Jiva Technology

Where Software Companies go to Die.

It seems that there is life after death in the software industry. Reincarnation is possible. It has always been my assumption that software companies took themselves off into a corner to die if they were overtaken by the next big thing. Or more likely if the NBT that overtook them was itself overtaken by a NBT. But it seem that software companies go to the same place that all other companies go when they are on the wrong side of the technology adoption curve – private equity. TibCo seems to be the latest in a string of companies to follow this path. Skype went to private equity and then on to Microsoft (my old B-School professor always claimed that Microsoft were in fact a bank).

Now it’s industry wisdom that it’s easier to write new code than renovate old code. Actually, it’s not just industry wisdom, it IS easier to write new code. So I’m guessing that these companies are not being snapped up for their technology. More like their income streams. Cut the R&D budget, ramp up the marketing, tighten up the contracts. You know the sort of thing. Except that this is so counter cultural to the technology industry that I wonder what it’s like to operate in this kind of environment?  One of the things that I’ve noticed is that many of the mature companies still pay pretty well. If you’re a middle aged marketing type, you’re much better off working in an organisation in decline that’ll pay you a hundred grand a year than you are hanging out with the hipsters in Shoreditch for 40k. Particularly as you won’t be enjoying the side benefits: the social life and sense of being cool.

Or maybe it’s more a function of a maturing industry. Maybe tech is just that …. just another industry.

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