You have two choices:
- Option A: Build a state-of-the-art, custom-built enterprise system that integrates the works (e.g. CRM, ERP, EAM, SCM, wiki, etc.).
- Option B: Get something up quickly. Combine many smaller pieces of independent applications, and have them communicate with each other (e.g. through their APIs, etc.).
Mr. Techno-Wizzo tells you:
- takes frickin' long to build (years, if ever)
- has a humongous chance for failure
- its modules become obsolete quickly
- you drain revenues fast while it's under development
- painful to tweak things as your business changes
- if you ever finish, you'll probably outgrow many of its features
- quick, and flexible -- can get something up freakishly soon
- causes slight dents to your cashflow, as you get an application module up quickly to use
- allows you to use best-of-class for every included application
- interchangeable (e.g. a state-of-the-art applications can be integrated into the system easily and continuously)
Option B = winner! Yay! Yay! Yay!
Use Whatever You Can -- Quickly
- You: "Oh no! I hate Microsoft! They-so-greedy! Bill Gates? More like BILLS Gates!"
- Mr. Techno-Wizzo: "Look pimplebutt: No one cares. Use the sucker if it helps you get from Point A to Point B."
- Mr. Techno-Wizzo: "If you outgrow it, then build an application to compensate for Excel's shortcomings."
You don't need fancy technology to stay on top of your game. Use what you can -- now. A startup that uses Excel to thrive with its customers will kick the ass of any aspirational startup that's building an entire state-of-the-art application to bring in business. While the latter is draining resources and time, the former is focusing on a plethora of other things to fatten its bottom line. Remember:
- Technology becomes obsolete quickly.
- You'll likely outgrow your technology in a few months.
- Taking too long to build something you needed months before = waste. BOO!
So, get something up quickly -- then revise, reconfigure, and deploy your application as necessary -- as you're moving toward your destination. Rule of thumb to tech-fabulous: "Hey! I don't even notice we're using state-of-the-art technology! WOW! KORUMBA!"
Posted on February 26
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