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The Enterprise Eats Software

Jessica Kerr explains why software from large firms is so often terrible:

Software is hard to get right. And every time we don’t, customers leave.

Appointment scheduling that sends a calendar invitation “Join the Zoom” without a link. Checkout screens that delete my credit card number when I change the shipping address. Complete Order that comes back with “Please try again later.” Items can’t all be shipped, can’t all be picked up, and this is a maze to figure out (also Lowe’s). A shopping cart that pops up a generic error modal when any single call to the server fails.

Read the whole thing. A lot of this sounds like an incentive alignment problem: each sub-group within a large firm optimizes for its own benefits, but the sum total of those choices leads to a sub-optimal result for the firm itself, as in the case of bad software driving customers to Amazon.