What's my motivation?


BC Wilson's picture

It happens in our forums all the time. Someone posts a question like, “How do I set up PostgreSQL for a multiuser environment?” There's an answer to this question, of course, but it's not simple. You need to know a bit about PostgreSQL, about user adminstration, and about the xTuple ERP database. People seem to think we can paste an answer into the reply field and solve their problem, but what we usually do is point them to the resources they need to solve the problem themselves. Some people, unfortunately, put down xTuple ERP at this point and walk away.

At lunch today, Wally Tonra, our VP of Sales, mentioned that he wanted to steer his son, who's an avid gamer, toward computer programming. He asked our development team if there are there any tools for teaching kids how to write software. We chatted for a while, running through the different languages that he might tackle: Javascript, Visual Basic, Perl, PHP, even C++. We got stuck there for a moment, all of us picturing a boy sitting down to read a book about C++ programming, realizing that it was boring and difficult, and running away from the subject forever.

Of course, this is the wrong approach. You don't expect anyone to spend time learning a tool like C++, and then go out looking for a problem to solve. On the other hand, if we could help Wally's son identify a real-world problem, or find something he wants to create, then he could look for the best tool to bring the solution into existence. If he gets excited about making a game where a mutant praying mantis kills giant flies using kung-fu, then he might look to tools like Flash and ActionScript to start building this game of his dreams.

Where am I going with this? We don't expect people to pick up and learn xTuple ERP and then go looking for the problems it can solve. You already have challenges, real-world business problems. You need a system for keeping track of accounts, for streamlining manufacturing, timing your purchasing, distributing your products, planning your business's future. xTuple is an excellent tool for solving business problems, with a free, open source version available that offers features that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in other applications. It has a great community, a broad international user-base, and an eight-year track record with commercial customers who use it to run successful manufacturing and distribution businesses.

If you sat down to read our xTuple user documents from beginning to end, you'd perish from boredom before you got a quarter of the way through. It wouldn't even be a good use of your time. But if you select xTuple ERP as the best business solution for your company, you have a strong incentive to watch our training videos and to read those sections of the documentation that will help you solve particular issues. Our users are like that. They take on problems head-on, diving in to find solutions. They choose us because we offer a combination of powerful features and openness that is unusual in our industry.

Most people don't become programmers, or experts in anything, simply because they like to learn. They master the use of a particular tool because it is the best means to help them solve a problem. We offer tremendous resources for training yourself on the product. Once you begin to use xTuple ERP, you'll find yourself learning the ins and outs pretty quick. You might even become an expert. You might even enjoy yourself along the way.