There aren’t enough software businesses.
Notice how I didn’t say companies. I’m not talking about startups with venture-backing and hockey stick growth. I’m talking about individuals or small groups making helpful little tools and apps.
There’s so much in the culture that tells us software has to swallow the world. But it’s not true.
Building a software business doesn’t require tons of money or time. If you can make a few pieces of software, and get a hundred or so users for each, you can make a nice, completely independent, living.
Of course every developer has these goals, they’re always working on the next killer app. But I’ve seen these developers and engineers lose motivation time and time again.
Another company pops up doing their exact idea. The market moves and their funding falls through. They buy the garbage about being first, about being the quickest, about being the biggest.
We need different pieces of software for the same reason that we need different books about the same topic.
Software expresses opinions about how the world is and should be, and no two people have the same exact take.
We need more opinionated software.
If you’re writing a non-fiction book, you have to show in your proposal to publishers that other people have written books about your topic.
It’s how you show the publishers that people care about your subject matter. A proposal without this section won’t get bought.
But a book that’s lacking a unique angle won’t get bought either.
In software, people either build the same things as everyone else (that means they include every feature, every integration) or they get scared away at the first hint of competition.
Next time you have an idea for a web or mobile app, don’t shrink away from the task just because you might be outdone. There’s plenty of customers to go around.
Find your own angle, your own approach. Build what only you can build.