If you are using HR software of any kind —  and that includes platforms to process payroll or create weekly schedules at your restaurant — you’re beating the odds.

Most technology never makes it beyond a shaky prototype. There are Universal Forces of Failure™ that doom most technology companies. If it becomes a viable product, that’s because some crazy dude mortgaged his home and bet on a dream. And he got lucky.

Once you get a product to market, it doesn’t mean that it stays viable. Time passes, trends change, and code gets old pretty fast. It’s not long before your “must have HR software” looks a lot like MySpace.

And even if a product is up and running in your office, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a failure. Micro-failures happen every day, from buggy code to frustrating customer service. HR software companies disappoint and fail customers on a daily basis just by being dicks.

So this is all to say that when HR ladies tell me that software sucks and is boring, it is an entirely accurate and valid perspective. But these products are also a testament to human endurance. They represent a miracle. If an HR technologist can get a product to market and have more than a couple of hundred users — and nobody at the company has murdered one another, by the way — it’s a success story.

The next time your HR technology lets you down, be amazed that it exists in the first place. Then capitalize on the opportunity to demonstrate great leadership. Recognize the tens of thousands of hours that are invested in the code. Think about the hopes and dreams of the founders and the initial team of designers and developers. Put faces on your frustration.

Do you think they want to disappoint you? Heck no. They’re human.

Then pick up the phone, get the founder or someone of importance on the line, and give practical and specific feedback. Help more HR technology companies improve their products and delivery and beat the odds. The entire marketplace will be better if you partner with your HR technology vendor and help them beat the universal forces of failure.


  1. Laurie, it’s a toss up between this blog and the one about the HR lady not liking pets, but thumbs up to your approach on HR software and technology.

    Good way to keep founders and R & D on their toes, send feedback. Cool!

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