Who is the Software 'Company'?

"Who's behind the curtain?
How solid is the foundation under that software?"

In a typical software-development company, one or more people work in separate departments for programming (product development and back-end support), sales and marketing, and customer support/service (public contact).

There is no large-scale software developer in the consignment-software field, leaving it populated entirely with organizations comprised of 1 programmer and 1 assistant, with slight variations in the number of people involved.

Imagine calling Apple and demanding to speak to the owner, or the person in charge of programming. Those people are busy carrying out the tasks of their positions in the company which doesn't include conferring with the public, but in a small-time operation, the programmer may also be the salesman, receptionist and 'CEO'.

Now a small-time operator will tell you that it's to your advantage to be dealing with him because you can converse directly with the person who wrote the program. Well, that's because he's the only person answering the phone and the assertion confirms the fact that owning a software program dependent upon that person sticking around for future support is a shaky foundation for any business.

Charades

There is no website owned and operated by these single programmers that carries this warning on the home page (or anywhere else) for all to see:

Heads up! I alone wrote this program and I am the only person who might be capable of fixing issues and keeping the program current. If I die, become disabled or abandon the software, you will have spent hundreds of dollars for a program that will eventually become irreparable and unusable.

Quite to the contrary we see company names, toll-free numbers and references to 'we' giving the illusion of plurality in 'organizations of one'. Masking risk is deception and deceiving others for financial gain is an act of fraud. Because this is taking place on the Internet (crossing state lines) it is a federal offense.

Associated Risks

One might be inclined to brush this concern off if the price were right. Clearly a program written by one person hasn't gone through the same developmental process as one written by one group, beta tested by another group, marketed by another and supported by yet another. Why? Because developing, maintaining, marketing and supporting a software program 'the right way' is expensive. Conversely, writing a program solo is relatively cheap, yet we see these home brews priced right up there with the highest.

If 'consignment software' is just a part-time income for a programmer, why not keep prices high? It only takes fooling 2-3 people per month at $700 a pop to generate a fairly decent stream of revenue, and besides, that limits the number of people who will be at the service window complaining about this and that.

On the darker side, a company of one answers to no one higher up. He is as high as it gets in his little group and he also occupies the bottom rung. There is no company policy therefore there is no consistency. No wait, there is a company policy for CYA but like some politicians, the rules are followed when it's convenient or profitable.

In a company of one there is no think tank or collaboration. Policies change frequently and are applied randomly. Opportunistic individuals slant every possible angle in their favor. It's not until these provisions become applicable that unwary buyers discover them because there is no pre-sale disclosure of these important matters.

Actual Companies

Resaleworld and Best Consignment Shop Software maintain separate departments, manned by different people, for the various aspects of offering a program for consignment/resale stores. We can't call the programmers. They are busy programming. We can talk to sales and we can talk to customer support, all different personnel. Multiple people in an organization adds to the likelihood of continued support of the software and our needs.

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