“Software is eating the world.”
Jamie McIntyre, CEO of Fortigent, kicked off his session at the IMCA annual conference on Tuesday with that quote by Marc Andreessen from 2003.
By that he meant software is changing the way some industries do business.
For example, car maker Tesla uses sophisticated software to build its cars and maintains those cars with over-the-air software updates. Cars are purchased online, not at dealerships.
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Then there’s Dropbox, the online storage system. In five years, McIntyre said, Dropbox has gained 200 million users and now has a $10 billion valuation.
That growth is from access to cash and from its agility, McIntyre said. Dropbox doesn’t have the typical entry barriers, infrastructure and marketing. The cloud replaced the need for extensive infrastructure, and social media and word of mouth took care of expensive marketing strategies.
Agility is when a company can respond to customers’ needs immediately. Building software used to require an initial meeting to determine what the customer needed, and then they weren’t involved again until the product was delivered, McIntyre said. The company building the software would go through the design, coding and testing phases without customer input. If there was a problem, it wasn’t recognized until after the software was released.