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Code === Commodity

Created: December 10, 2020

Yesterday, in addition to identifying myself as a horrendous cook, I posited that the act of typing code is not at all the most valuable part of good software development. Further, I stated that act of typing can be done by just about anyone - and it is being done by just about anyone every single day.

Across the world, right now, there are people writing code in NetSuite accounts, building customizations responsible for critical business functions like payroll, inventory, financial management, and more - without any software education, without any NetSuite training, without any certifications or licenses - nothing more than a mandate to write code and bill for the hours spent writing that code. Those NetSuite account owners are paying those bills - repeatedly - and new account owners are signing up every day simply because the hourly rate is cheap.

Professional code is not poetry; it is a commodity.

Whether you are a SuiteScript developer or running a team of them, how are you differentiating yourself from the Hour Mills around the globe?

"My code is better/faster/cleaner" doesn't resonate with clients; they can't validate that claim, and they probably can't connect the dots for why that matters to them (nor should they have to).

"Our processes are better" falls just as flat.

If after "We specialize in ..." you place a list of any kind, you're diluting your positioning in the market and fading into the background of a prospect's mind. If you can't immediately and obviously connect your inputs ( writing code, awesome process, etc) to the company's desired business outcomes ( increased profits, lower costs, reduced risk, etc).

Without any other differentiation to care about, potential clients will simply sort by price, ascending, and shop around at the top of that list.

How do you stand out?

You can start by shifting the focus off yourselves (better code! amazing process!) and on to the people you want to help.