Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

What makes you a "tech company"?

By Dennis D. McDonald

The September Washington Post article When everyone is a tech company, no one is raises a question that I thought had long been settled: what makes a company a “tech company”?

My usual response is to distinguish between companies that develop technology and those that use technology.

In many cases the distinction is not useful. Nearly all companies use technology in business if only to communicate with potential and actual customers. During the course of my career, for example, I have worked for companies that developed computer hardware and software, those that assisted in the management of computer systems, and those that were selling something else entirely but relied on technology to support their businesses.

Currently on a consulting basis I write proposals about and manage projects that implement software or database technology to support some goal or objective that is dependent on technology in some fashion. I use standard computer hardware, software, and communication technologies to deliver my services. But that doesn’t mean I’m a “technology company.” That just makes me a management consultant.

One thing I do enjoy is working with the clever and innovative people including creators of hardware or software. I learned to always question when a software developer said something “can’t be done” and realized early on that someone would have to tell me something “can’t be done” at least three times before trying something else.

For me developing technology is not just about creating something new. It’s also about solving problems in unique and creative ways. That’s a fun process to be associated with no matter what the role of technology is.

Copyright (c) 2019 by Dennis D. McDonald

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