Did you know that software has a lifespan?

If you’re building a technology business, it may seem an odd idea but the software you build today won’t live beyond 10 to 15 years.

And this is something that technology businesses need to do deal with with intentionality, but most companies don’t and end up with a weird inflexion point quite late on in the company’s life – specifically at what is quite a difficult point where the original founders want to exit.

Or to put it another way, unless you have a plan to deal with it from Day 1, you can find that at the point that you want to sell the business, the software that you have is unsaleable.

How can software “die”? Like how on earth can it have a “lifespan”? The answer to this is fashion. The industry moves in waves – what you build today is of its time, and when you come to sell, it may look rather old.

But the solution is simple. Every 5 years you need to plan in a big reset piece where you set the clock back from 5-6 years back to 0.