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2Inspire Interview Series
Avangate has sponsored last year's edition of ESWC held in Cambridge, UK. My colleagues were very impressed with the event and I wanted to find out more about the people behind the association and the conference. I had several people telling me David Boventer would be a great person to interview. I have to agree. It was a joy to interview the father of ESWC , who takes great care in providing educational opportunities to shareware developers. If you haven't checked out this conference yet, you should.
David Boventer is the founder and the Executive Director of ESWC, European Shareware Conference Association.
Adriana Iordan: My first questions for all our guests: can you tell us a little about yourself, your background and how you got interested in the shareware industry?
David Boventer: I am 43 years old, married with two children and live in Germany. Actually I grew up in an international household with an American mother and a German father. Married to a native Greek I think I am a (hopefully pleasant) world citizen with strong European bondage. As an academic person I studied in Germany, France and the US. Permanent learning effort is important for me, acquring knowledge and practical experience. In this context I expanded my first contact with the Shareware Industry in 2000 at the SIC in Tampa to a wholescale change of professional education and activity - including relevant computer and industry business merchant degrees adding to my M.A. in German and to my French.
Adriana Iordan: My colleagues, when telling me about last year's European Shareware Conference, were very enthusiastic and felt, just like everybody else, that the conference is getting better every year. Why do you think this is happening? What's the success recipe?
We like cooperating as independent conferences but is important for us to have the same principles and ethics.
David Boventer: Because we listen to our participants and sponsors likewise. Because we are innovative and try to keep up the quality of sessions and settings while we expand our variety of additional features, such as introducing the Epsilon Award . Therefore we try to reflect the wealth and the intelligence that the authors, speakers and sponsors have and naturally expect from us. We take everyone serious and know about the hard work that many MicroISVs are going through every day to earn their living and to fulfill their reality of independent programming, that is our recipy.
Adriana Iordan: Do you have any feedback on the other software/shareware conferences held in Russia or the United States? How do you consider ESWC as compared to them? How is ESWC different from other software conferences, besides the fact that it is "European"?
Building stable markets for your products has to do with quality, back desk service and adaptablitiy of your software and marketing approach.
David Boventer: Yes. We like cooperating as independent conferences but is important for us to have the same principles and ethics. We are very grateful to two of the "pillars" of the SIC : Gary Elfring was a former founding board member and was introduced into our hall of fame as honorary member in 2006. And Paris Karahalios (who is on our advisory board) has been ardently supporting us from our start in 2001. Our distinctively European character means that we are open for everybody from every corner of the world - something we are proud of. It is this special thrill of very strong diversity, though feeling of belonging to the same professional background that makes our participants coming from all over to meet at the European ShareWare Conference, the European Must-Event of the MicroISV .
Adriana Iordan: What are the common problems the software vendors face today from your point of view?
David Boventer: Without going much into detail the common problems can be put into two major categories: Technical and political - economical questions on a local and on an international scale. Building stable markets for your products has to do with quality, back desk service and adaptablitiy of your software and marketing approach. What are the biggest challenges facing European shareware developers? To adapt without getting lost in details. To keep up good faith and trust in yourself and in relation to your customer due to a faster and faster rolling world. To protect your product from piracy, plagiarism and theft while doing a perfect job in changing software environments that have to be comprehended and learned while earning money.
Adriana Iordan: This year is the 7th edition of the conference. Can you tell us what is the difference between how the conference was perceived 5-6 years ago and how it is perceived ow?
Sales and revenues can be increased immensely for the individual entreprenuer through our conference.
David Boventer: We started with 50 participants in 2001 and will reach over 200 participants in 2007. We have been constantly evolving our concept but keeping up the same enthusiastical spirit of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking. We are highly personal and care for the individual but have always been broadening our approach to topics and markets. We have become a well established and well respected organization, superseding every effort of imitating us; THE original Software Conference for the MicroISV and the fair marketing concept of Shareware.
Adriana Iordan: Have your expectations been confirmed in regard to the impact of the ESWC on the European shareware community?
David Boventer: Yes. Very much so. We were somewhat overwhelmed by the mostly positive echo but have experienced the burden of responsibility towards the software community that adhere to the marketing method of Shareware.
Adriana Iordan: Which ESWC edition has been your favorite so far?
David Boventer: They are all my favorites. Just like kids, because everyone is special in his/her own way.
Adriana Iordan: What have you learned from your involvement?
David Boventer: That sales and revenues can be increased immensely for the individual entreprenuer through our conference . And to respect the courage to be an independent MicroISV even more.
Adriana Iordan: What are the biggest challenges you've faced in putting together a conference?
David Boventer: Getting all loose ends together when it concerns the organizing process; coping with all sorts of envy by people who really have no idea how to organize a conference or try to establish a commercial "duplicate".
Adriana Iordan: What is the focus of this year's conference?
David Boventer: The keyspeaker will come from Firefox. We want to show ways of cooperation on all fields and areas. Quality should be the criteria. And the "big" companies always need to get in touch with the individual developers`ethic - to understand that fair business is clever business. The conference will focus on topics useful for the MicroISV. The Epsilon Award 2007 will honor their hard work.
Adriana Iordan: Are there shareware authors, software distributors that support the ESWC, and in which way?
David Boventer: Just as the word says: We are a community, a worldwide network of intelligent and sensitive individuals united by a common will: To earn a living with quality software in a fair way. Support is self-understanding, but there is always a pragmatical attitude behind it. Support is a two-way lane.And since the benefits of the ESWC are clearcut and open, our support among authors, software distributors and sponsors is growing every year. An intensifying natural process of trust and economical gain on fair and legal tracks. Like a tree that gains height and strength year by year.
Adriana Iordan: Avangate is an ecommerce platform for electronic software distribution. Considering the fact that you meet various software developers, can you tell us, from your point of view, what are the most important aspects the micro-ISVs are looking for in a shareware registration service?
David Boventer: To name a few: Reliability in service and technical settings, quickness of response, adaptablity, transparent accounting and decent pricing.
Adriana Iordan: Is there anything you would like the European shareware community to know about yourself, or ESWC that I've missed?
David Boventer: I am constantly learning from you all. Proud to be part of a community without borders nor matter of what nationality or cultural heritage we inherit as world citizens. Our own little utopia without rose glasses. Simply earthly human.
Adriana Iordan: Thank you for your time David!