Design and Prototyping

from Internet Business

The most pervasive impact of computing on how we work is how easy it makes it to ask 'what if?' and almost instantly see the effect of those changes. It is expected that the application of this ability to the configuration of complex purchases will become a major justification for utilising the Internet for Retailing of Goods and Services Such functionality generally requires a significant amount of programming in some or other scripting or 'glue' language, although this is not generally as arduous a task as the kind of component and platform software development discussed in an earlier section[1]. The capacity to do this level of glue programming can also provide a valuable service to those providing Organisation/Work Group Services or Information Access.

At this early stage in the commercial exploitation of the Internet, the choice of glue languages is wide open, depending both on the various combinations of host and client hardware architectures and capabilities, and on application by application judgement as to what functionality should be provided at the host and what at the client. Given the number of product offerings and combinations, it is expected to be quite some time before any standard approach emerges to these issues. Meanwhile it should be cost effective for some businesses to specialise in these areas by keeping their knowledge up to date and by catering for the Design and Prototyping needs of a number of other service providers.

As with other areas in which professional expertise is the primary product, the cost of getting suitably qualified and experienced professionals onto the Net is only around $20,000 per person. In running a Design and Prototyping business, the other consideration will be the proportion of time needed to be spent monitoring both the relevant technological developments and Net-based business activities. While those demands are certain to be high, it is also the kind of area in which a competent professional will be able to be billed at over $200 per hour, giving the prospect of paying $100,000 salary and retaining $100,000 margin by billing an average of 20 hours per week.

[1] see Equipment and Software