in your life you have to execute, other times you have to explore” - Clayton Christensen
  72. 72. Neil Davidson “If you burn out and hate your job, you’re not doing the company any favors”
  73. 73. Neil Davidson “Maybe you need a COO, not a new CEO”
  74. 74. Michael Pryor “I’m still doing exactly what I enjoy doing”
  75. 75. Michael Pryor “I’m scared that if I stopped, I’d feel unimportant and honestly I’d have nothing else to do. After a while, fishing would get pretty boring.  ;)”
  76. 76. Derek Sivers “In hindsight, I would have set up more hierarchy. When I quit, there were 85 employees mostly dumping their problems on me”
  77. 77. Derek Sivers “When you feel very frustrated, don’t mistakenly think there are only two options”
  78. 78. Derek Sivers “Here lies Derek Sivers who made CD Baby, and not much else”
  79. 79. “You only feel as wealthy as your cash flow” Jason Eckenroth
  80. 80. Joel Spolsky “Do you remember why you liked bootstrapping?”
  81. 81. Joel Spolsky “You have to have a real plan for what to do when you quit”
  82. 82. Joel Spolsky “You’ve had a large impact already and you think the only way to top that is to go bigger. But it’s also about your personal journey. It’s gotta stay interesting, it’s gotta keep evolving, it has to keep you feeling like you’ve lived every year of the few years we were given”
  83. 83. 1. Make a list of all the people you know 2. Email them: 
 
 “I’m going to be at ____ doing ____. Please come, and bring a friend!” 3. The list gets longer! 4. Trim the list, and repeat! Joel Spolsky’s Algorithm for Making Friends in Your 40s:
  84. 84. David Heinemeier Hansson “Company design is malleable, if you dare it to be. You can reconfigure the company, its vision, its scope, and its size. We've configured ours to be a pretty close approximation of "this is what I'd want if I had my way in all the matters". That's the luxury of ownership control and of rejecting the angel-venture capital funding path”
  85. 85. Natalie and Chris Nagele “Your employees don’t want you to be unhappy”
  86. 86. Natalie and Chris Nagele “Hobbies sometimes make things worse!”
  87. 87. Natalie and Chris Nagele “Other people get to switch jobs!”
  88. 88. Jason Cohen “The founder does NOT have to run the company forever!”
  89. 89. Jason Cohen “Hiring a great COO is hard if they don’t have a chance to become CEO”
  90. 90. Jason Cohen Running AWAY from something vs Running TOWARDS something
  91. 91. Jason Cohen “Burnout is doing something the company needs, and that you might be good at, but you don’t enjoy” https://businessofsoftware.org/2018/02/healthy-wealthy-wise-jason-cohen-wpengine-bos-usa-2017/
  92. 92. Wrapping Up
  93. 93. What Motivates Founders to Keep Going • I haven’t “made it” yet • I gotta finish this thing • I have boundless ambition • I carved out my perfect role • I don’t have anything better to do
  94. 94. My Next 3 Steps
  95. 95. 1. Make my job fun again
  96. 96. 2. Take care of my mental health with exercise and hobbies and make new friends!
  97. 97. 3. Make Balsamiq Stronger • Work on it with my awesome team • Read a bunch of books • Do a lot of introspection • Talk to a bunch more people New 5-year project, yay!
  98. 98. It’s NOT Lonely at the Top! Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018
  99. 99. Thank you. Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni - Business of Software 2018 - @peldi #BoS2018

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