The technology used to build a product or service offering really is not that important. Earlier in my entrepreneur journey I didn’t really understand this. It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in the latest, coolest, hottest technologies. The keys to business and successful products really have almost nothing to do with the technology. The true keys to success are the results the product or service offerings provide. I’m talking about the benefits to the people that use it, and their customers they serve.
The technology used to build a product or service offering really is not that important.
I’ve discussed how Software is written FOR PEOPLE. You need to keep this in mind. Without people, there would be no software; no technology. When building a product or service you need to look past the technologies you’re using and focus on the value you are providing your customers.
When building a product or service you need to look past the technologies you’re using and focus on the value you are providing your customers.
Carto LLC (CRM + GIS SaaS Service) Startup Example
I also immediately started gravitating towards shiny, new technologies because they were cool. One technology that I should not have invested in was Silverlight. I built some amazing CRM + GIS visualizations with Silverlight that never ended up being released. There were issues of getting client machines to have Silverlight installed with our Enterprise customer base, and then the issue of Microsoft eventually killing Silverlight altogether. This waste of time would have been much better spent just adding more value to the service for our customers; rather than playing with the new shiny thing.
This waste of time would have been much better spent just adding more value to the service for our customers; rather than playing with the new shiny thing.
Another technology I started gravitating towards was Microsoft Windows Azure (now called Microsoft Azure). This was a new, shiny technology that wasn’t a mistake to spend time on. We actually got immediate benefit by using Microsoft Azure as our hosting platform. The benefits were cheaper and more reliable hosting. Which did add tons of business value to our service that was experienced directly by out customers.
Build5Nines.com Hosting Example
More recently, when I started Build5Nines.com (formerly BuildAzure.com) back in 2015, I decided to use Wordpress.com for hosting. Sure, Wordpress isn’t that cool from a technology perspective. However, Wordpress is reliable, with a huge developer ecosystem of plugins and themes. Plus, with Wordpress.com you don’t need to host or manage anything yourself. You pay Wordpress.com a monthly fee to host your website, and it just works. This leaves you more time to write content and work on your business; rather than investing in server / hosting management. Even though I blog all about Microsoft and related Enterprise technologies, the use of Wordpress.com hosting has allowed me to provide more value to my readers than if I hosted it myself using Microsoft Azure virtual machines or some other method.
I have a few other examples of how I could have focused on business value instead of shiny, new technology for my business ventures over the years.
I’ve been in the industry long enough to have learned that the technology is not important. You can use almost any technology to build a product or service offering. The most important factor is the business value you provide to your customers, and the impact that resonates to help your business and their’s be more productive and profitable.
Also, if you pay attention to most of the latest trends in technology, they are just regurgitating the same ideas from 10 years, 20 years, or more ago. The new technologies / tools just give things a fresh face, but they provide the same things in many cases.
If you build a web application with Angular or jQuery, it doesn’t matter. If the server-side code is Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET, or Node.js; guess what? It doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is the business impact and value you provide. You could even have certain task be a manual process at first, so long as it provides enough business value for you to focus on adding value to your customers (although please automate that too if possible and when it provides you business value to do so).
Work Smart, Not Hard, to make the choices that will maximize business value for you, and your customers, instead of wasting time and money on shiny things just because they are shiny.
Don’t be discouraged! Create a product. Build a service. Go start a business! Work Smart, Not Hard, to make the choices that will maximize business value for you, and your customers, instead of wasting time and money on shiny things just because they are shiny. Pick the technologies that will benefit you and your customers first, and leave the rest that don’t offer you the same value add.