Software development companies may or may not specialize in one particular domain or technology. Specializing simplifies the job of marketing and sales, can build employee expertise and reputation, creates efficiencies in infrastructure and code re-use, and sometimes results in very fast growth. Pivotal Labs and Hashrocket are great examples of successful companies with specializations in one particular web technology, in their cases Ruby on Rails. My company, Atomic Object, is an example of a successful company that does not specialize in one domain or technology. Or at least that’s what I’ve always said.
A guest blog I wrote last week for Rapid Growth reminded me that we do in fact have a specialization: we specialize in product development. My post talks about Steve Blank’s Customer Development framework and the Lean Startup concept (Lean Startup == Customer Development + Agile Software Development). Atomic is excited by Customer Development practices for the promise they hold for increasing our customer’s chances for product success; it’s a natural for us because of our specialization. Taking as your focus product development brings its own set of challenges: you need to be more aware of the business context of your customer’s projects; you have the responsibility to chose the best technology for the project; you must think broadly about the services you offer (and those you don’t). It’s a complex specialization, but one I believe that offers a lot of value to your customers.
- Atomic Ownership, Part 5: Distributions - May 1, 2019
- Atomic Ownership, Part 4: Financing employee ownership - April 4, 2019
- Atomic Ownership, Part 3: Valuation - January 2, 2019
- Atomic’s purpose: to be a company where work matters - November 5, 2018
- Elevating & distributing “glue work” flows out of our core principles - October 18, 2018