Current Rants

The Low Bar of Software

At almost age 60, some of my workmates call me a curmudgeon; I’d prefer to think of myself as grumpy skeptical. For context, I’ve been in the software business for almost 25+ years now and what I just can’t quite wrap my head around is the software expectation levels clients have. You’re like, “OK grandpa, put your jitterbug down and tell me what the hell THAT means!”

Before I head there, some perspective: I’m a Midwest guy with Midwest principals. If you live here, you know what I mean. You shake a hand or say that’s what you’re going to do; you do it, simple as that – nothing crazy. And we’re quite reasonable, we’ll even give you a pass even if you can’t “quite” do it yet as long as we’re both comfortable you’ll deliver in the end (and you do).

However, in the software biz… not so much.

For example, we get clients telling us all of the time, “Wow I can’t believe it! I installed your software and it worked as advertised – a huge thank you!” I’m like, huh?…that’s the expectation level – the bar we need to beat?! I can’t think of any other industry where that would be considered a 10; SAD!


Perhaps it’s just sales ignorance, (As the joke goes: What’s the difference between a software salesperson and a used car salesperson? – A used car salesperson knows when they’re lying). Or maybe it’s pressure from their board/stock price; either way, crappy software seems like a bad long-term growth strategy and certainly not a venue for life’s feel-good moments. IMHO, I’d rather head to a bar, bump into a client and have them wave me over, smiling and say “Hey, that’s the guy!” …Rather than them screaming and pointing at me at me saying, “Hey, that’s the guy!”

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