Have you ever tried to learn to play an instrument? To study a new language? To play a sport? Then you will know, it takes time to get it right. It takes a lot of effort to fine-tune a skill. Any skill.
Look at kung-fu: You can learn a new punch in a day. Learning to fight takes a year or so. But properly mastering kung-fu? That takes a decade.
22 years have passed since we started building funeral management software here at Eulogica. Looking back, it’s clear that the software we created during the first few years was not great.
But we persisted. It took 10 years to come up with some seriously advanced software. After that time, we had a complete and well-rounded product. By then, it was properly designed. It was flexible. It was reliable. At that point, it was great!
This kind of thing should not come as a surprise, because… It takes time to get good at things.
It takes years to get good … and it takes even more to become a master. Specifically…
It takes about ten years.
This has been calculated and investigated. Study after study has found, it takes around 10 000 hours of practice to fully master a skill – be it the piano or a game or a language or an aspect of business. That is, 5 to 10 years of practice… depending, of course, how intense the days are.
A sportsman who wins an olympic medal, whatever the sport, would often have started practicing at least ten years before. To become a chess grandmaster also seems to take about ten years, playing every day.
The neurologist Daniel Levitin writes, “the emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything.”
For us at Eulogica, what we know is … funeral software systems. We have been focusing on fundamentally the same thing year after year: Funerals. Funeral software. How to manage funerals.
We do nothing else.
Over time, at Eulogica we have gathered a lot of experience – and we like to think, after 22 years we have become quite good in this area.
For a software company, mastery is not about features. More and better features are required all the time, but that’s the easy part. Mastery is about something more fundamental: The competence of the team. The scope of the product range. The depth and quality of the core technologies.
If you are looking for funeral software – or any complex product that your business will have to depend on every day – you might wish to ask, simply, what is the supplier’s amount of experience?
It will make a difference. 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? It will show in the products. It will show in the competence. It will show in the quality.
Yet, we are still improving here at Eulogica. After 20 years, we were significantly better at our craft than after 10 years… and at the 30 years mark, hopefully we will be a bit better again.
It takes time to get good!