Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ideas Vs. Execution

I ended up here from Hugh Hewitt's site for a totally different reason. But then read a few more entries and found this one: Ideas Vs. Execution. From that post:

This is a great quote cited in Getting Real where they are discussing the importance or of getting things done rather than deliberating over decisions. In other words - when developing web software - make decisions quickly and then build. If you make a bad decision - the web is flexible enough to change later.

Be An Executioner

It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an nda to tell me the simplest idea.)

To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.

We are so running into this lately. We have a potential project that can help solve a very real, very big problem. We know what we want to do initially. Its a big problem. There are multiple ways to attack it. Take an Agile/XP/LetsGetStarted approach, and tackle one small part of the problem and get something out that is useful. Then build on it. This domain space is also quickly changing. So the problem we might attack today, might not even exist a year from now. In other words, as you put together detection capabilities, folks (like fraudsters) realize you are detecting them and adapt. So - attack the problem today with a system that can quickly evolve, and as things change, adapt the system. Or you can take a waterfall/letsFigureItAllOutNow approach and take 6 months or a year to come up with "the final solution" and by the time you get it built, it will no longer address the problem because its out-of-date.

Convincing people of this, in a large company, where they are use to the "we have to know everything up-front" approach, is almost impossible. Sigh. So you do what you can.

In any case, since I've been dealing with this lately, it was interesting to read something that was sort of addressing the same problem.

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