I do not like business books.
Generally, do not like blogs either.
Here is my reasoning, if these guys were so good – they would NOT be sharing their scarce thoughts with the world. Would you rather build the next google or write a blog article on how a new algorithm will change the speed of information retrieval.
Over the years, I have had a number of people tell me that I should write a book about XXXX (my current soapbox usually…).
You should tell the world the secret to offshore development…
That voice recognition stuff you are doing will change _______….
And I always smiled and changed the subject. The reason is simple, if we really figured out something that clever, we would want to make money off of it. If we did not have it right, we would just look like fools when people evaluated what we were thinking – in short no upside.
Our major currency and advantage is not the facts we know but how we approach problems. Instead of just doing what everyone else does, we look long and hard about the implications and directions of the decisions we make – and we make good decisions.
Historically, our clients pay us well because we do things that they cannot do… or do them for a price they cannot find elsewhere. In short, why tell you in a blog – for free – what we think about?
I thought the things we thought about were so obvious that everyone else would start to think about building software products rationally – soon. Our advantage in terms of having a slightly different take on things was short lived. So, we needed to hold that close.
I am now about to celebrate my 20th year in software product development. When I left my first corporate job 17 years ago, it was because I wanted to start a company that taught people how to build better software. I saw this as a very short term opportunity.
Shockingly, while the factory elements (better tools, more consistent quality) has improved, most of the software being built is not well thought about and not very flexible. In short it fits a current organizations needs but does not do much for it in a rapidly evolving market place.
Here is why I have changed my mind – I think a big part of my teams historical competitive advantage is not in how we approach technology in general, its how we approach our clients specific problems. Us sharing our take and approach to things like reporting, workflow, rules, etc… might be interesting to some, but, our goal really is not about the foundational platform – even though this is where we spend most of our time and where our product is centered. Out goal is building things that business users can use – not really building for the technical crowd.
Here is a blog with some of the things we think, and why we think them. Enjoy.