Golden Goldfish

prosoft nearshoreSince 1962, Pepperidge Farm has been selling America goldfish crackers.  What began as a saltine-like soda cracker in the shape of a fish has ballooned into a multi-million dollar per year enterprise.

While most people are familiar with the cheddar cheese variety of snack food with the little eyes and smiles, there are over fifty versions and flavors produced by Pepperidge Farm.  Such a simple concept that has turned into a completely ubiquitous product.

Every firm or company hopes that their product will take off and rule a small segment of their market.  Goldfish crackers did exactly that.  By seeing a good idea and running with it, Pepperidge Farm (which is owned by Campbell’s Soup) has dominated its segment of the snack food marketplace for decades.

A little healthier than potato chips, a little tastier than plain crackers, and marketed with a little fun animalism for children, goldfish crackers nailed the needs of the snack-buying public.

Prosoft Nearshore didn’t come up with the idea for goldfish (shucks!) but, like goldfish, we did come up with a surprising niche in an important market.  The world of software development outsourcing was dominated for decades by firms that sourced the work offshore in Asia, particularly in India and Japan.  And this seemed like a reasonable accommodation.  The work could be done cheaper, by skilled technicians, without eating into the time and effort of the host company.

But communication was slow, and this lead to problems.  Asia is, quite literally, half the world away.  Prosoft Nearshore identified the need for quality software development outsourcing that worked on the same time frame as their clients.  Hence, working with a nearshore approach in Costa Rica and Central America.  This kept all of the advantages of offshore outsourcing, while adding the benefit of software developers who worked in the Central Time Zone, the same time of day as their partners.

C++, javascript, and rails development may not be as delicious as goldfish crackers, but they still deserve attention in the world of innovation.  That’s where Prosoft Nearshore is agile and swimming ahead of the wave.