About That ‘Feelings’ In Software Industry

By Anoop Madhusudanan

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imageWhen I read Built to Last few years back, I got stumbled upon this fact – it is all about building a cult. And a cult is not a bad thing. You can base it on some ethical values, and can sprinkle stories and sutras around the same to make it more exciting. Or, you may brand it as your corporate culture. But in the end of the day, it is all about building a cult which looks original and rallying your employees and customers around the same with out shaking their belief.

In the last ten years, Steve Jobs did that much better than any one else. I think he learned about the art of creating a cult when he was wandering in India, may be from Neem Karoli Baba. Today, people worship Apple.

I believe successful organizations are good in assembling together such a framework that can yield repeatable behavioral patterns from all stakeholders, most importantly, customers. Any successful organization need at least one iconic leader with charisma to grow beyond mediocrity. People buy a brand not just because of its usability – They buy or act when they believe in the cult of the brand, when they buy in to that ideology and find the trust.

As Simon points out in this Ted Talk, great leaders inspire action – they inspire employees and customers and other stake holders to align with the cult or self of the organization. I think the justification for all this lies deep with in, we are wired to follow a cult. For example, our feelings and instincts influence a purchase decision – probably much more than the numbers we have in our head.

So, I believe everything from Brand loyalty to architecture decisions are influenced by aspects like peer recommendations and herd mentality in a big way. That’s why a number of CXOs invest in ‘Big Data’ and ‘Cloud’ with out knowing the intricacies.

Even software has it’s FADs right now. So, it is of no surprise that the industry is also driven by its own fashions and styles at times. Some of these FADs will burst as bubbles. Who cares. The world works on chaos theory, and it is not really predictable all the time – so decisions based on gut feeling and intuitions are acceptable to some extent, isn’t it? Though, generally I don’t recommend subjectivity over objectivity.

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