LessConf 2011: A Conference for DOers

May 05, 2011
Written by
John Sheehan
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

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It takes about 2 minutes at LessConf to know you’re not attending your run of the mill conference. From the live music intermissions to the free professional massages in the hallway to the wacky antics of conference organizers Steve Bristol and Allan Branch, this is a geek gathering unlike any other. As one Twilio employee in attendance described it, “Loving that LessConf is less conference, more variety show of DOers.” That pretty much sums it up.

While videos and slides from the speakers will be available in the future, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite talks from the conference.

“Why your customers don’t like you” – Sarah Hatter, CoSupport

Sarah was formerly in charge of customer support at 37signals before venturing off to start her own customer support training and outsourcing company called CoSupport. Sarah used examples ‘from the trenches’ demonstrating how not to sound like a washing machine when responding to your customers. When the video is available, this is a must watch.

“I saw the sign…in design” – Steven Walker, Leader Designer, GroupOn

Steven talked about the lessons he learned while trying to keep up with the insane growth GroupOn experienced. While most of us will never go through that, there were still many insights to be gained that can be applied to any situation. Through his frank and practical approach to the issues they encountered Steven showed that it’s more important to use do what you think is best for your situation even if it is contrary to popular belief.

“Pricing, Self Service, APIs and other Mating Calls of the Northern Spotted DOer” – Jeff Lawson, CEO, Twilio

The essence of a doer is someone who can start with some basic guidelines and figure out the rest. Jeff talks about how to enable doers to get started with your product or service. Some of the “mating calls” you can use to attract doers to your project include tours, screenshots, clear pricing and the ability for them to get started completely on their own. The more information you provide them, the more power they have to make decisions. Jeff’s slides are available below or here.