Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Programmers Ain't Chefs

I recently ran across a peer-to-peer selling network called Vendly, which (to make a rhyme) ain't too friendly! It thinks the opposite, saying that unlike eBay, which it complains is "complicated," you just post a picture of stuff you want to sell (no need for those pesky details), and let your "friends" contact you to complete the purchase. Put another way, it has no method of payment embedded in the platform.

Of course, with PayPal, completing the transaction is not that difficult, but it is a completely separate step, after you have secured other details from the seller outside of Vendly.

Vendly does say it has plans to include a payment platform, but when is anybody's guess.

AlphaBeta Soup
Which reminds me of how a lot of phone apps work, all boiling down to the simple fact that developers for the last few years seem to think it is normal and SOP to put things out there for the public to use as alpha or beta testers.

I, for one, resent this. I understand that everyone is rushing to be first to market with something new, build a large base of early adopters, and try to get more funding and ward off competition before breakfast, i.e., before a better solution can be built and marketed.

Not Like Chefs
Speaking of breakfast, imagine if chefs did this. There would be no printed printed menus, and the chef would prepare something as quickly as possible, without all the seasonings or ingredients, and without waiting for it to fully cook. Throw a few sprigs of parsley onto the plate along with this mess, and hope for the best!


Since the stakes (steaks?!) are so high, I'm not sure there's a defendable alternative. But I'm sure I can't be the only one to be irked by this. Let me hear what you have to say: please comment!


Albert Nurick / said...

What you're observing is the power of barriers to entry. They're significant for starting a restaurant, and minimal for self-publishing software.

Starting a restaurant requires a pile of capital. And those who pony up the money vet the chef to see if he can turn out quality cuisine. A guy hacking together a crude meal won't get funding, and thus won't be able to open a restaurant.

Contrast this to modern software distribution, where anyone with $100 can become an iPhone developer, and the approval process for getting an app in the store is minimal. (If you're on another platform without a gatekeeper, you can set up a free website and distribute your lousy program yourself - witness all the crapware on Android.)

With minimal barriers to entry, there's far less need to prove that you have a good product before you can get it in front of customers.

Things were different before the internet. Back then, distribution meant getting into computer stores or catalogs, and it was much tougher.

Ernie Schell said...

Totally agree with you! In removing the "stone from my shoe" I neglected to notice the rocky road I was walking on, so to speak.... Great comment. Thank you.

Ernie Schell said...

Amazon’s Kindle glitch and the “always-be-shipping-code” mentality.

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