Henry Ford once famously said “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” Henry Ford of course reduced the time required to assemble a car from 2 years to some few weeks – And in the process he became ludicrously rich, and according to some arguably the “father of the modern age.” In fact, his goal was to make cars so inexpensive, that all of his factory workers would be able to afford one. He accomplished his goal, and in the process increased the size of the market for cars by several orders of magnitudes. In fact, the only reason why there are more than 5,000 cars in America today, is arguably due to Henry Ford and his ideas of using the assembly line to construct cars.
There is nothing magical about creating software. Software creation can also be subject to the same processes that resulted in making cars faster to produce – And in fact, the process is interestingly very similar to the process that made us able to industrialise the art of creating cars.
One of the things that made Henry Ford so successful, was his ideas about standardisation. Everything was standardised in his factories. He used the same types of bolts everywhere he could use them. This resulted in that his workers could use the same set of tools to assemble the parts that resulted in the final product. It also implied that any worker in his factory could move from one part of the production line to another part, without even having to change tools, or needing to learn a new skillset. There is nothing prohibiting us from taking these same ideas, and applying them to software creation.
By standardising your production of software, you can optimise the process by orders of magnitudes. Then ask yourself what the value of being able to assemble software in weeks instead of months and sometimes years would be to your company’s profit? In fact, I am working on a product that allows for doing such a thing. If you want to have a look at it, you can find it here. Unfortunately, it’s not some magic pill you can simply eat, and optimise your company’s ability to create software 10x – Since it’s also a mindset. It’s a change of habits, and an idea that requires changing the way your company thinks about software. However, I have been thinking about these ideas myself for more than a decade, and I would love to apply them to a company, willing to optimise its process of creating software. If you’d like to talk to me about it, you can use the contact form below.