Many years ago, there was a book called “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” which became wildly popular. Since it was so popular, Basha ripped it off for a lovely little article called “If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus – how do you sell computers (really software) on Venus?”. The basic gist of the article was that men and women view and use computers and software differently. Men were more excited by the gee whiz aspect of new software while women looked at computers as a necessary work tool.
Over time though, I think men have swung more towards viewing computers as tools. As computers have become almost universal (really, can you think of anywhere you have not seen a computer recently), they become less exciting. The young hackers and first adopters have given way to their older, more sober brothers. And that is probably a good thing. The history of the computer industry is littered with the corpses of interesting but ultimately impractical software program (anyone seen Basecamp recently?).
Here at Basha Systems we are constantly looking for new and great software but one of our most important jobs is to weed out software programs that will not do what our clients hope they will. As consultants and advisors, it is up to us to make sure that our clients don’t waste money on software.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had to gently discourage a client from trying a new software that I knew, from experience, was the wrong solution for their practice. Just because something is new and cool doesn’t make it an effective software tool. An effective software tool must be user friendly, stable and, above all, it must address your pain point. When a user seeks a new software solution, nine times out of ten it is because they need to solve a problem – whether it be the need to access their documents on the road (cloud computing), locate a document in a sea of thousands of saved documents (document management software) or simply keep up with their files and calendars (practice management software).
So it seems that we are all now working away on Venus – with sofware as our most useful servant.