U Secretu di l'Industria di u Software

U VenditoreIt's an exciting time to be in the software industry. With the dot com boom and bust, and now “web 2.0” and social networking in the mainstream, we're still in our infancy but growing up.

On a grade level, I'd say we're probably around the 9th grade. We're still uncomfortable in our skin, we get excited by the the software that looks a little ‘overdeveloped', and we're just starting to build friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Consumers are finally getting serious with our software. Product managers are finally getting some good taste – complimenting a great product with good design that's sales and marketing worthy.

That said, the fallacy of the software purchase still exists. When you buy a new car, you generally know that it's going to be comfortable, ride well, how it corners and how it accelerates just from the test drive. If you read about it in an auto magazine by a great journalist, you get a real feeling about how the car is going to feel before you ever get in it.

Software has test drives and reviews as well, but they never live up to our expectations, do they? Part of the problem is that, while cars go forward, backward and have doors and wheels, software doesn't follow the same rules… and nor do any two people use it alike. It isn't until we're mired in our day to day work that we figure out what's ‘missing' with the application. It's missed when it was designed. It's missed when it was developed. And worst, it's always missed in the sale.

This is because you and I don't buy software for how we're going to use it. Often times, we don't actually buy it at all – someone buys it for us. The software we use is often mandated due to a corporate relationship, discount, or the manner in which it interacts with our other systems. It amazes me how many times that companies have a robust purchasing process, certification requirements, service level agreements, security compliance, operating system compatibility… but no one actually Nonza l'applicazione finu à longu dopu l'acquistu è l'implementazione.

It's, perhaps, one of the reasons why pirating software is so rampant. I don't want to even count how many thousands of dollars of software I've purchased that I used and gave up on, and never used again.

A Vista da a Cumpagnia di Software

The view from the software company is quite different altogether! Though our applications usually fix a primary problem and that's why people pay for it… there are so many tertiary issues out there that we have to take into consideration when developing it.

  • Cumu pare? - cuntrariu à a cridenza pupulare, u software is a beauty contest. I can point to dozens of applications that should ‘own' the market but don't even make the cut because they lack the aesthetics that grab the headlines.
  • Cumu vende? - qualchì volta e caratteristiche sò vendibili, ma micca veramente cusì utili. In l'industria di e-mail, ci hè stata una grande spinta per un pezzu quì per RSS. Everyone was asking for it but only a couple Email Service Providers had it. The funny thing is, a year later, and it's still not adopted in the mainstream by email marketers. It's one of those features that are marketable, but not really useful (yet).
  • Quantu hè sicuru? – this is one of those ‘small' items that are overlooked but can always sink a deal. As software providers, we should always strive for security and have it backed up through independent audits. Not doing so is irresponsible.
  • Quantu hè stabile? – surprisingly, stability is not something that's purchased – but it will make your life miserable if it's an issue. Stability is key to an application's reputation and profitability. The last thing you want to do is hire people to overcome stability issues. Stability is also a key strategy that should be at the foundation of every application. If you don't have a stable foundation, you're building a home that will one day crumble and fall.
  • Chì prublema risolve? - hè per quessa chì avete bisognu di u lugiziale è se aiuterà o micca à a vostra impresa. Capisce u prublema è sviluppà a soluzione hè per quessa chì andemu à travaglià ogni ghjornu.

The secret of the software industry is that we DO NOT sell, buy, build, market and use software well. We have a long way to go before we graduate someday and do it all consistently. To last in this industry, companies often have to develop features and security to sell, but sacrifice usability and stability. It's a dangerous game. I look forward to the next decade and hope that we've matured enough to gain the right balance.

3 Comments

  1. 1

    Una di e dumande più dure chì aghju mai avutu da risponde hè: "Se chjamate ingegneria software, perchè ùn pudete micca avè risultati deterministici per i vostri prughjetti".

    A mo risposta hè simile à ciò chì parlate quì. Questa hè una nova industria nova. Ci hè vulsutu millaie d'anni per vultà induve i Rumani eranu ghjunti cù l'ingenieria. Unu di i mo momenti preferiti in Italia era di visità u Pantheon in Roma è di vede u foru induve Brunelleschi suppusitivamente hà tagliatu un foru per capisce cumu i Rumani anu muntatu una cupola cusì grande (quandu stava cercendu di capisce cumu finisce u Duomo in Firenze ).

    Simu una ghjovana disciplina è ci vularà u tempu prima di pudè pruduce un software di qualità in una manera cunsistenti. Hè per quessa chì i sviluppatori sò sempre cunsiderati cum'è tipi di maghi. Avemu bisognu di cuntrullà quant'è pussibule (caratteristica di scorrimentu, permettendu à i venditori di guidà l'architettura di u lugiziale, a cattiva gestione), ma ùn pudemu micca scuzzulà u fattu chì alcuni software l'anu capitu è ​​alcuni ùn sò micca. Sin'à tandu, hè ora di a corsa à l'oru!

  2. 2

    U cuncettu eccessivamente sviluppatu hè cusì veru in u Web 2.0 Sembra chì parechje cumpagnie sianu create intornu à un pruduttu chì ùn puderete micca pensà chì puderia sustene una cumpagnia sana ... allora, sia si acquista (ciò chì hè ottimu per a cumpagnia) sia fizzles out after minimum adoption.

  3. 3

    Sò d'accordu cumpletamente cù l'idea chì l'industria di u software ùn hè micca cumpletamente sviluppata à u livellu chì deve esse prima di pudè cuntrullà chì u software sia distribuitu à u consumatore. Vogliu dì chì hè tutalmente currettu quandu dite chì u software hè adupratu in modu diversu cù ogni cunsumadore è cusì ùn soddisfa micca sempre à tutti. L'idea di u software piratatu nasce per via di sta scuntentezza di u cunsumadore perchè avete a ragione paghete tanti soldi per un software è l'utilizate è poi rinunziate à ellu è ùn l'aghju mai più utilizatu è suppone chì questa idea ùn si adatta quandu parlate di spende soldi nantu à qualcosa chì ùn serà micca à longu andà. Dunque, à a fine, l'idea hè vera finu à chì pudemu esse coerenti in l'acquistu, a custruzzioni, u marketing è l'usu di u software, ùn pudemu micca impedisce l'emergenza di queste idee sbagliate.

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