This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Recently, there’s been buzz about the term “stack fallacy,” which Anshu Sharma at Storm Ventures coined as “the mistaken belief that it is trivial to build the layer above yours.” Since then, the theory was in the Wall Street Journal and expanded on by Andreessen Horowitz investor Steven Sinofsky.
Eugene Kim pulled out a crucial quote from Sharma in his Business Insider article last week: “The bottleneck for success often is not knowledge of the tools, but lack of understanding of the customer needs.”
So, what happens when a market leader gets that it’s not trivial to build the next layer and decides not to do it themselves right now? What if they have ears on the ground learning customer needs, but not only within their own organization? We look to Google for the answer, because this is actually where the partnerships at Google for Work has thrived. Maybe Google for Work understands that it’s not trivial to build the layer above theirs and they understand customer needs, so, true to their collaborative roots, they have created a vibrant ecosystem to support others who do that work.
Enter AODocs, the company I work for: AODocs was born directly out of customer feedback regarding Google Apps for Work. And as one of Google for Work’s Recommended Partners, AODocs works lock-step with Google through shared roadmaps. Enterprise customers rely on our document management solution to get the most value out of their Google Apps for Work investment and Google therefore invests time and resources with us.
Sharma may be right that many companies mistakenly believe that they have it all figured out to create a better product – but others, like Google, may actually have some of it figured out to get the best stack to end users.