I recently came across Joy’s Law by Sun Microsystems co-Founder Bill Joy.

“No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.”

In 1990, Joy provocatively dismissed Bill Gates’ ideology of Microsoft as an “IQ monopolist” and argued that it was better to “create an ecology that gets all the world’s smartest people toiling in your garden, for your goals. If you rely solely on your own employees, you’ll never solve all your customers’ needs.”

That was 1990, and in 2016 – the validity of Joy’s Law stands true and the principle extends far beyond managing talent. From Apple’s app store ecosystem approach of soliciting “winners”, to Amazon, which earns 40% of its revenue from 3rd party sellers, more and more power is shifting from corporations to platforms and ecosystems. Technology companies are realizing the importance of building software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) – with engineering efforts comparable to their core products.

 

How Does This Relate to CAKE?

We’ve built our products with Joy’s notion of an ecosystem in mind. From our core, cloud-based, modularized software infrastructure, to looking past just being a point-of-sale company, we’ve built a suite of technology operating products including guest list management, online ordering, analytics and consumer apps – from “seated, to sale to see you next time”.

Beyond that, we’ve searched for, and partnered with, the best-in-class partners to bring solutions to help your business succeed. Enter CAKE Market – our one-stop shop for CAKE and third party integrations. We’ve carefully and strategically selected partners whom we think are strong additions to the CAKE platform. Our third-party partners have all integrated directly with CAKE POS to automate workloads and help operators grow their business. From accounting services and inventory management to powerful analytics and labor forecasting, CAKE Market integrates seamlessly with our partner products to streamline your operations.

 

How Does This Apply to Restaurant Operators?

Leverage the technology that surrounds you to supercharge your business. Look for partners, not just technologies. Look for a company whose core offering is strong, but platform is accessible to integrate with both market leaders (e.g. Quickbooks) and startups who can bring new ideas or better approaches to traditional problems (e.g. 7Shifts employee scheduling). Whether it’s front of house, back of house, online or in-store – look for technologies that connect all aspects of your workflow, and allow you to streamline your business to do more of what you love.

Tap into the collective wisdom that surrounds you – the mass of innovators, investors, consumers. Magnify the power of your own R&D by listening to the feedback of your customers. Gamify new menu launches among your staff to harness input. Prioritize staff diversity to get the collective wisdom of many. Step back from a position of authority and accept that all answers won’t come for you – but rather from your network. Seek out information hubs like National Restaurant Association Innovation Summit , or local options like the SF Restaurant Tech Meet Up Group. Make it a goal to access the pertinent knowledge that resides outside of your organization, be transparent about your goals and ideas, and cultivate the solutions that the ecosystem playbook brings you.