One of the things I feel passionately about is ease of use. I’m one of those guys that doesn’t normally read the documentation – the theory being that you should be able to intuitively use any product. Take Google’s Adwords product for example. I really hate to compare anything to Google by the way – everyone in the technology industry wants to compare just about anything to Google – then talk themselves out of doing anything because “Google are already doing that”. What a load of tripe – if that was the case nobody would ever start a company. Anyway, I digress. Google’s Adwords product was just about the easiest product I’ve ever used. When Adwords was first launched we managed to get an ad up in a couple of minutes that served hundreds of hits to our website. It was intuitive, clean and simple.
Pretty much everyone agrees that Google changed the game in online ads. Yet there was nothing innovative about online advertising.Yahoo and Microsoft had been doing it for years. Google though made it easy. I didn’t need to read a manual, I didn’t need customer support – quite simply it was the best product on the market.
Compare that to Overture. The interface was confusing, my anti-spyware blocked cookies that the product needed to log me in, it took days not minutes to get an ad up.
Speaking as a software vendor, we all need to spend more time on making this stuff easier. At WANdisco, we’re big boys and girls about this stuff and admit to ourselves where our product could and should be improved. Ease-of-deployment and ease-of –use are top of the agenda right now. Our product solves a terrifically complex problem; but we don’t want our users to see or deal with any of that complexity. It is a trap to assume that users have special skills – sure some do but they are usually early adopters. Einstein’s maxim that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler” probably says it all.
About David Richards
David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies.
Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth.
With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards.
David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A