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I’ve been talking to someone today about what the software industry and SaaS game is like to work in. Just saying it’s “fast-paced” or “ever changing” didn’t quite cut it. Those of us in the industry will appreciate my description as they’ll be aware of the ever deepening layers of complexity when you consider software trends, business models, competition, social networking and all the factors that software co’s are based on – are changing rapidly – and often.

So here goes! My attempt to describe the industry:

“Being in the software industry these days is like trying to build a house on top of a train travelling at 200kph heading towards a tunnel – and the train tracks are still being built with no indication as to where they’ll lead to!

And all the time you’re trying to get people to rent a room in the house you’re building on top of the train!

And did I mention there were 50 other trains all heading toward the same tunnel?”

How’s that for an adventurous ride! I’d be keen to hear other people’s thoughts on the industry and how they’d sum it up in an ‘elevator pitch’.

I keep thinking though, how are the young kids coming through ever going to be trained sufficiently at any college to understand, be a part of, or excel in this new world? What they learn at school/tech is outdated when they leave, and you can’t guess the future trends enough to teach them.

It’s definitely going to breed some new thinkers in the coming generation. The new blood is going to have to ‘hit the ground running’ in highly competitive markets with little credibility or resources – only ideas and limited skills.

It’ll mean some really creative ideas will come through – possibly new business models, but my concern is that (in very general terms) we’re going to end up with a few ‘fad mega-successes’ or ‘mega-mergers and acquisitions’ and a huge number of struggling niche ideas with good revenue. Sustainability will become a rarity.  This is a “very general idea” of what could happen based on my knowledge, talking to hundreds of software co’s and some guesswork.

Year: 2000
20% – Struggling Software co’s
75% – Average Software co’s
5% – Successful Software co’s

Year: 2004
40% – Struggling Software co’s
56% – Average Software co’s
4% – Successful Software co’s

Year: 2008
60% – Struggling Software co’s
27% – Average Software co’s
3% – Successful Software co’s

Year: 2012
75% – Struggling Software co’s
23% – Average Software co’s
2% – Mega Successful Software co’s

Year: 2016
85% – Struggling Software co’s
14% – Average Software co’s
1% – Mega Mega Successful Software co’s

With the increase in competition, speed of new players (coming and going) and more M&A’s by Google and others… This is how I see it going. I hope I’m wrong, but time will tell…

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About the author:
Julian Stone, CEO – Project Management Software visionary for: ProActiveSoftware.com, ProWorkflow.com & Julian101.com
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About The Author:
Julian Stone begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting is the CEO of ProActive Software, developers and creators of the leading web based project management software http://www.proworkflow.com.