Great teams, great teamwork requires planning, effort, and a handful of cute phrases. A team of software developers likely don’t need to hold an axe. “How to Hold an Axe” represents the importance of the suite of tools we do use daily. Excellence is deliberate. Join us as we explore team work and tool management…
Ever think about the seconds immediately after buying something online? You get an email. You may have been added to a mailing list. In the seconds buying our product, there are 14 steps, 4 vendors, and thousands of lines of instructions. All invisible, all immediate. When it works, money flows into a bank account. When it goes badly, sweat drips, anxiety soars, and bosses pace. Follow the haps and mishaps of a software development team starting a new venture with a new product on the Soul of an Internet Machine.
The sales team from IBM, DEC, Data General, and Xerox were noted for their arrogance and uniformity during the prior century. In 2019, I heard echoes of that sort of arrogance from Okta – a firm specializing in user authentication and identity management – the tools one needs to simplify logging into internet-based software. Listen in on a sales call, and step through a catastrophic failure with our team.
The United States Supreme Court changed the landscape of internet commerce with a 2018 ruling called “South Dakota v Wayfair Inc”. With the stroke of five pens, business had to comply with thousands of sales tax jurisdictions within the United States – up to 58 states and territories, 3,000 counties, 10s of thousands of municipalities all want revenue from internet-based sales. This determination opened businesses to new risks. It created an entirely new business venture called: interstate sales tax compliance service provider. And new phrases such as “SST” for streamlined sales tax process. It will cost small business thousands of dollars to comply. For us, compliance will cost more than the taxes we pay
Integrating yet another vendor into our software suite permits us to replace PayPal, the effort lets us explore how to sell to a reluctant audience, how to reach customers with strong defenses, and give me a platform to discuss cluttered, noisy, and crappy websites. Maybe marketing people should accept the idea that the customer isn’t exactly who you think they are. The ideal customer is one who has money and looking for a solution or a product.
Not only did I hold the wrong position, I adhered to it for six months. We knew from the first minutes of working with PayPal they eased themselves comfortably into a legacy position, as rusty as Western Union. Once upon a time, PayPal forged ahead. There slips PayPal into history. Bye, Bye, PayPal. You’re now a faded sticker in a store window.