Buy vs. Build

A while back Joel Spolsky wrote about “Five Worlds” of software development. Over at Oasis Digital and elsewhere, I’ve been living in two of them:

  • Custom, internal software that we develop as consultants.
  • Commercial software that we develop at our expense, then sell licenses.

As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about the relative advantage of each, from the points of view of software developers and customers. A portion of these thoughts, those on the merits of custom development from the customer perspective, are in an article (PDF) on the Oasis Digital web site.

There is a story behind how that document was created, and I’ll tell it in another post.