Back in the 70s, only the largest universities could afford computers. By the end of the 80s, many businesses were able to afford computers, by the end of the 90s there was a PC in every household, and by the end of the 20s there was a computer in every pocket. While we’re all familiar with this trend in consumer electronics, there is a similar trend happening in business software that promises to revolutionize the way every single business works, right down to your local diner.
The phenomenon of each generation of technology disrupting the last with a cheaper, more accessible version is called “Disruptive Innovation”, a term coined by Clayton Christiansen of Harvard Business school. It describes how new technology starts in a limited scope, and slowly takes over whole industries, changing the way we do business. In software, we are observing similar trends all the time. We at Emmert Technology do a major overhaul on our standard toolkit every 6-12 months, each time reducing the effort it takes us to produce new features by as much as 10-30% each time.
It used to require about $1-2 million in startup capital to build a new software platform. Then advances in development tools from 2010-2015 brought that price down to several hundred thousand dollars, about the price of a house. Since then, there has been an explosion of companies opening up their data and services to integrations via API (Application Programming Interface). Instead of building a CRM from scratch, you can simply integrate with Salesforce. At the same time, there are now libraries of thousands of pre-built application components, meaning developers can focus on business logic, and not what shape your buttons are.
This means that instead of being limited to one-size-fits-all solutions that charge per-seat or a percent of revenue, local businesses are free to innovate their own solutions that they can maintain for a flat cost per month. And while the international platforms are limited to impersonal automated interactions, local businesses can augment their services with human relationships where they matter the most. We believe this is going to give small businesses the upper hand in platform competition with companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc.
The biggest obstacle businesses face when embracing these trends and building their own platforms is business-tech misalignment. The software ecosystem is developed mostly for software developers, so it takes technical leaders who have a 30,000ft view of the tech industry, can focus to overcome specific technical hurdles, yet are capable of contributing to, business values and objectives.
We at Emmert Technology are dedicated to helping businesses beat the odds and be the first to define these trends in their industries. We only work with the most entrepreneurial software developers, have built a culture of creating business value, and have immersed ourselves in the cutting edge of open-source cloud technology coming out of Silicon Valley.