Avoiding Pitfalls: Tips for Startups and Corporations in Software Development

In the latest Venture unscripted., City Innovation’s Josh Barker sat down with the co-CEOs of Atomic Object, Mike Marsiglia and Shawn Crowley, to dissect some of their extensive insights into the world of custom software development.

Check out the podcast video below to learn about Mike and Shawn’s experiences navigating the complexities of software innovation and business growth in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Podcast Recap

Atomic Object is a renowned software development firm that specializes in designing and developing custom solutions. Their diverse portfolio spans projects from trucking software to ERP system replacements, with a focus on top-tier software, product management, and design. Their core approach centers around efficient delivery through human-centered design, agile software engineering, and high-throughput practices — with quality as their guiding principle since the late 1990s. 

In the early 2000’s, Atomic Object was using new agile methods to deliver differentiated value to their customers. Atomic embraced practices like test-driven development and pair programming, pushing the boundaries of traditional software development.

Mike and Shawn have grown Atomic’s offering to include design, and product development expertise, in order to more holistically help their customers achieve success with software product development. They have also distinguished between startups and established corporations, discussing the unique challenges and advantages of both. 

When it comes to startups, they stressed the importance of balanced co-founders, rapid experimentation, problem exploration, and a focus on learning over initial product quality. Resource constraints can drive innovation. Then, looking to corporations — organizations with established customers should also prioritize product-market fit but face hurdles in innovation due to operational focus.

It’s no secret that most startups face business-wrecking pitfalls. But Mike and Shawn had some key advice for startups — specifically to focus on specific problems, conduct market research, and understand your go-to-market strategy before seeking external assistance. 

However, it’s a different story for corporations, which often need autonomy, budgets, and data-driven decision-making for innovation. Mike and Shawn said that prioritizing quality over cost optimization is essential to prevent endless break-fix cycles and maintain customer trust. Corporations should be willing to release beta products for valuable customer feedback.

Mike and Shawn also gave us insight into Atomic Object’s vision for growth, geographic expansion, and employee ownership, maintaining a learning-centric culture, solving complex problems, and fostering fulfilling careers.

➡️ Click here to listen to the full podcast episode.

If you enjoy learning about not only how ventures start, but how they grow, and listening to founders share business strategies and meaningful life lessons — be sure to check out other episodes here or wherever you listen to podcasts and subscribe.

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