User in control, why?

I would like to share with you the first experience that woke me up to the current IT vision dominating the world. The year is 1989, the family business decides to purchase a 286 30mb PC to replace the mechanical typewriter and to do the book keeping with. The business has operated profitably and efficiently from day one so the bookkeeper runs an excellent ship and they know what they are doing. However, they were unable to do their job with the software package purchased.

I was key to making the PC purchase so I proceeded to re-write the whole accounting package help manual to make it relevant. It is this single event that got me questioning why the end user was not put first in the development of the software. What good is the software if people can not understand it? A one size fits all dissemination information world. And this is why the user in control vision is required some 17 years on.

If you allow the user to take control, they will input their requirements, this sets up the initial exchange of information. Today, the silo holders ‘play god’ to these decisions. Give the user the ability to own and share under their terms, their data. Data does not exist with out end user inputs, do this and this leads to an information world with exponentially more opportunity for all.

James Littlejohn is Co-founder & CEO of

I am keen to build a whole collection of your ‘user in control’ life changing moments. If you have any, I would like to publish them here.


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