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Our software must get better

Young and beautiful businesswoman tired from work in the officeMore wisdom from Seth Godin:

As software gets more successful, the instinct is to hire more people to work on it (which increases complications and errors dramatically) and to be ever more conservative as well (don’t mess with what’s working).

Source: Seth’s Blog: Our software must get better

As always he makes some great points, it is worth reading the whole thing and what he has to say definitely applies to dentistry.

Godin makes the excellent point that upgrading software is different than upgrading buildings. The cost of retrofitting billions of buildings is just too big for the supposed benefit. As long as the building does not fall down it is good enough.

Software does not have a significant incremental cost. That is there is no cost per person. Unlike a physical product which has a definite cost per person.

Fixing the software for one person fixes it for everyone.

Yeah but…The training and support costs for a product with a million users is significantly more than for a product with one hundred users.

Upgrading complex software is by definition complex. It is easy to imagine a better upgraded product; it is much more difficult to create it without breaking what you already have.

Even though fixing it for one person fixes it for everyone one of the biggest issues software developers have is getting existing customers to upgrade.

He also makes the point that once we (the users) have become comfortable with a software product it is hard to get us to change. As a result we continue to use horrible software, like iTunes, because we are used to it and don’t want to change. Or we don’t know what else is available and how it compares to the awful product we are using.

This last is absolutely an issue in dentistry. Many dentists are using marginal software programs because they don’t know any better and don’t want to face the hassle of change.

26 replies on “Our software must get better”

Very good article. I believe there is an attitude from some dental software companies to release an upgrade, but not to think it through and cut corners during the process. It is almost as if the first thought is to maximize the profits made from that software. How many times were dentists surprised to find out their software didn’t work and after being on hold for hours be told it was caused by a Microsoft update, or an Adobe update. Many companies that release software are immune to update failures like this because they look at writing good software first and let the profits follow.

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