Monday, 25 August 2014

Is software eating the world?

Reflecting on Marc Andreessen's 2011 oped piece (link) on the inversion of software over hardware, and moreover the inversion of software as platforms over stand-alone software and apps.

If ever there was a clarion call to the dominance of technology and of internet services over applications this could be it.

But this is not a gold rush, at least not these days. Andreessen states:
"No one should expect building a new high-growth, software-powered company in an established industry to be easy. It's brutally difficult."
And even software engineering as it was know has been inverted. No longer "project oriented release after 3 years of development" style of projects. Instead, Internet services software is continuously evolving as evidenced by companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Etsy and others (see blob piece by Steve Denning on Etsy). And when we say 'continuously evolving', we mean that the product that customers engage with is being revised hour to hour, on a minute to minute basis. This is the era of continuous deployment and 'Dev Ops', where software services stay up (up-time is crucial) and responds to evolving, adapting requirements and needs; software that is responsive but continuously changing.