The tip of the iceberg

There's more to a company than meets the eye.

When you're using an app or a service, it's always easy to assume it's "such a simple" piece of technology. That there's not much to it, and that you could build it in a day if you had nothing else to do.

Every app, no matter how simple, requires work to build and to maintain. But the code and the front-end design are just the start.

Businesses selling software online have far more than just a codebase to maintain. But all your customers see is the 4 screens of your product they use every day.

What customers don't see is the rest of the work that goes into running an online business – The support software. The analytics tools. The internal dashboard for measuring key business stats. The mashed up tools for giving customers trial extensions when they need it. The home built email builder that makes nice emails look great in all email clients. The dev tools to get team members onboarded quickly.

Customers also don't see the other ideas you're having. They don't see the endless hours of design and development that result in features and products that don't actually end up shipping. The hundreds of sketches. The Sketch mockups you've been playing with for months for the native app you can't commit to just yet. The entire interfaces you've coded up and built but that fell short of great in the final stages so never got pushed live.

And perhaps most of all, customers never see the time and effort and exceptional hard work that the team puts into each and every feature and product iteration.

Next time you think to yourself "How is that a business? I could build that in a day!" Hold that thought and think about how ridiculously difficult the whole process of running a company is.

What you see of a business you buy from is just the tip of the iceberg.

James Gill

CEO and co-founder of GoSquared.

London, UK