Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Virtue of Starting Fresh

Bluedog is working on a new version of its product, Workbench "Always on the Job!"© And we are facing new challenges everyday. It is great to be back writing code, and on the front lines of working with end users. This is how better mousetraps get built, IMHO.

When we opted to upgrade, we went around in circles at the beginning about Ruby vs WebObjects. About keeping legacy code as a base layer, or starting fresh. Ripping up the SDD and starting again is one of the hardest decisions to do even — especially when its your baby.

At other places I have worked, too many people have invested too much in an on-going project. There are too many stakeholders, too much institutional momentum. As a result, the impulse is to try to fix what is there.

When I got my MBA, one of the best things I learned — and embraced — is the concept of “sunk cost.” So, cleaning the white board made the most sense for Workbench 2.0 -- while cloud computing, n-tier MVC architecture, and the web are going strong, there are many exciting new opportunities in the world of software-as-a-service. And the economic turmoil recently has encouraged our customers evolve. So we have.

When Steve Jobs took over Apple again in the 1998, one of his first moves was to throw overboard projects that weren’t working – such as, the “Newton” handheld device (which, as readers may know, I loved). He started over, wanting a clean slate.

I am lucky — with the great team at Bluedog, I am able to ask, “If we were just to start fresh, what would we do?” That’s what we are doing, and I am excited to see us get to the launch pad!

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