It’s All About Attitude

As a bit of background for you, you need to know that I’ve spent a good many years as a software developer. Within that realm, I’ve been invited to speak at conferences in the UK, Germany, the US, and Australia. Other professionals within the software development industry seem to have some measure of respect for my skills and knowledge.

So, let’s get back, for a few minutes, to Gerry Harvey and the bleating that he’s been doing this week about GST and online shopping.

Several years ago I was working on a major project at, believe it or not, Harvey Norman. The project was a complete rewrite of their Point Of Sale system, to bring it up to date.

Well, not quite.

This was in about 2003-4, and the actual brief was to take some of the best available tools at the time, and to rewrite their PoS and bring it … back to the same basic system that they were then currently using, and which was already well over ten years old.

Yep, you read that correctly. A multi-million dollar project was being undertaken, to provide virtually no modern functionality, no user friendly interface … but just replicate the already out of date system that was already in place and was already many years out of date.

Part of the brief, as I understood it, was that they didn’t want to spend any money or time on training their staff.

God knows how that might end up? On a grander scale, perhaps they might have some staff who are knowledgeable and helpful?

But no, that was not the goal. Let’s just rebuild a replica of the old system.

Perhaps, Gerry, if you had been looking towards the future, rather than the past, then your current state of bewilderment about all these new-fangled ways of ordering by your customers – methods that actually enhance businesses, rather than constrict them – then you wouldn’t be pushing thus unholy barrow that you now find yourself behind.