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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

Play by the Rules If There Are Any

I have a lot of discussions on different business models these days. We end up fantasizing on usage of new revolutionary services or discuss how current ones will evolve and how we can exploit that.

One thing becomes pretty clear if you talk long enough with people on the subject. If there is existing business on some kind of service, let’s take mobile messaging for the example, you’ll have hard time trying to convince people to your new revolutionary service with new revolutionary business model standing behind. People will stick long with what they already know. Customers are driven with bonuses for preserving status quo. They won’t be rewarded for creating new markets. That’s sad but that’s true.

If you work in an area which is already quite well defined in a vast majority of cases playing by existing rules will be the best strategy unless you have enough power and persistence to slowly change the rules.

The situation is different when it comes to a business which wasn’t there before. There are no existing working business models. There are no rules. Mobile payments system in developed countries is a good example here. No one got it right yet. At least not in a way which can be copied. A result? Everyone strives to find the way, to find the best (or I should say the first good enough) solution. There’s no beaten track so everyone seeks their own path. Since there are no rules no one can play by them.

This is of course an overgeneralization but most of the time big companies deal better with situations where rules are already defined while small organizations (with strong focus on startups) do better job in undefined areas of business.

Which kind of market do you operate in? Well-defined or vague one?

in: software business

2 comments… add one

  • Travis June 2, 2009, 10:36 am

    In my opinion, there are no rules in software development. I think a good example is Google Chrome. This application doesn’t follow all the requirements of a web browser. Google decided to invent a new tool to browse the web, period. The menus are different, there are no add-ons, no this, no that. Google didn’t follow the rules and so far, Chrome is doing great.

  • Pawel Brodzinski June 3, 2009, 12:09 am

    Actually there are rules and Chrome is a good example of that. It doesn't follow all the requirements for a web browser (by the way who defines them?) and that's why just not every webpage works in Chrome. Which is pretty painful when we talk about web browser, isn't it?

    Another thing I don't agree with is Google trying to invent something new with Chrome. They don't. All they do is really redoing the old concept. Add-ons are soon to come I believe. Menus, as well as general look is just a GUI design, nothing more. The real goal was to make light and fast browser and to be honest I think Google still haven't achieved the goal. Chrome isn't light. It's as resource consuming as other browsers. Maybe it is a bit faster, but the difference isn't so significant to be seen in everyday use.

    The last thing: if any other company came with a product like Chrome it wouldn't get one tenth of Chrome user base. The magic of word Google works.

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