Stop building software, build services!

I am attending Software 20/20 conference in Helsinki today. I think that the software industry in Finland is shooting it’s own leg. Many of the companies in software 20/20 are still building software when the rest of the world is moving towards building services and solving problems. I’ve been running startups for the past 4 years and can’t remember the last time I told somebody I work with software. I always talk about the service we are providing and would never call my starup company a software company. I think that all software companies should stop building software and start building services.

Some weeks ago I went to Slush Helsinki which is Software 20/20 for startups. It is interesting to see how two different clusters in the same industry are approaching the same issue from different angles. Both are talking about doing business overseas and creating better industry. When startups talk about doing business abroad the main question is when to move to US or somewhere closer to our customers. When Software companies talk about international business they are mainly thinking about hiring cheap labor from China or India. When Software companies start thinking about developing the industry they ask where is next Nokia. When startups think about developing the industry they create events like Slush Helsinki or organizations like Aalto Entrepreneurship society.

I think that it’s a pity that these two worlds are so disconnected from each other. When was the last time a Software Company went to Aalto Venture Garage? On Saturday? Software companies have a lot to give to startups and startups to software companies. Increasing cooperation between these two clusters would help Finland climb back to the front seat of the technology innovation train.

Do you still build software or have you moved on building services already?

November 16, 2010. Startup.

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