What do you call the kind of company you work for? I think most people have a pretty simple answer to this question: retailer, construction company, coffee house, grocer, insurance company, hospital, etc. I don’t think that’s true for companies that build custom software.
Perhaps this reveals our industry’s relative immaturity but I also think it says something about the differing views we have on what exactly it is we offer clients. I got thinking more about this in a recent conversation with a potential customer. He found it curious, in his national search for a vendor, that every company he’d talked to had a different way of describing themselves.
I thought it would be interesting to gather some data. The names below are from companies that compete in some way with my company, Atomic Object, and were compiled based on either my first-hand experience (I heard someone use it) or its use on their website. Interestingly, a very common identification used on websites is nothing at all — in other words, the company doesn’t say what it is, just what it does.
Innovation services firms that build software for their clients are critical elements of a competitive national economy. It seems strange that we don’t have a consistent name for them.
Which are your favorites? Any new candidates to suggest?
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