Moving from New York to Silicon Valley is to experience a stark change of emphasis from business to tech. As a tech enthusiast the change can be exhilarating, but after almost a decade studying and working with businesses, the transition can also be frustrating when observing a lack of appreciation for smart business.
Generally speaking, many people in the tech industry view business as stifling innovation, while many business managers would call internet professionals inexperienced and reckless. Who's right? Let's delve in shall we.
Business delaying tech-
Watching business delay tech advances may be the most tedious exercise for any developer or tech aficionado. It's an infuriating task to work within the confines of restrictive policies set forth above rebuke by business managers. Products get delayed because of paperwork, progress is stunted from lack of resources.
Without a proper understanding of the technology and development process, business decision makers are often ill-suited to properly spec out forward roadmaps for products and services.
By nature business is an area cemented in decades of conventional wisdom. MBA programs dissect and study practices from a hundred years ago to assimilate the best long standing plan.
Instead of innovation or pushing the boundaries, business is pre-occupied with piracy or human resources.
Never do anything for free. Always leave the customer wanting more. Competition is the enemy. These long standing maxims still rule to this day in the eyes of business executives. Squeezing pennies, cutting costs, everybody's fate lingering on the bottom line. Good business has ruled the day ever since the rise of American Capitalism.
Then Google came around and upended almost every business rule there was. Consumer-centric, free services, and always improving at an exhilarating pace. On top of that, they don't try to cut competitors out of profits, instead they bring them in as partners or gobble them up in generous acquisitions.
Business is for the old, tech is the new and improved.
Tech leading business-
Sure the dot com bust was a false start, but the tech industry has finally matured with a stockpile of valuable resources and products.
Old Business is slow, let it try to keep up so long as it doesn't get in the way. Companies such as Google and Netflix will always find a way to circumvent the old establishment (i.e. Verizon/Comcast), by producing quality products and appealing directly to consumers.
Tech is the pinnacle of current industries. Partnerships happen organically and techies communicate well with each other. Even competition treats each other with respect1tomshardware.com- IE10 Launch Cake.
Tech may not have all the answers, but at least they're figuring them out quickly. What need is there for business interfering with that process?
Business driving tech-
Of course Old Business would say that seven years proves nothing. Long standing institutions will still be going strong when the excitement over a few apps dies off. True resources are the cable that delivers all precious information, controlling the medium is still the best insurance policy around.
It's not evil to set a stable path forward. Too much change breeds instability and dangerous fluctuations. Steadfast progress is more important that stocks shooting up and down. Blue chippers like IBM and Microsoft have seen the light, it's only a matter of time until every successful tech company comes around.
Sure large tech companies can succeed with plenty of overhead, they can afford to be lax with their spending policies and not heed prudent business policies.
Smaller companies that don't heed good business will fold quickly without proper funding. What would help is adhering to stringent investment balances. Young bucks quick to rush ahead without prudence or expertise will soon find themselves in the middle of nowhere. For every Google there are a hundred tech failures, due to lack of business savvy. No Human Resources and the Accounting department aren't sexy; what they are is necessary.
The need to understand the difference of that extra $10,000 a month and how to get it. That's the difference between growth and bust.
Tech is great when things are good, but has no protection against things going badly. Inexperience displaying it's limitations.
How long until projects become equitable? What's the diversification plan? Customer projections? Cross market appeal? These are all factors that have to be considered for tech to prosper under the watchful guise of Business.
Tech and Business working together-
The beauty of capitalism is that people will find a way to make money. Currently tech is the fastest growing money market, which makes it the belle of the ball in the eyes of Business. In return, tech companies benefit from maximizing investment resources and securing funding for future projects.
It behooves smaller companies to avail themselves to business experience, you can't count on becoming the next big thing. In the meantime it's important to know how to keep the lights on.