My struggle with business as a software developer

Imagine you're a fisherman, except you don't buy a boat, and you can't actually fish. Despite this you open up business and present yourself as a fisherman.

The Startup.

Now imagine you're a startup business, you have an idea, it feels fantastic. All you need is a software developer to build your world.

The established business.

Now imagine you're an established business you've been going for 20 years it's a family firm. You've already been selling online for years now and you're reaping the benefits. You don't employ any technical people, only temp workers for basic admin, yet your business is turning over 3 million pounds a month. You're worried. Technology has moved on, so you've just hired a software development company to upgrade all of your business processes to digital. You're giving them four months, and you remind them that your business is critical.

Both of these scenarios are genuine. Many startups are like this, admittedly I can only personally point to two companies in the established business category.

Both these companies have the same problem. They have failed to realise or failed to care about the need to actually value and recognise technology in their business. But even more seriously they don't even care about the people required to make it work. What happens all too often is software is not recognised as the fundamental machinery of modern day business. I genuinely don't think people are waking up to realise this, it's not happening fast enough.

If your process can be done manually then it can be automated. I forget where it's from but another phrase which rings true is that if you cannot perform a task manually then you cannot automate it. If you're a small business and you're not working to automate your own systems, then you are forever behind and simply existing in a pathetic consumerist absorber of integration services (if this then that, Google Cloud, shopify, Salesforce, hubspot, Xero et al). If you're just connecting together services using other people's tools what are you actually doing? Why are you even existing? Never has it been more important than today to ask yourself what is the point of what I'm doing? Why does this shitty little existence of a business even matter? When I am old and 80 years old, will I be happy that I have successfully connected my hubspot to my accountancy system, to my sales onboarding experience, and correctly populated a spreadsheet automatically using some crazy integration tool? No I don't think so.