I’ve been doing a lot of work on my company, Three Wise Men Inc., lately. Honing down on what makes the business special, getting right down into why I started the business and dissecting various frustrations I felt then, and have felt throughout the past 6 years of doing business.
In this market-driven society software is typically written for one of two reasons.
Profit. It may be to enable new business processes, or increase efficiency. It may be a commercial venture to entertain the masses.
Pleasure. It’s fairly well known that regardless of developer skill, the artistic efforts of creating software are not much different a compulsion than painting, sculpting, dance, any classic art form.
In my business, I need to focus on the former while recognizing the latter – for without profit, I can’t create this environment that encourages the latter.
So I am focusing around this idea that’s quite over-stated but I believe poorly understood in this industry – that the commercial venture of creating software must be squarely focused on business value. Without this focus, the venture is a gamble. You might intuitively stumble into the right place, but unless your processes continually re-target you on your business goal your risk is high in not getting to where you need to be.
My challenge is finding a way to communicate this simply, that doesn’t get lost in the market full of other companies promising the same thing but who don’t have the processes to support that vision.
There are lots of fun ideas I could explore, like business goal seeking processes related to heat seeking missiles – except I don’t really want to blow anyone up 🙂
I think I’m getting closer to finding my shoes. While this relates to the risk of doing software development, it isn’t a mitigating response – it’s a total avoidance.