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September 2007
October 2007

2007-09-24 »

Versabanq employment elevator pitch

Salespeople or company founders develop an "elevator pitch" to let them convincingly explain their product or company in the time it takes to ride up an elevator with a potential customer.

We're getting pretty good at explaining our products to customers, and we don't need any financing right now. That's not the problem.

The problem is that people keep asking me why the heck I'm still doing banking software. "Why aren't you bored yet?"

I'm definitely not bored, but all my answers come out sounding too lame and/or complicated. I need an elevator pitch!

Why banking software isn't boring: first attempt

My #1 goal at Versabanq is to make banking fun... for programmers. That's because the financial software world, and more generally the business software world, is filled with incredibly bad, incredibly profitable software that solves customer problems just barely well enough to extract boatloads of money for the armies of consultants that still struggle to make it run. In case anyone remembers, this is what the entire computing world was like before Microsoft(1) came in and rewired everything. Business software isn't special, it's a reminder of how all software used to be - and Microsoft didn't get around to revolutionizing this segment before they fell apart.

Old-style business software companies are in a classic Innovator's Dilemma - they have no reasonable choice but to sit around extracting huge profits until the right new technology finally arrives and wipes them out.

My goal is to be the one doing the wiping.

How could that not be fun?(2)


(1) Past and present NITI employees might pick up on the familiar spurious references to Microsoft. It's no secret that I greatly respect many of Microsoft's accomplishments, if not their (mostly unnecessary) evilness and recent stupidity. NITI, which still exists today and still makes an excellent product that competes directly with Windows Server, has a tough job: the small-business server market has already been largely cleaned up by Microsoft, so competition is harsh and profit margins are low. The business software market isn't in that state at all.

(2) I'd love to hear your comments about my elevator pitch. The NitLog software I'm using does not support comments but you can always email me. Thanks!


Note that everything I write in this journal is my own opinion, not necessarily the opinion of Versabanq management. The above explains my motivation for doing what I do, but is not a statement of direction for the company itself. Versabanq's direction is determined by far more than just my random opinions. In case you buy or sell stock in Versabanq's parent (TSX:PWC), you might do it based on the fact that I'm highly motivated - but that's all you should conclude from any statement anywhere in this journal.

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