As Netscape co-founder Marc Andressen famously said,
Software is eating the world.
Businesses are not clear cut entities. Many businesses are a combination of a manufacturer, value-added reseller, consultant, or service organization. Increasingly, businesses must add software company to the list of things that they are.
Here are just a couple of examples. Automobiles are all software driven devices now. From the computer systems managing ignition and fuel flow, to communication systems such as OnStar and cars that connect to the Internet, more and more of the critical systems in vehicles are software based. Another example is consumer electronics. Many of the devices you use daily, such as your mobile phone or your TV, are really just a purpose built computers. The printer in your office is a computer. The world’s largest bookseller, Amazon.com, is really a software company.
That might seem obvious for large international businesses, but the same thought applies to small businesses too. How much of your revenue depends on your website? How quickly could innovation in software start to dramatically affect your markets? The largest direct marketing company in the world is Google. If you are in direct marketing, how do you keep competing with that? If you are a recruiter, you aren’t just competing with other recruiters and internal headhunters. You are competing with LinkedIn, a software company. WalMart has decimated local retail in a large part due to the software that allows them to be so efficient at retail logistics. Stock brokers have been replaced by trading algorithms. The list goes on and on. The point is this. If software hasn’t already drastically changed your industry, it will. It’s only a matter of time.
What are you doing to remain competitive in a world where software rules?
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