My wife and I wanted a new kitchen — even though our ten-year-old appliances were high-end Subzero and Wolf that we acquired when we bought the house last year. So, we paid a ton of money for the most modern and popular replacement appliances that money could buy, and we could control by apps on our phones — and, of course, are Alexa connected. Two months later, our fridge broke, and when the repairman (after waiting three weeks) came over, he said with a smile, “this kind of stuff does not break with the older ones.” I also smiled because the day before, I had joined HCL and was going to be able to work again on one of the classic technologies of the world — Domino. Another kind of “old stuff” that just doesn’t break.
I want to be clear, I’m not a nostalgic person when it comes to tech (I do get nostalgic, however, when it comes to people, and over the years I’ve worked with some of the smartest there are. If you think you are a ten, surround yourself by twelves, I always say.) To demonstrate this, I first worked for many years at Binary Tree, which was a top partner to IBM and helped organizations adopt Lotus (which would later become Domino) for automating their business processes. Once Domino stopped being innovated and invested in, I moved over to Microsoft when Office 365 came on the scene. I probably helped migrate millions of people away from Domino and onto Office 365. After getting many people for years to adopt Domino, I then made a living literally getting people off it. This wasn’t how it should have had to be!
Frankly, for years, I have tried to find a replacement for Lotus/Domino. I was like Indiana Jones looking for the Holy Grail. As time and technology progressed, the words, “low code” and “no code” started popping up onto the scene from companies such as Mendix and Outsystems. Other players more on the no-code side also appeared, such as Airtable and Formstack. IMHO, I think that Airtable is an amazing tool and wish that our previous Domino owner could have created exactly the same thing.
Even though Airtable is an uber spreadsheet on steroids, it is still not Domino. Frankly, I have concluded that nothing is. Nothing compares to what Domino can do. That is why companies are still running it, producing products, helping people, and making money. Ok, it sounds like I am pushing Domino, well, maybe a little. How could I not? Don’t you smile if someone asks you what your first car was?
This is the first installment in a new blog series, called “The Low-Code Lowdown,” which will delve into the low-code/no-code market and the products that support that market — providing cost-benefit analyses, risk analyses, and opinions on security, market trends, and the massive digital transformation companies are experiencing due to the pandemic. And, I will show you why Domino still dominates after 30+ years.
And I will talk about the low-code companies that are out there, such as Mendix and Outsystems. And I’m going to ask you tough (but basic) questions like: If you think that Domino locks you in and constrains you … why the heck would you want to go with those guys? I’ll put that question another way in my next blog: “You Want to Migrate from Domino to Outsystems? I Have a Ford Pinto to Sell You (Or, for you Millennials, Let’s Talk About Solarwinds).”