Lifespan of software adoption – can successful software suddenly turn in a failure?

An interview which I think can be a useful view for startuppers is this:

How *Specifically* Did Balsamiq Bootstrap Its Way To $2 Mil In Sales in 18 Months? – with Peldi Guilizzoni

on Mixergy:

The only thing that leaves me a bit perplex in this interview is Peldi’s worry abut his “rocket” success (nice metaphor) suddenly falling. Made me think about how software adoption and abandonment goes.

Mockups has somehow brought “mockupping” to the non design-educated masses – of which I am a member. The fact that “suddenly” all we non-professional mockuppers adopted Balsamiq is not somehow a symptom that we may just as suddenly drop it. Actually, differently from a passionate, professional mockupper, who is always willing to try, test and learn new tools, “we” are not willing to spend a minute on another tool: we adopted Balsamiq exactly because it was so easily to adopt, and are unwilling to change.

Adopted software is amazingly “resilient” with users. That is also why there are still so many DOS applications around. And for people that like me go to work in different organizations, we see how much “old” software is still (happily) used.

For more on this point – adopted software will not be abandoned easily – see also this discussion with a different focus (software rewrite and technical debt) but with several similar observations:

And then there is also to consider what is the reach and authority of the Balsamiq mockup solution in different communities. Balsamiq looks to be popular in diverse environments, and as anyone with experience in web marketing knows, different communities don’t “talk” much with each other. If you are popular with jQuery developers, you may be unknown among Agile project managers, and so on.

This would make it still harder for any competitor to take the place of Balsamiq.

So, I don’t think there is too much to worry. Look forward to hearing about your next tool, Balsamiq people!

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