Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action
About half of the material of these articles in Volume 1 was planned and written in 2017, after I concluded my association with the acquirers of my company, Inventys.
Why then, did it take me five years to release this content? Is it relevant any more? With the kind of momentum towards RPA and hyperautomation, created by second generation UI Automation companies and their billion dollar spending power, is it even worthwhile trying to change the direction of flow? Knowing all too well that the “early majority” and “late majority” of technology adopters (as described in Geoffrey Moore’s Technology Adoption Curve) are run by risk-averse, herd-mentality driven, pompous technology leaders, would it make any difference if I presented my opinion based on sixteen years of work in this integration and automation space?
The year 2017 was one of turmoil for me at various levels. I spent much time introspecting many of my life’s endeavours. From a product and technology perspective, I was (and continue to be) convinced that the path currently taken by the industry for process automation is incorrect. Details about this are elaborated in the posts related to Volume 1 of this trilogy. What I did not have at that time, was a suitable solution to the problem. I did not consider it appropriate to simply post criticisms about a technology without offering an alternative solution, which I could technically and operationally defend. Thus the idea to write about my journey and elaborate on my learnings was shelved.
I have always followed the first-half of Bernard Shaw’s famous maxim: “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” Having performed various teaching roles in the early part of my career, and having been fortunate to remain in the tutelage of various teachers, I definitely do not view the second half of this famous maxim in isolation, that is, I do not believe that “teachers are failed doers”. Instead, I view this maxim as suggesting to me that if I have some idea or concept that I need to bring out in the open, then I should create it and demonstrate it, rather than merely write about it or publish it. Therefore I spent the next few years (after 2017) to really create a full fledged solution that would address the real problem that I believe is behind all the process inefficiency issues in enterprises.
In the post-Covid world, with travel restrictions and paradigm changes relating to enterprise sales processes, elaborating your position and your organisation’s position about relevant matters on an online channel has become very important. But since I do not care much about the prevailing social media platforms, I decided to invest in my own site. I just need a place to publish my posts and I really am not looking for the network effects that the established platforms have to offer.
Finally, some part of the delay can be attributed to the situation described in the snippet under the title of this article. Those who have studied or read the play (and still remember it) would immediately recognise it as a part of the famous Hamlet soliloquy — “To be, or not to be…”. The original context of this soliloquy was that of Hamlet contemplating suicide, and the academic interpretations of the above snippet are mostly in that context. However, I tend to agree with those analysts who view this snippet in a more general context. I believe that Shakespeare is telling us that too much thinking about any plan makes us cowards, and these excessive thoughts make our bright resolutions sick and pale. Thus many important endeavours are blown off course due to over thinking resulting in no action being performed.
Having realised this folly, and now with sufficient progress having been made in relation to the actual solution to process and application integration, I hereby put on record my views about this subject.