I'll have coconut milk with my coffee thanks!!!!

Really? Living and working in Melbourne, the coffee capital, the choices we have available to us are simply incredible. Long black, short black, affogato, latte, mocha, macchiato, risteretto, piccolo and the good ole' cappuccino and flat white are just some of the choices.

Then it's the additions, full cream, low fat, no fat, lactose free, almond milk, coconut milk, white sugar, raw sugar, sweetener or honey.

What about the temperature? The perfect 65 degrees may not suit those who like it hot. Now, how do you like it served? Glass, cup, mug, avocado skin or waffle cone? And don't get me started on the Kopi Luwak, which is part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. Yes, it's real my friends, as is coffee beans defecated by cats, monkeys and other small critters.

I guess you could say that making coffee has truly become an art form. So, in Melbourne, if you want your coffee shop to have longevity, you need to be able to provide at least most of the above. People expect it. And when I heard someone order a latte with coconut milk, it made me wonder how such a seemingly simple thing became so complex.

The same can be said about niche software. In our business of providing debt recovery software, we have received all kinds of requests for customisations and enhancements ranging from the bizarre to the brilliant and everything in between.

Having all this choice available to you is a wonderful thing, but at what cost does it come? How much is your coffee going to cost when the cafe must stock all the different options? How much do they have to pay their barista whose skills demand a high salary? At what point do you decide that the $4+ price for your simple flat white is more than the value of the drink itself?

The same is true for software. The greater the flexibility the greater the investment and therefore cost. So, at what point does software plasticity end up costing too much? Or when do excessive features become overwhelming for the end user? Like most things, it’s about how we create the right balance. At least with software we don't have to concern ourselves with partially digested or defecated ingredients. I think I'll stick to software for now.

Author: Sandy Barrett; Managing Director DebtCol Software

Learn more about what we do here at http://www.debtcol.com.au/