Interesting post on code rewriting by the NowJS team. One point of view I have always heard is that a rewrite is amount to admitting technical bankruptcy; even Joel says don’t do it. But the most compelling argument for it is this: Sunk costs and egos get in the the way of good development.
Our job as developers is to provide the best library so that you can write high-performance realtime web applications easily. We could have defended our code just because we worked hard on it for months. But accepting the large upfront cost of a rewrite meant that we would save on development time in the future and also provide a better product to our users.
Booting up « Bootup Labs: “When: now. This is it. We’re booting up. What’s amazing to us again was that picking the name was the hardest part. Lucky for us “bootup labs” was actually a Google Whack – that kind of sealed the deal. A few hours later, we’ve got Google Apps running everything from email to calendars, and this blog up and running in moments with WordPress.com. Now all we need is a place where we can crowd source a logo.”
Paul eventually became convinced that we had written lots of good code but wouldn’t release it because we were perfectionists. Knock it off, he would tell us. It’s more important to get it up than to get it right. Paul had become convinced that users love seeing new features, it gave them the impression of an exciting vibrant site.
There is something to this, of course. But I have a contrary proposal: users love perfectionism….Adding features is part of this, of course, but not at all the whole thing. You can’t create a great sculpture just by tossing on more and more clay.
Aaron Swartz discusses perfectionism, and hints at a new startup, here.
There’s something really weird about being a little gear in a very large project and not really being able to describe to anybody what you do, not really being able to influence or affect the way things happen.
For those of you who don’t know the story about JibberJobber, it goes something like this: Jason got laid off, started searching for a new job, created software to help manage his job search, and is now a partner with IEEE-USA, which already boasts 360,000 users.
In the pie-in-the-sky days of startups raising $X million or Facebook apps that attract X million, this may seem like small potatoes (medium potatoes?), but Jason did it all by himself. Way to go, man.
Marc Andreessen on <a href="http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/how_to_hire_the.html">Hiring The Best</a>. Also, his remarks on VCs: Parts <a href="http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/the_truth_about.html">one</a>, <a href="http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/the_truth_about_1.html">two</a>, and <a href="http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/the_truth_about_2.html">three</a>.
<P>Been busy lately, so haven't been blogging, but will get back to you all very soon, <i>I promise</i>…