Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Douglas.
Brian, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all started by accident, as I was waiting for my then fiancé to finish up her double-major in math and computer science. She had only one more semester to go when I graduated from TCU in computer science. We planned on getting married during that semester. I had a few good interviews after graduation, but there was one small problem: She wanted to go to grad school out of state. I didn’t feel good about starting with some company and after months of training, to wave goodbye. I started contracting and Brian Douglas Consulting was born. My wife’s grad school ambitions took a different turn and she ended up helping me with the practice. For nearly a decade our consulting practice was a husband and wife team taking on various projects, more and more for smaller businesses and non-profits.
The business transformed when we started taking on bigger projects. We hired a bunch of people and also took on a bigger vision. During this time, we made it our mission to see if there was a way smaller companies could afford to create custom software without falling into the usual traps. By the time someone contacts us, they have already experienced several failures trying to: (1) hire a novice developer right out of college, (2) outsource to the work to other countries, or (3) engage a contractor that has a hard time understanding their business. Sometimes all three.
I feel their pain. This is what motivates me and drives BDC to find ways to get a different message out there.
Small business and the entrepreneurial spirit is pivotal to our great country and to serve that community is my pleasure and I believe my calling.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Many people ask “how can you work with your spouse”? We do share a common interest to help small businesses grow. But sometimes we have different ideas about how to get stuff done and we certainly don’t agree on everything. The work can be personal, challenging, and stressful. Ultimately, we rely on God’s grace to strengthen us for the task and to keep us glued to the vision of where we are going.
Also, technology changes so fast and keeping up is one of the more difficult challenges. Finding the right people with the right skills is always difficult in the software industry. Many of the best people get snatched up by the big companies: Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. But we can offer certain latitudes and freedoms that are empowering to our workers. They know they are making a real difference. It’s easy to see as we connect more closely with our clientele.
Please tell us about BDC Software.
Bridging the gap between technical excellence and beautiful experience design, BDC creates software people love to use. Rigorous quality assurance ensures our software functions well on web, desktop and mobile platforms. We can create custom software from scratch or build on something pre-existing.
Entrepreneurial organizations seek out ways to add more value and technology is a great way to do this. But creating software is a very different and more chaotic process than they expect. So we thought we could reduce the many risks and failures that companies experience trying to tackle this all by themselves. First, we changed our processes to be able to deliver smaller bits faster. Second, we learned more from those smaller bits how to make the bigger bits. Third, we learned how to make the smaller bits more re-usable.
Now we have a library of parts and components (the smaller bits) that can fit together in different ways to create new applications. Since we don’t have to work as hard at writing those components, we can put together “custom software” in a manner more predictable, with less risk, and more quickly.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
We have had a tendency to focus most intensely on the technology of what we provide. If I had to start over again, I would take more of a marketing-first approach. Technology for technology-sake is pretty useless. But it can serve a great purpose if it connects with people in meaningful ways.
- Website: www.bdcsoft.com
- Phone: 214-283-8903
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org