Friday, August 10, 2007

Software Development As A Business - The Right Time To Take The Plunge

The Right Time

The signs are ominous. And they are everywhere.

With every passing day, more and more consumers are switching to the online route for transacting businesses. With every passing moment, businesses are reporting a jump of few points in the transactions that people are doing online. Quite a number of offline purchases nowadays are a result of customer reading up on information about the products on the web, or a result of research that they have conducted through search engines, forums, blogs, yahoo groups, and the like.

Couch potatoes are displacing their tastes of the newspaper, the radio, and the soap opera with online surfing and chatting. This displacement has reached to such an extent that media publications and Radio & TV stations are now forced to rework their strategies to leverage the power of the internet: if you cannot keep them hooked to your traditional platform, make a website your platform!

Footfalls in malls and shopping plazas are geared more towards window shopping than actual purchases - as people try to connect what they saw on the web with the actual look and feel of the product with their eyes and fingers. Yes, there is a very perceptible shift in the way the world is doing business.

Ideas, Ideas, and Software

Whatever be the business that you may be in, you know what it takes to jazz it up to give it that immediate, competitive edge which will appeal to the customer who will bypass all your rivals in favor of your product or service. It is that spark of an idea. It is your creative and innovative ideas that sets your business apart from the rest of the crowd. Driving this particular revolution of the internet too are *ideas*. Transforming creative, juicy ideas, formed as an abstract thought, into practical, workable implementation that are useful to everyone, is a business mantra that works for software business, too.

Whether it is Apple's Macintosh or Microsoft's Windows Vista, whether it is Nokia's mobiles and cellphones or remotely-controlled domestic devices such as the oven or the coffee-maker or the hot shower, it is ideas that rule the world. Things have become so easy now that the moment an idea pops into your mind, the wherewithal to build a software based on it is readily available, right there on your desktop!

Entrepreneur! Avail of this opportunity

This is where you, an entrepreneur, come in. The omnipresence of computers and internet connectivity all around us cries for even better computer softwares that will improve the life of customers as well as bring moolah to your bank. All that you need to do - if you haven’t done already, that is -; is to plunge into the business of software.

Just like any other business, the business of developing and marketing software is not an easy cakewalk; the success rate here is as high or as low as any other business. Add to this is the phobia that most entrepreneurs harbor about technology in general, and computer software in particular. The word "Software" brings to mind a world full of high-tech stuff that one reads about in computer magazines: it is supposedly a world of "tough" (sic) computer programming languages, and techno-geeks strutting around mouthing all that mumbo-jumbo. It becomes difficult for any businessperson, otherwise very, very worldly-wise and resourceful, to overcome the mindset of being an outsider to this altogether different world.

And yet, there is this opportunity that is waiting to be exploited.

Just like any other business, the business of software has its own unique models and style of doing things. But at the very basic basics, the business models and style remain essentially the same. It is just a matter of your opening up to the possibility of being able to understand the nitty-gritty of what it involves.

Taking you to Software Success

There is a very good book that can get you started on the business model of software. This book by Benjamin Prater is titled – "Software Secrets Exposed!" – with the subtitle – "The Ultimate How-To Guide for Building Your Own Software Empire". The book was written in 2001: this was the time when the dotcom bust was hogging headlines. Not the perfect time to launch a book that extols how to build a software empire, eh? I do not know how the book fared then, though I did come across links to the book in the search engines. Yet, it contains gems of wisdom and insight that you can make most use of.

Have you already tried software development before? Was there any aspect of this business that made you uncomfortable? Or have you tasted failure in this venture earlier? While I empathize with you, I know for sure that if you couple the wealth of your hindsight with the experience distilled in the pages of this book, you can still make another go at it, and succeed this time.

Another interesting aspect of the book that I would like to highlight here, without crossing the threshold that makes this piece a blatant advertisement, is a separate chapter on how to go about generating, or in the author’s words, "incubating" ideas. This particular section is actually useful for not only software, but also for any other business, since hitting upon the right innovative idea is the key to obtaining a competitive edge anywhere.

Final Word

Explosion of the internet, change in lifestyles and buying trends, people preferring to work from homes rather than commuting to work, online funds transfers, drop-shipping, are all hallmarks of an ongoing renaissance unleashed in the past two decades. This renaissance requires ideas to feed itself: ideas that require to be dressed in software, in order to be implemented. This is the right time for Entrepreneurs to take the plunge. And generate wealth by truckloads.

About the Author:

Sanjay Agrawal is a Business Coach and self-development enthusiast. His blog can be surfed here, Benjamin Prater's book can be picked up here, .

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