Two Things I Think I Think

2+ Peter King (the sportswriter, not the Congressman) writes a football column where
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Andrew Meyer
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Andrew Meyer

Ben, happy Labor Day weekend and thanks for a thought provoking and educational post. As someone who is a software engineer in the startup world, you have informed and expanded my contextual understanding. With that as background, I’d like to unpack your comment about “corporate investment in productive economic activities” a little bit. As someone who’s written software in corporate environments and startups, I can attest that the saying that “it’s easy for businesses to turn capital into fleets of cars, buildings or factories, but difficult for them to turn it into working software.” I’d add to that “user friendly” software. I’m not talking about companies like Google or Microsoft or other companies birthed and living in the world of software development, rather I’m talking about legacy businesses, the GEs/GMs, Procter & Gambles or Bank of Americas’. Companies born in a different era with corporate hierarchies, communication structures and decision making processes that virtually assure hideous software. Anytime your frustrated checking your bank balance online, spare a thought for the people who have to write software they know is half done and support software that half works. If leveraging the internet’s virtually infinite free capacity and good software’s virtually infinite scaling ability are among the best corporate investment and yet legacy businesses are challenged to write software that leverages those opportunities; where can companies invest to generate productive economic activities? I ask that, thinking about the ramifications of Le Tote buying Lord & Taylor. (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/28/business/lord-taylor-sold-le-tote.html) No, I had never heard… Read more »

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