Staffing Talk readers know about the "Not Invented Here" syndrome that causes staffing companies to piss away big dollars on failed software projects. We see it often. It's so commonplace, so sad as to be funny. Even worse for us is that when they're through blowing all their money on software development, they have none left to get a working system from us.

at payroll processing company Paylocity whose CEO, Steve Sarowitz, spent millions on internal software development including $1 million on a Web project that got thrown away completely. Reporter Michael Fitzgerald did a brilliant job on the article.

Usually I don't have much respect for the CEOs that fall prey to "not invented here", but if you read the story you'll see Steve is different. First, he was willing to share the story with the general public - not many of us are willing to suffer public humiliation even if we get publicity out of it.  Second, he made peace with the team of developers who failed and shared in the blame. And third, he kept on going, apparently with the benefit of endurance he learned by jogging, until finally he met with some success.

Credit also goes to the tech lead on the failed development, Roey Ben-Yoseph. Usually the tech guy runs for the hills, but clearly Roey stays in the story and owns up to things. Unusual strength of character. In defense of Roey, I also wasted a lot of time and money developing Web applications in that era. The recommended Web development platforms at that time - Java, Javascript, ASP and PHP - were notoriously hard to work with and subject to constant change. I was fortunate to have a client that eventually developed the first TempWorks WebCenter and provided us with both a working product and a client reference site.


If you look at Paylo's website, you'll see it's quite well organized. Great marketers. They know their audience. No wonder they could afford all the failed development. TempWorks is also in the payroll processing business, and I have to be upright and magnanimous about it - Paylo outmarkets us handily.

I'm working on a project on getting our staffing company clients to help market our payroll services. If any of you are reading this and are interested, please let me know.

Tags: Staffing Software