published 31 January 2011
That was a nice 10-day break from blogging. I’m back after turning my attention to some projects that needed full-time attention.
Accordingly, I’m growing convinced that, unless one works late nights and weekends like a Bay Area startup, it’s difficult for an independent team of two or three to move much faster than a corporate team of twenty.
The team of twenty has quantity on its side — more hands and specialists to execute the work. With that, of course, comes all the red tape, political baggage, and countless meetings that accompany such teams and the organizations that employ them. Quantity suffers at the hand of seemingly endless structure.
The team of two or three has independence on its side — they call the shots, whenever and however they choose. With that, of course, comes all the requisite components for supporting and maintaining the thing they’re creating. Customer support, billing, advertising, blogging, tweeting, client and customer acquisition, and the like. Time suffers at the hand of a seemingly endless to-do list.
The independent team soon realizes that speed isn’t a luxury; its currency is late nights and long weekends. For those who prefer to keep a semi-regular schedule and who have other things to care for outside of work, we eventually learn to accept that things just take longer than we hope they’d take. Problem solving takes time. Details take time. For, in the words of Charles Eames, “the details are not details, they make the product” (thanks H&FJ).
I’m learning, rather forcibly I suppose, to be okay with things taking time. I’m also learning that often you end up with a better product when you take your time to get all the big and small details just right. It’s time well-spent.
Or, at least that’s the sales pitch I’m giving myself. So far, I’m sold.
Update: Some additional commentary by Paul Armstrong on the subject.
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