At the recent Apple developer conference Steve Jobs demo’ed a feature called “dashboard” to be in the next incarnation of OS X. The controversy? An independent software developer has a highly-popular piece of shareware that does the same thing. The reaction is summed up here:
“It doesn’t make any sense to me,” Arlo Rose, the developer of Konfabulator, told MacCentral. “Why would a company piss off a developer whose whole purpose is to try to get more people to come to this company’s platform by doing cool things? If this is what they do with the products they think are the best, then why would anyone have any reason to develop more cool stuff? I certainly don’t.”
This guy isn’t doing things for business reasons, but for the sake of doing cool stuff. More power to him. But for those of you who want to build, develop, and grow a software business; this kind of attitude will kill you.
You always have to be asking yourself, “will doing X further my business objectives?” If the answer is yes, you have to prioritize it against all the other things that will help as well. What helps most?
Once you’ve done one “cool” and, I’ll assume, successful thing; you can’t get lazy. You have to leverage it into the next success, plan whatever is going to obselete the first iteration, and uncover different opportunities to monotize the technology. In short, you have to know the answer to that all-important business and marketing question, “what’s next?”
If you don’t, you’ll end up booted in the rear by someone who is more aggressive that you are. And your customers who love you now, will defect and thank the next guy/gal for doing it one better. Don’t end up like the guy in the article moaning “why me!” It doesn’t have to be that way.
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