Which modules do you "allow" yourself to use for production?

Abigail abigail at abigail.be
Tue Jul 23 11:03:58 BST 2013

On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 09:39:33PM +0100, Dirk Koopman wrote:
> While I reckon prototyping is useful, you should be aware that when  
> dealing with people that have Pound note watermarks etched on their  
> glasses, prototypes have a habit of becoming (the rump of) "production"  
> code. This, IMO, is usually a recipe for failure and if not that, then  
> significant engineering cost later on. Which is not to say that your  
> partner is such a person.

I think that's short sighted, and IMO, you're making a classical mistake.

Doing extra work now in order to save costs later is a luxury problem.
Your first worry should go to actually being alive later on. When you're
starting up, your resources are limited, the work that needs to be done
ASAP is huge, and your income is nil.

If you reach "later", you have won the game. You're still alive,
meaning you have a product, possible with lots of technical debt, and
you're making money. You're now in a much better position to "finance"
the cost of solving said debt.

The classical mistake you're making is assuming that all equal costs
have the same (negative) value. Costs now have more negative value that
the same cost in the future. If you don't see that, perhaps the following
will help: suppose you're a startup with just a few developers, and I give
you a choice: I'll give you the money now to hire a good developer for a 
year, or in two years, I'll give you the money to hire the same developer
for 18 months (assuming you're still afloat). What would you pick?

I know it's very trendy to be blase about "pound note watermarks", but in
the end, people want to get paid. And you can't run a successful business
if you don't have at least some people actually make sure you have revenue.
It's very rare to see a business that's successful purely on technical merit.


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