Is The Core Character Of The Software Business Changing?

from the not-so-sure dept

Mike Nettles writes in with a link to last week’s Bob Cringely piece on how the software business isn’t as “fun” as it used to be. Nettles writes: “It’s about how the “character” of the software biz is being impacted by the legal community. His core issue is that “invention” and “innovation” are not even close, and this is leading us to a bad end.” I had read the piece last week and wasn’t that impressed. While I do agree that too many lawyers are forcing businesses to make business decisions based on legal reasons rather than business reasons, much of this article reads like someone complaining that the industry “just ain’t like how it used to be”. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. What Cringely has really recognized is the same thing that any growing company comes to realize sooner or later. There’s a big difference between starting a company, growing a company, and then maintaining a large company. Each of those stages is “fun” for different people, and some people enjoy them all. It’s not the nature of the industry, but the general growing process that all companies go through eventually. His point about the difference between innovation and invention is good – but he simply tells us that innovation is bad (it’s the sneaky business of taking an invention and stealing it) and invention is good. I disagree. Innovation is what makes something better and more marketable – which, in the long run, is better for the economy.

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