LEGO Bricks and Workflow Platforms
Blog: The Data Center
On a recent flight to see a client in Chicago I was able to watch a documentary I’ve been saving for a while. “Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary” takes a look at the recent growth as well history of LEGO. (For Amazon Prime subscribers you can watch this for free, and unlike Netflix, you can download the title to watch offline!).
We’ve long thought of building bricks as a great analogy for the Decisions Platform. Toys like LEGO MindStorms have inspired us. And the central idea of being able to use a tool like LEGO to create nearly anything from a few fundamental pieces speaks well to our mission of engaging folks who don’t know how to code with visual development tools to build and change business applications.
In fact, toward the end of the documentary, the people at LEGO summarize a more foundational element of creation – below I paraphrase and connect the dots to how it relates to our mission here at Decisions.
BUSINESS SOFTWARE FOR HUMANS
At the core of being human is the ability to create, the idea that you can adapt your surroundings to fit your life. For millennia we’ve watched cycles of this. It is the moments when we realize that we don’t need to search for a cave, or climb up a tree but instead we can adapt the resources around us to suit our life.
This same evolution has been manifest in business software. For what feels like millennia we have searched for an ERP system that we can live in, or maybe we have been looking for a CRM system that we can climb up into. Instead of having to suffice with the ERP or CRM let’s us live – we can now build our own cave, or our own treehouse, or maybe adapt a cave, or adapt a treehouse to meet the needs of how we live, or how we want to do business.
It’s the idea that everything is possible if you have the right tools in front of you. Everything in this world is built with some type of building block. Sometimes we use these building blocks to create new tools that let us create new things that were really time consuming before, or maybe that were not even possible.
A very small number of the customers we get to work with come to us with a blank slate. In reality, every business has found a cave or built a bit of their own treehouse before we get a chance to give them new tools. The first step in understanding what you are going to build is to define the business problem. You need to write down or draw out what aspect of your world needs to be created or improved.
In some cases this is adapting another software solution you purchased or built to fit your way of doing things. In other cases this means starting with the fundamental building blocks of a business application and using them to map out how you’d like your solution to operate.
By the way – I found another building brick group who makes life size building blocks! Check out EverBlockSystems.com.