Analogies help us explain concepts so that others can understand them better. When thinking about buying software, I like thinking of software as a garden. Another way to think of it is software is a garden vs table (┬─┬) or statue (🗿) - Kijana Woodard.

Thinking of software as a ┬─┬ or 🗿 implies an end, that when you’re done with it, you can move on to something else. But that isn’t true in reality. What you’re doing is more like planting a garden, not buying a statue. I know, we want to pay for a thing one time and not have to keep paying for it. I don’t want to say that you have to keep paying money (💵) for the software, but you do if you want it to keep making money.

Software is an investment you put effort (Tender Loving & Care - TLC) into if you want a positive return on that investment (ROI). Unfortunately, there are stories where someone bought a big accounting software package and the cost (money, time, people, opportunity cost, ongoing maintenance, lost customers due to issues) was more than the value it was supposed to enable. Less TLC and more like 24/7 undivided attention - Mohamed Elmalky. Or the time to get the expected ROI was 10 to 20 years. Phew, that’s super long to wait. Patience is a virtue. One could argue that it was long-term thinking.

All Models Are Wrong

All models are wrong, but some are useful - Don Box

Let’s keep this in perspective though. All models are wrong, but some are useful. In this case, I check myself by using this analogy in the context of investing money in software. I know the analogy breaks down in different contexts. But find it very useful when thinking about spending money for software. The common phrase is “buy vs build”. But it’s not a “vs” decision. It’s actually a quantity decision. You’re going to buy software. And, you’re going to build software. The decision is what & how much software will you buy and what & how much software you’re going to build.