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🔗 Every Software Project is a Startup That Will Probably Fail

It dawned on me today. Maybe most software fails. Not in the sense that "it eventually dies after a long and respectable life." In the sense that it never actually achieves flight, never catches on, never produces more value that it cost to develop.

If you look at the level of the company, I think this is a totally uncontroversial point. We all know that most software startups fail. The stuff is hard to get right, it"s prone to massive delays and hidden complexity, and finding a product-market fit is hard. Blah, blah, blah. Hence the logic of venture capital funding: let a thousand flowers bloom, and expect that 1 or 2 will turn into enormous fat-margin cash-flowers, while the rest die off.

I"m starting to wonder if it"s not just the startup/VC world that experiences these dynamics. I think it"s everything.

In my eleven years doing software, the majority of projects I worked on were money-losers. And this is across a range of companies and industries - education tech, Amazon logistics and physical stores, aerospace - and company sizes. A few of them were huge money-makers, and a good number were in the neutral-to-positive range.

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