of the hardest obstacles for a small software company to
overcome is the very fact that they're a small company. The
argument that the company may go out of business can cloud
decision makers thinking from quality and capability to
worrying about how to find support for software or how to
replace it if the worst happens. What decision makers fail to
realize is the very same reasons they worry about small
companies goes for large companies as well! You ask how? Well
its not uncommon for large software businesses to simply
abandon a product because it wasn't aligned with their
business or they couldn't find a large enough market for the
product or other technology appears to be the better solution.
Software such as libraries like Sliverlight and high level
APIs that used Directx, or SVG viewers, etc are just abandoned
where all the development done by companies using those
libraries or software products are left to find other
solutions costing them millions of dollars in new development
costs and wasting their past development efforts!
many small companies have adopted solutions to dealing with
going out of business and that solution is software escrow.
Many small companies guarantee their latest source code is
housed in escrow where if the business should terminate their
clients have access to the source code! These escrow
agreements not only allow a business to continue maintenance
but can allow their clients to develop the software as they
please. Imagine the savings in development or replacement
costs using this strategy. You'll never get that from an a
large company if they abandon a software product!
only is a small software company a good business decision
because of the accessibility of its source code but small
software companies are more adept to customizing their
software to a client's needs and the support is very timely.
For comparison a large company doesn't necessarily fix a bug
or create a new feature until a substantial number of their
clients demand a fix or feature. This can take months and
sometimes years before a fix or feature ends up in their
product. For small companies any bug or new feature, even if
they are specific to one client, have a very high priority and
prompt attention to fix or create the feature. This means
seeing corrections in days if not weeks in comparison to
months or years.
when evaluating a small company ask if their source code is in
escrow and find out what their support service is like. Small
isn't inferior to big and big doesn't guarantee indefinite or